PBP questions value for public money in new hospital deal

Party suggest requisitioning private facilities and paying wages of staff as a bridge to a fully public health service

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, a member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, has questioned the “value for public money” in the new deal with the private hospitals as reported in today’s Business Post. The TD has questioned what lessons have been learned following the initial deal between the private hospitals and the state.

At a meeting of the Health Committee on December 2, 2020, Minister Donnelly suggested that he was critical of the initial hospital deal between the state and private hospitals and that it would not be done in that way again.

Gino Kenny TD said: “Minister Donnelly indicated to me that the previous deal between the state and private hospitals was not a good deal, in hindsight, and that a deal of this sort would be done differently. Having read the reports today on the new deal I think there are very serious questions about the value for public money in this new deal.

“I will be putting these questions to the Minister when the Dáil reconvenes and I will be asking him to outline how this deal is the best way to gain extra capacity for the health services, which is clearly needed during this third Covid wave and beyond. We need to ascertain if lessons have been learned from the old deal.

“People Before Profit’s view is that private hospital capacity should be requisitioned by the state, with health staff wages being paid by the state, with a view to absorbing this capacity into a fully public system going forward.”