Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has expressed frustration following Minister Leo Varadkar’s latest media appearances and his continued refusal to understand that he is now the person in charge of our health system.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “ In interview this morning, Minister Varadkar once again led listeners through a meandering analysis of what he thinks might be wrong with our health system, remarking variously that the problems identified by Tony O’Connell are ‘nothing new’, that we have a ‘dysfunctional’ health system and that the risks associated with delayed discharges is ‘a big problem’.  It still hasn’t occurred to Dr Varadkar that he is not a commentator – he is the minister responsible.  Nor, it appears, does anyone want to point this out to him.

“There is no doubt that Dr Varadkar is a polished media performer.  There is no doubt that he has a better bedside manner than his predecessor Dr Reilly. But the reality is that the patient is getting steadily worse under his leadership and instead of treating the patient, Dr Varadkar is content to just throw his hands to heaven and tell us how terrible it all is.

“He is not a commentator; he is the Minister for Health.  The entire health policy platform that his party was elected on has been abandoned and no effort has been made to spell out its replacement.  The Government acknowledged the total failure of its health policy when Enda Kenny fired his Deputy Leader and replaced him with Leo Varadkar.  Since that time, the only discernible strategy in the Department of Health has been Dr Varadkar’s personal PR strategy. 

“It is increasingly clear that the singular focus of the Minister for Health is getting through the coming months without rocking any boats and getting beyond the next general election.  This is unacceptable and a total betrayal of the voters who were promised positive change in the health system”.