No input into primary care locations - Howlin


Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said he has no input into the criteria for deciding on locations for primary care centres around the country.

Speaking this morning, he said he had not seen the full list of 200 locations drawn up by the Health Service Executive and the former minister for state Roisín Shortall.

Mr Howlin said the criteria had been a matter for the Department of Health.

He said he had been provided with a list of 35 centres as part of an overall package but he said he trusted his colleagues and he did not “micro-manage”.

Mr Howlin said that he had accepted the logic of the Department of Health that the Government should not confine itself to an identifiable 20 locations.

He said the argument was “if we made the announcement there could be limited negotiations on foot of that but if there was a broader list then 20 of these could be advanced”.

Mr Howlin said he was truly sorry about the departure of Ms Shortall. He insisted the development of primary care was a critical element in the Government plans and he regretted Ms Shortall would not be there to drive the plan forward.

He said her departure was a blow as she was one of the most competent people in the Dáil.

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