James Reilly, Minister for Health is over his quota of ministerial advisors and without any specific expertise in his priority area of health reform – universal health insurance… (more…)
Having received a hammering from the print media over the holiday period, Minister James Reilly took a media offensive on 5 January 2012 on RTE Radio with appearances on the Pat Kenny show and an interview with Fergal Bowers on the News at One. In my opinion, these media appearances were a combination of damage limitation and pure optics… (more…)
HSE figures released today (1 September) reveal that 1,100 older people who are medically in need of a nursing home place and have been through a rigorous financial assessment are languishing on a waiting list for that bed. When the Nursing Home Support Scheme (the so-called Fair Deal) was launched less than two years ago it was heralded as “accessible, affordable and anxiety free”. Obviously it is proving to be none of these (it is not accessible for those on the waiting list, it is not affordable for the State as it as run out of money and it is not anxiety free for the older people and their families who wait for a nursing home bed) so what does the Fair Deal waiting list mean for those on it and why is there a waiting list? (more…)
As the political season ends and James Reilly gives an upbeat speech to the MacGill summer school, immense challenges face him now and when the autumn season begins… (more…)
It was reported in the Irish Times (24 June 2011) that hospital consultants and or their representative bodies lobbied the minister for health, James Reilly, so as not to be included in the 15% voluntary pay waiver announced by Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform on Wednesday last (22 June 2011). This was refuted by both a spokesperson for the Minister of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (known as PER). So why are consultants excluded and who earns what in the public health system?
Late on the afternoon the day the long awaited bank stress tests were published (31 March), Minister Reilly took on his first public battle announcing further cuts to fees paid to pharmacists. Under the 2009 Financial Emergency Measures Act, the minister has the right to do this – and previous cuts under Mary Harney results in the pharmacy strike in summer 2009. So these cuts are on top of cuts ready made and seem quite a bold, political move just three weeks into office. (more…)
If you are sad or enthusiastic enough to hear what the FOUR ministers in the Dept of Health had to say about the €727 million cut to the health budget, you can listen in here
On 7 October 2010, HSE chief, Cathal McGee had his first outing to the Oireachtas in his new role as CEO. Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee alongside officials from the departments of health and finance, a catalogue of bad governance, bad accounting and no transparency was revealed for money allocated to the controversial SKILL programme.