11 Weeks after ED Taskforce Report, No Implementation Plan in Place
In what was clearly a well-targeted leak to a newspaper today, Minister Varadkar says a HSE head will have to roll if there is no improvement in the numbers on trolleys. By an extraordinary coincidence, a head has rolled.
Fianna Fáil Heath Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD commented, “No doubt people are expected to be impressed by the Minister’s candour and plain talking. No doubt that is why the “internal email” (sent three weeks ago) was provided to a national newspaper. Mr Varadkar’s heavy handed PR strategy is unlikely to convince many.
The Minister should have been on top of this a long time before now. The Minister published with great fanfare the report of the Emergency Department Taskforce on April 2.
“However, Department of Health files released to Fianna Fáil under Freedom of Information indicate that nearly three months after the ED Taskforce report was published by Minister Varadkar, there was no implementation plan in place for it. Why wasn’t the Minister sending heads must roll emails then? Indeed why wasn’t he sending them three weeks after the report was published?
“On June 25 an email from the Department of Health to the HSE is asking “Has the ED taskforce implementation report been approved?” This is simply extraordinary and an appalling indictment of how the health services are being run. Now I’m sure the Minister will feel that a head must roll on this too but why did he announce his initiative on EDs without an implementation plan in place – and why did he let it go so long without a plan?
“When the Minister isn’t following up on his own announcements it is hardly surprising that progress doesn’t follow and we see an elderly man with cancer was forced to spend five days on a hospital trolley.
“Nor should we be surprised top of this the number of people on trolleys increased by 21 per cent in July and 40 per cent in August of this year compared to the same months.
“It is just not good enough for the Ministers to announce new initiatives with great fanfare and then neglect their proper implementation for months after. Leaking details about getting tough on scapegoats isn’t good enough either.”