Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has criticised Health Minister James Reilly for refusing to accept a key amendment to the Nurses and Midwives Bill which he, as Fine Gael spokesperson on Health in Opposition, had proposed in the last Dáil. Deputy Ó Caoláin stated:
“In the last Dáil the then Fine Gael Health spokesperson Deputy James Reilly proposed a key amendment to the Nurses and Midwives Bill seeking to ensure that ministerial appointments to An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimseachais (the Nurses and Midwives Board) would be subject to approval by an Oireachtas committee.
“I tabled an identical amendment to the Nurses and Midwives Bill today and the Government parties voted it down.
“This was the first opportunity for the new Government to ‘walk the walk’ after ‘talking the talk’ so much about proper scrutiny of ministerial appointments and proper accountability of State boards. They failed to live up to their rhetoric.
“It was also most disappointing that Health Minister James Reilly was not present in the Dáil to anchor the Report Stage of this Bill which is one of the most important pieces of health legislation dealt with by the Oireachtas in recent times. In the last Dáil, Deputy Reilly was one of the most vehement critics of the absence of former Health Minister Harney from key debates. For our part we in Sinn Féin will continue to hold this new Minister and Government to account.” ENDS