€960m for health as extra Govt spending approved

The Government has signed off on an additional €4bn of spending at the Cabinet meeting today.

It brings the supplementary estimates, or extra spending beyond that set out in the Budget for this year, to €6bn.

Just over €1bn is being used to fund cost-of-living measures for households.

Funding is being provided to support people fleeing the war in Ukraine, including additional school places and medical cards.

Health spending has been allocated a further €960m to fund increased demand particularly in the acute hospital sector. It brings the total fund to around €22.4bn.

Some €850m has been allocated to the Department of Education for the school building programme and additional pay costs, while €170m has been agreed by ministers for Tusla and disability services.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said the additional funding was partly driven by cost-of-living measures as a response to “elevated inflation levels”.

He added the funding also recognised the additional demand on public services “particularly in the health and education sectors”.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson has accused Government of continuing to have a reckless and chaotic approach to funding the health service.

David Cullinane said the service will still be short €500m even after the revised estimate was given the green light by Government.

“This will carry forward as the first charge in 2024. None of the €1bn provided is permanent funding so the underfunding for next year will be even greater. And all the while the recruitment embargo will continue as we approach a difficult and challenging winter,” he said.

However, HSE boss Bernard Gloster warned politicians recently that the funding shortfall was around €1.5bn.

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