Waterford blasts HSE for spending €155m on taxis in seven years
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, David Cullinane, has said the culture of waste in the HSE needs to be tackled head-on after a Parliamentary Question reply revealed the HSE spent €155 million on taxis in seven years.
He said that 20th-century practices such as transferring patient files in taxis need to be phased out for more cost-effective and efficient modern ICT practices.
“Oftentimes, there’s legitimate spending by the HSE on taxis for transporting patients between health facilities or home. This is often the case in rural areas or areas not serviced by public transport."
“However, it is known that significant sums of money are being spent transferring paper records and files between hospitals because of the lack of a modern ICT system, and a working Electronic Health Records (eHealth) system for patient records," he claimed.
“The rollout of eHealth would guarantee more efficiency, save money, improve patient outcomes, and help doctors and nurses by timely access to patient files."
“Yet, five years after the eHealth strategy was launched, there has been no determination from the government to roll it out any way urgently."
The health service will only spend €14 million on ICT in 2019, about half of the €27.9m what they spent on taxis last year."
“Instead, Fine Gael would prefer to see the HSE spending €155m on taxis, often for transferring paper folders up and down the country."
“This government talks a lot about value for money, but there are no value for money audits being carried out on this huge spend," Cullinane concluded.