Taoiseach denies health department will receive bailout
The Taoiseach has signalled he doesn't expect the Health Minister to need a bailout again this year.
Earlier today, Minister James Reilly signalled another overspend this year, and that he may need a supplementary budget for the third year running.
"If we're a couple of euro over in the overall scheme of things … I don't want us to be over budget, but I accept fully that in health, we have a serious demographic issue to deal with," he said.
"What I mean by that is that we have an ageing population, and older people tend to have more than one illness, and tend to be admitted for longer, and tend to need more care."
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, and echoed Reilly's claims 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."
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