October 6, 2021
Minister’s defence “hollow and insincere” as committee led to believe Sláintecare resignations were not based in disagreement or reason – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that the Minister’s defence over Sláintecare resignations is “hollow.”

He said attempts by the Minister to lead the health committee to believe the resignations were not based in disagreement or reason and that reform is moving swiftly is “not credible.”

Speaking after the health committee meeting this morning, Teachta Cullinane said:

“The Minister’s defence at the health committee this morning over the Sláintecare resignations struck me as hollow and insincere.

“Attempts by the Department to lead the committee to believe that the resignations were not based in policy disagreement and were without reason is not credible.

“I am astounded that the Minister was not communicating directly with Sláintecare director Ms Laura Magahy and Chair of the Advisory Council Prof Tom Keane and that he was not aware of their discontent and frustration.

“It seems that the Minister was either asleep at the wheel or had failed to take charge and lead reform efforts himself.

“There has been no accountability for the lack of progress on vital reforms – expanding GP care, tackling waiting lists, investing in modern IT systems, reforming governance, and introducing accountability for the Minister and senior management.

“It was accepted that €350m of the additional €1.2bn announced in budget 2021 will not be spent this year.

“There is a major difference between rhetoric and delivery, and I am not convinced that the work has been done to implement the big reforms.

“Time and again, the Department is unable to provide detail or cost major proposals such as universal GP care or removing private healthcare from public hospitals.

“The work has simply not been done which contradicts the spin about commitment.

“Far too many people do not see the health system as working for them, and we remain a long way away from a system that does.

“That is why the delivery of health care reform is so important. It is about tackling long waiting lists.

“It is about removing the deeply flawed two-tier system which creates unfairness.

“It strikes me that the Minister has no real plan and has had no real engagement with the actual people working to delivery change in health.”

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