Newly-revealed plans by the HSE to make cuts to disabilities, older persons and acute hospital services have been met with strong criticism.Freedom of Information requests by Sinn Féin have revealed that a HSE budget oversight group was exploring ways to ‘break even’ in the areas of Disabilities, Older Persons and Acute Hospitals.There have been calls for the full saving measures to be made public. Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty said: “The HSE recently revealed that it had set up a budget oversight group with officials from the Departments of Health and Public Expenditure & Reform to control health spending and staffing levels in response to recent overruns.“In response to an FOI request made by Sinn Féin for all records relating to this new oversight group, we received monthly minutes of meetings between HSE and department officials.“The documents reveal that the Government plans to control spending by making cuts to essential services.“At a meeting held on 27 May, officials stated that there were further ‘saving actions’ required with respect to ‘Disabilities, Older Persons and Acute Hospitals in order to break even’.” The Sinn Féin FOI request was denied certain parts of information on the budget oversight group’s plans.Pearse Doherty is now calling for full transparency on the cost-cutting measures:“It is clear from the documents we received that these saving measures include the ‘low hanging fruit’ of disability and older person services, such as the training allowance for school-leavers with disabilities that is due to be axed in September,” Deputy Doherty said.He added that it should be the taxpayer’s right to know how the health service’s money is being spent and what cost-saving exercises are being taken.“I am appealing this decision and call on the Government to release these documents immediately in the public interest.” Doherty hits out at planned cuts to disability and elderly services was last modified: August 6th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:foihealth serviceHSEPearse Doherty TD
15 March 2012South African civil society initiative Corruption Watch received more than 500 complaints from the public in the first month of its existence, with municipalities, traffic cops and the health sector the most frequently complained about.The strong response reflected “a clear willingness on the part of members of the public to reveal their experiences of corruption and speak out against it,” Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said in a statement on Sunday.The initiative seeks to facilitate the flow of information and enable the South African public to hold their leaders, in both the public and private sector, accountable.Corruption Watch will investigate certain of the complaints, while using all the information it receives to identify corruption “hot-spots” in the country.Members of the public can report cases by visiting www.corruptionwatch.org.za, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or sending an SMS to 45142 at a cost of R1 per message. Whistle-blowers can choose to remain anonymous.Giving voice to the public“Our principle objective is to give voice to the public,” Lewis said. “No government or business leader who looks at our data and at our Facebook page can be left in any doubt as to the level of outrage on the part of ordinary members of the public.”The organization defines corruption as the abuse of power and public resources – whether at the hands of government or business sector employees and institutions – for personal gain. “Corruption could include the abuse of lottery funds, municipal funds, government pension funds and medical aids, and public donations to charitable bodies.”Just under half the cases reported so far fell within its mandate, Corruption Watch said, with about 32% concerning industrial relations issues, consumer grievances (especially about banks), misconduct by lawyers, municipal mismanagement, and business-to-business fraud.‘Serious allegations’Many of these had been referred to organizations better placed to deal with consumer protection or labour issues.“The remaining 25% of cases require further assessment as they were not easy to categorise,” the organisation said. “They were service delivery complaints, which may be due to badly managed processes or a result of corrupt behaviour.”Among the cases Corruption Watch was currently investigating were cases involving “serious allegations of corruption,” Lewis said.“In two of these, we believe that we have sufficient evidence to refer to the law enforcement authorities or the Public Protector. We will closely monitor progress on the cases and inform the public regularly.”Report on the health sectorIn its first month, Corruption Watch also launched an application with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Gauteng Department of Health for access to the report of an SIU investigation into allegations of fraud, procurement irregularities, and financial mismanagement in the Gauteng Health Department.The investigation was initiated by a Proclamation in May 2010. However, the report on the investigation was never shared with the public.The SIU report, said Lewis, was likely to reveal “crucial details about how public officials abused their power and public resources to undermine not only the health system but the general health of ordinary citizens.“Access to the SIU report will greatly assist the process of discussion of a report into corruption in the health sector which has been commissioned by Corruption Watch and which we expect to release soon.”In April, Corruption Watch plans to launch its first campaign and release its report into corruption in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department’s traffic policing function. “This will kick off a major campaign aimed at reforming the JMPD and informing the public about their rights and duties in relation to corruption in traffic policing,” the organisation said.SAinfo reporter
Mumbai: Behind the desperate efforts of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to seek consensus, and the agony over Shiv Sena’s decision to contest from Palghar is a fall of over 3,25,083 votes from 2014 Lok Sabha elections to the assembly polls held the some months later. Compiled data of votes from all six Assembly constituencies, which are part of the Palghar Lok Sabha seat show that not only did the BJP’s vote share drop from 5,33,201 in general election when it contested in alliance with the Sena to 2,08,118 in Assembly when both parties fought independently, but also that its nearest rival Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) — led by MLA Hitendra Thakur was much ahead in terms of votes it received by a margin of over one lakh.Dahanu (ST), Vikramgadh (ST), Palghar (ST), Boisar (ST), Nalasopara and Vasai are the six Assembly constituencies in Palghar Lok Sabha seat. Of these, Dahanu and Vikramgadh were won by the BJP, Palghar by the Sena and the rest by BVA in the 2014 elections.An analysis of the data shows that BJP won 2.08 lakh votes in the Assembly polls, while Sena won 1.82 lakh votes across six constituencies. The BVA however holds a clear command with 3.17 lakh votes. “The numbers explain the reason behind BJP’s anxiety. First, there is no Modi wave as in the 2014 general elections. Secondly, BJP had fought in alliance with us which is not the case in 2018. No wonder Chief Minister is wary about how things will unfold,” said a Sena leader in the cabinet. A drop of over 3.25 lakh votes from the general to Assembly polls, held in a span of few months, is a major cause of worry for the BJP. It however banks on the newly found support of Shramajivi Sanghatana’s Vivek Pandit who had won over 65,395 votes in the Assembly elections. The opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) stand a distant fourth in the five-corner fight. Even though both parties fought independently in 2014 Assembly polls, they have formed a front for the coming bypolls. Congress did not contest the 2014 Lok Sabha election as it had extended support to BVA. Taking the votes from the Assembly election into account, the opposition managed to get only 1.50 lakh votes. As per data, the fifth corner of the fight, Communist Party of India (Marxist) is limited to two Assembly seats, namely Dahanu and Vikramgadh. The party bagged only 49,913 votes in Assembly polls and 76,890 votes in the general elections.
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