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Thursday, April 1, 2010


On Thursday April 22nd at 8pm in the Talbot, Dr. Liam Twomey is holding a meeting where he and Dr. James Reilly will discuss Fine Gael’s health policy, FairCare.

Dr. Twomey explained that FairCare proposes real reform of our health system. "FairCare can deliver an improved health system for all without additional costs to the tax payers. There are a number of problems with the health system at the moment. This results in patients suffering due to long waiting lists, and trolleys in A & E departments. "

“Under Fianna Fail’s current system of fixed budgets with no incentives, every hospital gets an annual budget based on the previous year’s budget. Therefore each patient is effectively a “cost” to the hospital, and reduces the overall pot of money available for other patients and services. Hospitals are basically penalised for treating more patients. Fine Gael’s health policy proposes that Ireland should move over time, to an alternative tariff-based scheme where the health service providers are paid based on the number of patients they treat; a system where “money follows the patient.” The key advantage of such an approach is that patients become a source of “income” rather than a “cost”. The more patients that are treated, the more money a hospital receives.”

Dr. Twomey pointed out that this system has worked in other countries such as Sweden and Australia and has resulted in both a reduction in waiting times and lengths of stay in hospital. “This policy of “money follows the patient” makes the patient the centre of the health system. Under Fianna Fail and their health policies, saving money without regard to the impact on the patient seems to be their main strategy. We have seen this first hand in Wexford: whereas it’s right to move orthopaedics, breast surgery and lower colon surgery to Waterford, the current threat on our 24 hour A & E services is simply a cost cutting mechanism.”

“Radical reform of our health system is the only way we can solve the problems that successive Fianna Fail governments that have neglected our Health Service have caused. I invite everyone to come along to hear about FairCare and to give us their opinions on our proposals,” said Dr. Twomey.

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