Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has responded to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar’s latest PR campaign that despite the collapse of his entire policy framework, ‘everything is on track’.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “The Minister for Health’s statement claiming that the abandonment of a fundamental government commitment (and one of the five points in Fine Gael’s five point plan from the 2011 election) is a vindication of government really is beyond parody.
“18 months after the Taoiseach launched the white paper with great fanfare it has all been cast aside.
“Remember what the Taoiseach said on April 2, 2014: “The model of UHI being proposed is based on an examination of UHI systems in a number of other countries. But ultimately the Minister for Health is proposing a model of healthcare that is best suited to the circumstances of Ireland.”
“This is what the Taoiseach promised just 18 months ago and this is what the Minister for Health now says is not affordable at the present time or in the future, and that it doesn’t work for Ireland.
“How is the decision to commission research that has flatly contradicted the Taoiseach’s assertion of 18 months a vindication of the government’s approach to healthcare?
“The Minister says it was right not to proceed to UHI at a time of economic difficulty. Yet the Taoiseach when launching the White Paper last year disagreed. At the time he said that “I respectfully disagree. Because real reform only ever happens at a time of crisis.”
“This is nothing less than a fiasco. The fact that Minister Varadkar claims vindication shows the extent of his denial and delusion. Rather than make such ludicrous comments, the Minister should acknowledge this for the debacle it is.”