Commenting on the resignation of Minister of State for Primary Care Róisín Shortall, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:
"The resignation of Minister of State for Primary Care Róisín Shortall is a body blow to the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition.
"It's Minister Reilly and his cuts regime who should be going, rather than a junior Minister.
"When the row between Ministers Reilly and Shortall erupted we stated that there was deep dysfunction at the helm of our Health Services. The resignation of Róisín Shortall bears this out in the most dramatic fashion.
"The charges against the Coalition in former Minister Shortall's resignation statement are very serious - especially for the Labour Party. She charges that they are not adhering to their own Programme for Government, including its underlying principles and commitment to health reform.
"How can a Minister who will not publish the criteria for selection of primary care centre locations deliver the much more extensive and widespread Health reforms - supposedly based on equity - promised by both parties in Government?
"Under Health Minister James Reilly we have seen the continuation of the harsh regime of health cuts begun by Mary Harney. Promised reforms and other commitments have not been delivered. Clearly this is a Minister who would not heed the conerns of his own junior Ministerial colleague. Still less does he heed the growing concerns of patients and healthcare workers across our Health system who warn of the damage being done by the relentless cuts.
"This Coalition has adopted a futile and anti-people economic strategy of austerity that attacks public services, most especially our health services. That is more than enough reason for every Labour Minister to resign and for every Labour Deputy to withdraw support from this Government." ENDS