Government 'dishonest' on health of HSE - Martin

Fri, Aug 3, 2012, 01:00

THE OPPOSITION has claimed that Minister for Health James Reilly withheld the true extent of the financial crisis in the HSE from the Dáil this year.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin claimed that new facts which have emerged showed the health estimates presented by Government were “dishonest”.

Mr Martin was responding to a report in The Irish Times yesterday which disclosed that HSE chief executive Cathal Magee wrote to Dr Reilly a number of times requesting policy direction on measures required to address the growing deficit in the health service but these were not met.

“This confirms that the Government knew as far back as early March that the estimates it had prepared for the health service this year could not be achieved,” said Mr Martin, “yet the Dáil was fobbed off by both the Taoiseach and the health Minister . . .

“That Mr Magee felt compelled to write to the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure, Robert Watt, in June after being ignored by the health Minister since the beginning of March, illustrates the extent of the crisis that was looming.”