Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Hundreds join health cut protests

Progressive Democrat TD Noel Grealish opposes cuts to services in Galway

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Galway to demonstrate against planned multimillion-euro health cuts in the west.

The march through the city came the day after independent TD Noel Grealish withdrew his support for the under-pressure coalition Government, citing opposition to the proposed cuts to services in the region.

The demonstration, organised by the Galway Says No To Health Cuts campaign group, started at Galway Cathedral and proceeded to the city's University Hospital.

But HSE West insisted cost containment measures were needed to deal with a projected 49.5 million euro overspend in its 2.1 billion euro annual budget.

John Hennessy, regional director of operations at HSE West, said: "Like every public service organisation, we have to live within our allocated budget.

"The simple fact is that there is no more money available and every healthcare facility in the country must deliver its agreed level of services within the available budget.

"Significant savings have already been achieved this year in non-frontline areas and the cost containment plans must continue to ensure that high quality patient services can continue to be delivered over the full course of this year."

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