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Home > Select Sub-Committee on Health Debate. Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill 2013: Committee Stage (continued).

[Oireachtas] Select Sub-Committee on Health Debate. Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill 2013: Committee Stage (continued). (06 May 2014)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


Deputy James Reilly: …..To give the committee some startling facts, 2,000 beds in our hospital system out of a total of 11,500 beds are occupied every night by people suffering from an alcohol-related illness or injury. Countless tens of thousands of beds are occupied every year by people with cardiovascular, lung and other diseases caused by smoking. I do not think it is unreasonable to look to the day when, if we can get the public health message across and educate our people on the dangers of alcohol and smoking and prevent our children from taking up smoking or abusing alcohol, there will be less need for major budgets for our health system. I know that day may be some time off but it is coming. 

Finally, decisions regarding the Supplementary Estimates are made by the Government as a whole; they are not made by the Minister. Section 10 does not preclude the Government from making those decisions. It is a standard provision which gives the Department of Finance the final say and that has always been the way. I would prefer to have the final say but if each Minister had the final say the books might look a bit funny at the end of the year. We all have to operate within budgets and the fight, as Deputy Ó Caoláin has said, is to make sure we get a proper budget that reflects the need to provide a safe service…… 

[For the full debate, click on the link above]

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