-As UHI and GP Care Policies Fail, will Taoiseach finally admit that Reilly has to go?-
Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has reacted to the news that plans for free GP care for people with long term illness are to be abandoned.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “The news that another key Government commitment in the area of health is being abandoned is yet another reminder of the abject failure of James Reilly’s leadership.
“The two key pillars of the Government’s plan for the health service are Universal Health Insurance and Free GP Care for All. Over the course of the last few weeks, it has become clear that both policies are collapsing. Last week we learned about the full extent of the crisis in the health insurance sector, with 6,000 people leaving the system each month, premiums going through the roof and the profile of remaining policy holders becoming dangerously unbalanced.
“This morning, we got confirmation of something we had suspected since Minister Roisin Shortall was forced from Government, namely that the strategy for introducing Free GP Care is in disarray.
“In response to Fianna Fáil’s repeated calls for clarity about the Government’s plans, we were told that all plans were on track and that legislation would be published imminently. This fiction continued even when the Free GP Care budget was raided to help plug James Reilly’s deficit last year.
“In the meantime, the Labour Party continues to provide cover for this failure, with Junior Minister Alex White now wandering Government Buildings with a brief to ‘research other options’.
“The Taoiseach is alone in his view that James Reilly is doing a good job, and every month which passes with Minister Reilly in control sees the health crisis escalate.
“Now that the Government’s health policy is in tatters, the question again arises, what does James Reilly have to do for the Taoiseach to accept what the rest of his Cabinet privately acknowledges and the rest of the country has understood for a long time – that James Reilly is the wrong person to be in charge of one of the country’s most important departments?”