Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has responded to reports that progress on the National Children’s Hospital has ground to a halt following James Reilly’s failure to establish governance procedures or fill vacant Board positions.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “The ability of Minister James Reilly to derail projects and bring controversy to even positive developments continues to surprise and depress all of those with an interest in health policy.
“The latest victim of this bungling appears to be the National Children’s Hospital, a project that enjoys almost universal public and political support. Launched in a bonanza of backslapping and self-congratulation last November, the failure of the Minister to establish basic governance procedures for the project and his refusal to proceed with Board appointments means that all progress on the project has stopped.
“The Minister also has form in this area. In his haste to claim that he had abolished the HSE, he dismissed the independent expert Board of the organisation with no plan on what to put in its place. The governance mess that then resulted was central to the budget overrun in the Health Service and the departure of a widely respected Chief Executive.
“The Children’s Hospital is a project of critical national importance. The Minister must publish his governance proposals as soon as possible and bring some of the urgency he promised when re-launching the project last year.”