Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD today again raised the issue of the circumstances in which the Minister for Health appointed a founder and 50% shareholder of a private health consultancy firm to the position of Chairman of the West/North West Hospitals Group.
The Hospitals Group subsequently awarded a potentially lucrative public contract to review and report on maternity services in the West/North West region to the same private consultancy firm.
Gerry Adams said that despite Sinn Féin raising the issue with the Taoiseach on a number of occasions, and despite Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin raising it directly with the Minister for Health, there was still no full statement on this issue.
“This flies in the face of a Programme for Government commitment that ‘the Government will pin down accountability for results at all levels of the public service from Ministers downwards’ and that you will ‘cut back on the waste and political cronyism built up over the last decade.”
Mr Adams posed a number of questions for the Government:
“How on earth can the founder and 50% shareholder of a private health consultancy firm be appointed to chair a public body by your Government and then be awarded a major public contract?
“Will the Government publish the HSE review into how Noel Daly's firm was awarded the contract to examine maternity services in that region? How much public money was paid to D&F Health Partnership for their report on maternity services in the West/North West? What is the status of this report, which recommends cuts to vital maternity services at Portiuncula, Ballinasloe and Letterkenny?”
The Sinn Fein Leader asked if the Taoiseach would reassure those living in the West and North West that existing maternity services in the region will be fully retained.