Congress Demands Halt to Privatisation and Outsourcing of Critical Health Services

1 May 2018

Health Care Submission

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said that the unfolding tragedy of the Cervical Check scandal highlights the “danger of outsourcing in essential services such as health” and reinforces the need to move to a publicly controlled and universally accessible single-tier national health service. 

Congress General Secretary, Patricia King said: “The growing and tragic CervicalCheck scandal highlights the danger of outsourcing in essential services such as health, where direct control is transferred  to a private sector organisation abroad, as happened in this instance. Some women may now have paid the ultimate price for this. It is completely unacceptable.”

Ms King said the Oireachtas Sláintecare Report recognised the need to move towards a universal, fully integrated, single tier public health service that guarantees access and quality care, regardless of income. 

“This will require very major additional investment and Congress believes that a long-term target of 10% of GDP should be set for health spending.

“Congress notes the announcement by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, to instigate an independent review CervicalCheck.

“This is an invaluable service that has saved the lives of many women. The restoration of public confidence in our national cervical cancer screening programme is therefore vital, but the scandal has wider implications for the whole health service. 

“It is time to immediately end the outsourcing of critical health services and to provide a road map towards the implementation of the recommendations of the Slaintecare report.

“Only then will women and their families be wholly confident that we have a health system capable of providing the highest standards of care, with respect to cancer prevention and overall health care for women in Ireland,” Ms King concluded.