Kenny repeats defence of Reilly


The Minister for Health's inclusion of two primary-care centres in his constituency has again been defended by the Taoiseach.

Enda Kenny said that Dr James Reilly had used broader criteria than the index of urban deprivation in including them. The criteria also included the impact on acute services in hospitals, competition and GP co-operation

"What the Government approved and signed of was on a list of 35 primary care centres, with 20 to be developed," said Mr Kenny. “That does not mean that the first 20 are actually going to happen."

He said that primary care development was a fundamental part of the strategy to reform the health sector.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Dr Reilly had taken a unilateral decision to add 15 more centres to the existing 20, including two from his Dublin North constituency.

Mr Martin said the Minister had published no criteria or no evidence-base to justify the decision.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald challenged Mr Kenny to say if Minister of State for Health Roisin Shortall was aware of the additional criteria for centres. The Taoiseach should call time when strokes were pulled by senior Government ministers, she said.

Mr Kenny said it was “contemptible’’ to allege that Dr Reilly had personally benefited from his remit as Minister for Health.