Fianna Fáil has called for a statement from the Minister for Health James Reilly following revelations that only the Minister’s own area has benefited from a boost in funding for autism services.
Responding to reports in today’s Irish Times, Fianna Fáil’s Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher said the revelations raise further questions about Minister Reilly’s decision making process.
“Any investment in autism services that results in a much-needed reduction in waiting lists is certainly welcome. But thousands of parents of children with autism around the country will be wondering how it is that only Minister Reilly’s own heartland in north Dublin has benefited from this investment,” said Deputy Kelleher.
“Just 10% of the €3 million announced has so far been spent. But only one area has benefited, while the Minister has ordered a review into autism spending in every other area of the country. It seems extraordinary that everywhere in the country except the area that covers the Minister’s constituency should be subject to a review.
“Unfortunately this is just the latest in a series of disturbing revelations raising questions about how Minister Reilly makes important decisions about health service investment. The shambles over primary care centres in his own constituency last year means that the Minister cannot be given the benefit of the doubt about this matter. He needs to make a full and frank statement on the matter without delay.”
“Unless we hear from Minister Reilly today, I will be seeking to raise this in the Dáil tomorrow,” Deputy Kelleher said.