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Advocacy experts have warned that slashing funding to interest groups could damage society and said many in the sector believed their funding was at risk if they were too critical of Government departments and State agencies.
The Advocacy Initiative, itself funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, said fears of funding cuts were having “a chilling effect” on the sector. The organisation made its comments following a week in which the Irish Patients’ Association was informed by the HSE that its core funding will disappear from next April.
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THE country’s main patient advocacy group is at risk of closure after the the Health Service Executive (HSE) axed €117,000 in annual funding.
The Irish Patients’ Association has warned that around 500 cases involving tragedies such as unexplained deaths, injuries and late diagnoses are in danger of being impacted by the cuts. Chief executive Stephen McMahon said it is almost entirely dependent on the HSE funding to carry out its work .
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Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has described the cutting of funding to the Irish Patients Association as shameful.
Deputy Kelleher said: “I read with disbelief the news that Minister Reilly would axe the funding to the independent voice of the Irish Patients Association.
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The Irish Patients’ Association’s (IPA) core funding of €117k from the Health Service Executive (H.S.E.) has been “axed from April 2013”. The I.P.A has been funded by the H.S.E/D.O.H. since 2004 and has a service agreement with the H.S.E.
The current situation is grossly unfair as the process to choose H.S.E preferred patient advocacy groups was neither transparent nor negotiable.
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