THE Health Minister’s decision to communicate only with Fine Gael insiders, and not the public, about the extent of the health budget crisis is evidence that the Minister is putting politics above patients, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher.
Deputy Kelleher was commenting after it emerged that Minister Reilly has written privately to party members about the crisis in the health budget and the dramatic cuts he plans to introduce.
“Over the past number of weeks we have had evidence of Minister Reilly’s dishonesty in relation to the preparation of this year’s health budget. He ignored warnings from HSE Chief Executive Cathal Magee from as far back as March about the budget crisis in the health service. He misled the Dáil and the public for months on end. And now it seems the only people he is prepared to be up-front with are his own party colleagues and not the public.
“In a move that could be seen as motivated mainly by self-preservation, the Minister has chosen to communicate the problems facing the health service in emails to Fine Gael politicians only. Instead of admitting his own failures in preparing the health budget for the year, Minister Reilly’s email blames managers for service reductions. The truth is that the Minister presented a false estimate for 2012 and is now struggling to deal with the consequences.
“Minister Reilly has a duty to patients and their families who have been misled about the scale of this crisis. Instead of prioritising Fine Gael insiders, the Minister must start prioritising patients. People understand the pressures on the public finances, but they are extremely frustrated by the Minister’s failure to communicate with them and the manner in which he is implementing his cuts.”