Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has said Minister Reilly must immediately clarify why progress on the establishment of government procedures for the new National Children’s Hospital has stalled.

Deputy Kelleher said: “Minister James Reilly continues to court controversy in progressing projects for his political colleagues while projects of key national importance like the new children’s hospital seem to fall down the priority list.

“The National Children’s Hospital enjoys almost universal public and political support.  The project was launched in a bonanza of backslapping and self-congratulation by Minister Reilly last November only to find almost three months later that he has failed to establish basic governance procedures and refused to proceed with Board appointments.

“The Minister must explain why progress has stalled.

“Minister Reilly 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 new HSE Governance Bill is only going through the Dáil now – almost two years into the life of the government.

“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 the public when re-launching the project last year.”