The widening rift between Health Minister James Reilly and Minister of State Róisín Shortall shows that there is deep dysfunction at the helm of our public health services, according to Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
Commenting on the latest revelations regarding the row between the two Ministers on the development of primary care centres, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The development of primary care centres is fundamental to the future of our health services and has been promised for over a decade. Now we find that the latest plan for their development is the subject of a bitter row between Health Minister James Reilly and Minister of State Róisín Shortall.
“It has emerged that there were no transparent and objective criteria for the 35 locations for primary care centres announced last July and signed off by Minister Reilly rather than by Minister of State for Primary Care Róisín Shortall.
“Clearly the relationship between the two Ministers has broken down and there is deep dysfunction at the helm of our public health services.
“We have a delusional senior Minister who maintains, against all evidence to the contrary, that the health services are now delivering more with less.
“We have a Minister of State who has challenged her senior colleague in the most public way yet who, with other Labour Party deputies, voted confidence in him in the Dáil this week. I believe many Labour TDs who voted with the Government did so knowing full well that the Minister does not deserve their confidence.
“This is not a dispute over the location of primary care centres. That need is felt in communities across the State and delivery should come first where need is greatest. This is about the effective governance of our health services and the policy approach.
“The removal of James Reilly as Minister is not enough without a change of policy. The total reliance on public-private partnerships for the delivery of primary care centres – a policy inherited from Mary Harney – is one of the policy approaches that should change.” ENDS