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Travers Report is massive indictment of successive Governments

9 March, 2005

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has described the Travers Report as a massive indictment of successive Governments and of the ethos within senior management of the Department of Health and Children.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "This report describes the illegal charging of qualifying people in care as the result of 'long-term' systematic corporate failure". It beggars belief that this could have continued for almost thirty years. It also beggars belief that successive Ministers for Health and Children failed to take action over the lack of legal basis for the charges.

"The report concludes that a solution to this problem was readily available through the introduction of a simple legislative amendment. Why was this course of action not taken? This is but one of the many questions that the present Minister for Health and Children should answer in the Dáil this week.

"Even more disturbing are the wider implications of this report for the running of the health services in this state over the last three decades. The report highlights how under funding of the health service by successive Governments contributed to the belief that the illegal charges as a source of funding for health boards should not be threatened.

The report concludes that, "Ministers should insist on full and periodic briefings on key issues of policy and operational performance. If Ministers did not do this in relation to the illegal charges it is a scandal. If they did so then we are not being told the truth about the knowledge of successive Ministers for Health and Children." ENDS

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