A Sinn Féin member on the HSE North East Regional Health Forum has said that a deal between the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael members on that body has exposed both parties as being no different when it comes to the key policy issue of health. Cllr. Brian McKenna (Monaghan County Council) said that the agreement between the two largest parties at Monday's meeting showed that Fine Gael claims that they can be an alternative to the present government's failed health policies are nothing more than rhetoric.
Cllr. McKenna said:
"Pat Rabbitte must be wondering what happened to the 'Mullingar Accord' after Fine Gael excluded Labour party representatives from key positions on the newly established Regional Health Forum. Likewise people in counties such as Monaghan will rightly ask what sort of opposition party Fine Gael are when they readily jump into bed with their Fianna Fáil counterparts on such an important body.
"Instead of becoming a vital arena for raising issues such as the continuing downgrading of services at Monaghan General Hospital it seems that our fears that the Regional Health Forums will be no more than a talking shop may now be realised. Fine Gael, right across the region, have failed those who believed that they would stand up to the Fianna Fáil/ PD government on this key issue. They should now admit that the 'Kells Accord' has superseded the 'Mullingar Accord'.
"Rather than share power among all political groupings on the Forum they jumped into a dirty deal with Fianna Fáil and exposed themselves as being more interested in power than in radical change for our health services".ENDS