THE Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has said it is now clear that the Minister for Health withheld vital information from the Dáil for months on end about the financial crisis in the health service.
Deputy Martin has repeated his assertion that the health estimates for this year were dishonest. The Fianna Fáil Leader was reacting to revelations in today’s Irish Times that the Government ignored repeated warnings from HSE Chief Executive Cathal Magee about the budget crisis in the health service.
“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. Yet the Dáil was fobbed off by both the Taoiseach and the Health Minister after I raised concerns about the health budget on a number of occasions,” said Deputy Martin.
“It is now abundantly clear that Minister Reilly and the Taoiseach have misled the Dáil and the public about the extent of the health budget crisis for months. That Cathal 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.
“Despite all the rhetoric we have heard from this Government about transparency, the true extent of this crisis has only come to light under the Freedom of Information Act. The Government has clearly hid behind Freedom of Information to delay making public the depth of the failures in providing an honest estimate for the health service.”