Row between ministers over health budget is ‘threat to patient safety’, TD claims

A row between two ministers over the health budget will be a “threat to patient safety”, a Sinn Féin TD has claimed.

Documents released to the Irish Daily Mail found the Department of Public Expenditure described the running of the health budget as a “threat to our public finances”.

The Department of Health has projected an overspend of between €1.1 and €1.7 billion this year.

The documents also showed Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe describing dealings with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly’s department over the issue as “exceptionally frustrating”.

Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson David Cullinane said it shows a clear breakdown in trust between respective Ministers Donohoe and Donnelly.

Mr Cullinane told Newstalk: “The people who are getting caught up in all of this are the patients, those who are on the frontline in healthcare.

“They’re the ones who will suffer because of this bickering, because of the rows… which in my view are unseemly, and because of the fact that those two departments and ministers can’t get their act together and agree on what is a realistic budget for the Department of Health.”

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