22 March 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Solidarity (formerly Anti Austerity Alliance) Cork TD Mick Barry will issue a call for the establishment of an Irish National Health Service free at the point of use and funded by progressive general taxation at today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare.
The committee has been established to produce a 10 year strategy for Ireland’s health services and will be addressed today by Health Minister Simon Harris.
Deputy Barry will tell the committee that private healthcare can only succeed if the public system fails and that a strong public healthcare system will mean tackling for-profit healthcare in this State.
He will argue that voluntary hospitals, private hospitals and private nursing homes all rely heavily on the taxpayer for support and that these sections should be nationalised and fully integrated into an Irish NHS.
He will say: “For example: the Sisters of Mercy received 485 million euro from the taxpayer in 2015 alone to run 5 hospitals. The same Sisters of Mercy have an unpaid debt of more than 100 million euro to the state for monies owed relating to compensation for victims of residential institutions that they ran. Control of these 5 hospitals should immediately be removed from this religious order and placed fully at the disposal of the public health system.”
Mick Barry TD is a member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare. The committee is due to submit its report by April 27.