Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has called on the Minister for Health to make a Statement in the Dáil on the appointment of Ms. Lis Nixon to the Special Delivery Unit.
Deputy Kelleher said: ‘The €164,000 salary attached to this position is exorbitant and the Minister should explain the decision for it. A spokesman for the Minister for Health has sought to completely muddy the waters on this issue. The Programme for Government says “a Special Delivery Unit will be established in the Department of Health to assist the Minister in reducing waiting lists”.
‘One year ago (April 27th 2011) Minister Reilly dismissed the Board of the HSE and announced that he would be responsible and accountable for the health service. Is the Minister or his Department actually suggesting now that Ms. Nixon will work for a unit within the Department of Health and not have any role in advising the line Minister in any capacity?
‘For the Minister and the Department to attempt to split hairs on this issue is to miss the point entirely. The public do not have confidence in the Special Delivery Unit; the public do not have enough information about the Special Delivery Unit; and to make top-level appointments made behind closed doors with extremely high salaries does nothing to address this. The Minister needs to explain how much of the €85 million SDU budget is actually being spent on patients.’