Wexford/Kilkenny health spending: Shortall says hospitals in rag order all around country

Former Junior Health Minister Róisín Shortall has criticised Dr James Reilly's fast-tracking of two hospital projects in fellow Ministers' constituencies.

The works in Kilkenny and Wexford were announced by Ministers Brendan Howlin and Phil Hogan before the HSE had formally approved them.

Opposition parties have accused the Government of using the hospital budget as a "political slush fund" for its own electoral purposes.

Yesterday in the Dáil, Health Minister James Reilly made no apologies for the decision, saying the two hospitals were in need of improvement.

However Independent TD Róisín Shortall said there were plenty of hospitals around the country that were in a similar state.

"People in Wexford and Kilkenny are absolutely entitled to (the hospital improvements), but the fact is there are lots of hospitals in rag order all around the country," she said.

"When it comes to spending, especially in the health area, there needs to be some kind of a system for prioritising spending.

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