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FOI documents confirm Health Minister's heavy-handed approach - Ó Caoláin

13 December, 2013 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the documents obtained by RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the Health Minister James Reilly and the primary care centres controversy which led to the resignation of junior Minister Róisín Shortall, confirm the Minister's heavy-handed approach.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said: 

"These documents reveal that the Secretary General of the Department of Health, Ambrose McLaughlin, told the Minister's Personal Assistant Tom O'Leary that the Minister's request for a high level of detail, including financial detail, of the development of primary care centres was 'completely and totally unacceptable'. 
"The reply from Mr. O'Leary to Mr. McLaughlin stated that he misunderstood the Minister. However, the original request on behalf of Minister Reilly to the Secretary General is consistent with the heavy-handed approach of the Minister which led directly to the resignation of his junior Minister Róisín Shortall. 
"Has Minister Reilly addressed the 'most serious Governance issues' which the Secretary General said were raised by the request and must be dealt with by the Minister? 
"Most serious governance issues were also raised by the Minister's favouritism towards primary care centres in his own constituency and even more serious governance issues are raised by the reliance of the Minister on the privatised model of provision of these centres, another factor which led to the junior Minister's resignation." 

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