Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has asked the Taoiseach to clarify what has happened to files on which decisions were made about people’s entitlement to a Discretionary Medical Card.
Ombudsman, Peter Tyndall told an Oireachtas Committee last week that the files were unavailable and this made it almost impossible for his office to adjudicate on complaints made regarding Discretionary Medical Card allocation.
The Sinn Féin Leader also again raised the fact that Noel Daly, a founder and 50% shareholder of a private consultancy firm has been appointed by the Minister for Health, James Reilly as chairperson of the West/North West Hospitals Group, and that this represented a clear conflict of interest
Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dáil today, Gerry Adams told the Taoiseach that the Ombudsman had highlighted that original files on the basis on which decisions were made about people’s Medical Card entitlements were not available. As a result, it was almost impossible for his office to adjudicate on complaints made to him.
“Will the Taoiseach clarify what happened to the files? Why are they not available? The Government claimed to have conducted a review of Discretionary Medical Cards. How could it have done so if the files were not available?”, Mr Adams asked.
“This flies in the face of the Government's claim that it is conducting a review of medical card issues. How can it conduct such a review if the files are not available?”, he said.
Gerry Adams TD also said the fact a major player in private health, who promotes health privatisation, was appointed Chairman of a major public health body called into question the judgment of the Minister for Health.
In his response the Taoiseach agreed that it was a serious matter but went on to say that “The matter is being dealt with seriously by the Minister for Health. “
Mr Adams pointed out thatas Dr Reilly was the person who appointed Mr Daly, and that the Taoiseach's answer was inadequate.