HIQA Chair must step aside – Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane has said today that Brian McEnery's position as chair of HIQA is untenable given his involvement with a meeting of Nursing Home Ireland where a boycott of the Fair Deal scheme was discussed.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“Mr McEnery confirmed that he was at a meeting of Nursing Home Ireland where a boycott of a government scheme was discussed and where he gave professional advice to members of that organisation on how to get a better financial deal from the State.
“I, along with my colleague on the Public Accounts Committee, have seen minutes of that meeting and they raise serious questions as to the actual input of Mr McEnery into the discussion of anti-competitive behaviour by members of Nursing Home Ireland.
“Newspaper reports have already disclosed that the legal advisors at the meeting warned everyone present that the strategies being discussed could lead to ‘dawn raids’ from the Competition Authority.
“Dispute this, Mr McEnery sees nothing wrong with his role in this meeting and continues to insist that the meeting was not in conflict with his position of Chair of HIQA.
“RTÉ has reported that the Competition Authority has begun an investigation into this and other issues regarding HIQA.
“For the sake of HIQA and its public reputation, it is imperative that Mr McEnery step aside as Chair while the investigation is ongoing.
“We are talking about one of the most vulnerable sectors of our society.
“The public must have full confidence that HIQA will regulate in the interests of those in nursing homes.
“This is not possible while Mr McEnery retains the chairpersonship of HIQA.
“He must do the right thing and step aside now.”