Michael Harty Eamonn Farrell/

Michael Harty to vote against Budget over 'uninspired' and 'inadequate' measures

The independent TD said he is “very disappointed” by today’s announcement.

INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Harty has said he intends to vote against Budget 2019.

Harty said the allocation of resources to the “beleaguered health service” particularly impacted his decision.

The Budget is still on course to pass through the Dáil as Fine Gael will receive support from Fianna Fáil and other independents.

Harty is the chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee.

In a statement released this evening, the Clare TD said he is “very disappointed that funding for the Sláintecare reform programme was not specifically identified” in the Budget.

“Implementing Sláintecare lacks urgency and has no specific timeline on delivering expanded services to patients in the community or in our acute hospitals. The essential expansion of bed capacity to deal with increasing demand and all-year-round A&E overcrowding remains inadequate.”

Pressure on GPs

Harty said the expansion of medical card eligibility “without any resolution of the GP manpower crisis or ensuring the sustainability of general practice shows a complete lack of knowledge of the difficulties facing primary care and places it under further stress”.

He stated that the unwinding of FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) pay cuts is essential to any expansion in GP services, saying general practice was disproportionately affected in this regard.

Harty added that people in the midwest “will have to endure several years of prolonged inadequate services” and lack of bed capacity.

He said the government’s lack of action on the housing crisis and climate change as well as post office closures and rural broadband issues also affected his decision to reject the Budget, which he described as “uninspired” and “short-termist”.

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