Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has responded to the revelation in this morning’s Irish Times that two additional locations in the Minister’s constituency were added to the list of primary care facilities recommended by the HSE.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “This morning’s report is deeply unsettling. At face value, it appears that political interference has taken place in a selection process that is both of enormous clinical importance and significant commercial value. If this is the case, it must surely be the final straw for a Minister whose 18 month tenure has been a catalogue of disorder, disappointment and dysfunction.
“This morning I have written to the Clerk of the Health Committee to ask that the Committee be convened on Monday to question Minister Reilly on how the primary care strategy could have been so seriously undermined and to establish what role he had in adding locations to a HSE list.
“I am also calling on the Department of Health to immediately publish all details of representations received by GPs and public representatives from the North Dublin area in advance of these locations being added to the HSE list. I have submitted a Freedom of Information request for this same information, but if the Minister has any interest in addressing public concern about this issue, he will order the immediate release of any such material.
“When we have heard from Minister Reilly, there are also serious questions to be asked of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore. He stood up the in Dáil yesterday and said that he was in regular contact with Minister Roisin Shortall on health matters. Was he aware of this issue? Did he not think it important to rule out the possibility of Ministerial interference in a clinical and commercial selection process before expressing such enthusiastic support for the Health Minister?”