It is not acceptable for the Minister to keep Oireachtas members in the dark

Attempts by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to defer his attendance at the Oireachtas Health Committee, to discuss Sláintecare, until after the budget are not acceptable, according to Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“A crisis has engulfed Sláintecare. There have now been three resignations of senior health service officials because of a failure to implement important health service reforms.
“The Minister has rightly met with the former Executive Director of the Sláintecare Implementation group, Laura Magahy, and will meet with members of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council tomorrow.
“Following these meetings, there is an onus on the Minister to update Oireachas members, via the Oireachtas Health Committee, at the first available opportunity.
“Sláintecare is a cross-party policy – and every single political party in the Oireachtas is invested, or at least should be invested, in seeing it succeed. It is not acceptable for the Minister to keep Oireachtas members in the dark.
“The Minister must tell us what is behind these high-profile resignations, why the Sláintecare reform programme has stalled and what he intends to do to remove any blockages, institutional or otherwise, that may be in the way of this reform.
“It is the duty of the Health Committee to hold the Minister to account for what transpires in his Department – but it is very difficult to do this important work, in the public interest, if the Minister refuses to attend.
“I have written to the Minister requesting that he attend the Committee, as a matter of urgency, next week.”

16 September, 2021


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