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Minister for Health must be removed from office – Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

5 June, 2014

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called for Health Minister James Reilly to be removed from office.

Speak in the Seanad today, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“The government need to move to replace the Minister for Health immediately

“Fine Gael backbenchers seem to be finally finding their voice and coming to the conclusion that we came to months ago – that Minister Reilly needs to go.

“New issues are coming to the fore on a daily basis.

“The Ombudsman, Peter Tyndall, appearing before the Public Service Oversight and Petitions committee yesterday outlined concerns in relation to discretionary medical cards. He is dealing with many complaints in relation to this and he said that the files upon which the decisions were made are not available. It appears that when the system was centralised, the files were not and he has no access to them.

“He also raised concerns over the delay in replacing the Mobility and Motorised Transport grants scheme. This scheme was suspended on foot of a report by the Ombudsman which stated that it was inequitable, but the scheme not been replaced by the government as was promised. Peter Tyndall outlined concerns that citizens who need such supports are being left wanting.

“These further issues are to be added to the long list of debacles that Minister Reilly has presided over.

“He cannot remain in office any longer.

“All this comes hot on the heels of the issue around his appointment of Mr Noel Daly as the Chair of the West and North West Hospital Group which awarded a contract to review the maternity services in the group to a company which the Chair has a 50% share. This is a clear conflict of interest and calls Minister Reilly's judgement into question once more.

“We shouldn't have to wait for a reshuffle for the bungling Minister to go.”

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