See below for article on junior ministers from the Irish Independent on 22 July 2014.
The absence of any real achievement by the vast majority of junior ministers must call into question the very necessity of all junior ministerial posts. They have no power to make decisions or allocate money and are really just there to champion a specific aspect of a government department that is perceived to need public and political attention. Let’s use health as a test case of junior ministerial usefulness. (more…)
As budget overruns continue throughout the HSE, the most vulnerable citizens have once again been targeted, but how much more can service users take. My Medical Independent column from 12 September 2013. (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…)
Despite the hefty cut to the health budget in the year ahead, the HSE Service Plan launched in Christmas week provides some rare optimism for 2011.
See here for my analysis of the budget implications for health published in today’s Irish Times, with a few of the bits they left out added back in! And my mega typo corrected…
LISTENING TO Brian Lenihan’s Budget speech, you’d think the health services were going to be untouched by austerity in the years ahead. Although health services make up 27 per cent of current spending, they are just under one-third of the €2.2 billion in cuts outlined, yet they did not even get a mention.
The 4 year National Recovery Plan outlines budget cuts for health totalling €1.4 billion, 6,000 fewer staff in the public health system and patients having to pay more for essential health care. So how painful will it be in the years ahead for the health services? And will the policy aspirations actually happen given the inevitability of a change of government…
How is it after six years of mary Harney as health minister and so called ‘reform’, the HSE West is scrambling around for €50 million of cuts.
How come we still don’t know how many children died in care? Why is it, ten years on from the publication of the national children’s strategy ‘Our Children – their lives’, we are still listening to political squabbles over the poor state of our child protections services? Quite simply, there is no priority given to children by the State, particularly those who need their help most. (more…)
Ten days ago, amidst the media frenzy of George Lee’s resignation, the HSE Service Plan was published. The HSE Service Plan is the HSE’s most important publication of the year as it is the contract between the HSE and the government which details the type and volume of service the HSE will provide in the year ahead within the budget it is allocated by government. Significantly it is the fifth HSE Service Plan and the last one with Brendan Drumm at helm. In short, it details a one billion budget cut, fewer staff and fewer hospital beds. Delivering all its promises in such a constrained environment will be difficult, if not impossible. (more…)