Taoiseach denies health department will receive bailout
on 17/09/2013 15:51:56
Earlier today, Minister James Reilly signalled another overspend this year, and that he may need a supplementary budget for the third year running.
The overspend currently is about €60m, while at this point last year it was substantially higher at €250m.
Enda Kenny, however, claims Minister Reilly has assured him an extra budget won't be needed.
"The Minister for Health is aware of the reality here - it's much better than it was last year. While there is currently an overspend, he's made it perfectly clear that he expects that to be recovered."
Meanwhile, Labour's junior Health Minister said James Reilly is not to blame for spending problems, but that the ageing population is placing stress on the system.
"There's increasing expectations, there's increasing demand, there's people who've had to face unemployment … and rely on medical cards," he said.
"There isn't any other source of income or source of revenue to fund public services other than the taxpayer."
His comments echo Minister Reilly's earlier reasons for the continuing budget problems in his department.