Extraordinary questions must be answers by Minister Donnelly urgently

Duncan Smith TD
13 February 2022

Labour’s health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Sunday, 13th February) written to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to demand answers to extraordinary questions of governance, recruitment and accountability raised by a leaked audio recording of a Department of Health meeting.

Deputy Smith said:

“The leaked recording of an internal Department of Health meeting reported in today’s Business Post raises extraordinary questions over how the health service is reportedly being run and shines a light on some extremely worrying dynamics at the top of our health service. The reports will be crushing for people waiting on much needed mental health services to hear that the HSE would not be able to spend the money allocated to them in last year’s Budget.

Similarly, the reduction in recruitment targets from 10,000 full-time staff to 5,500 on the say-so of senior civil servants really damages the credibility of the Minister for Health both in setting and delivering these crucial targets at Budget time.

With hundreds of millions of euros reported in financial adjustments there will be further concern that the dysfunction and crisis in our health service goes deeper and is more fundamental than most people dared to believe. I have written to the Minister for Health today to highlight my concerns and intend on raising the matter with him in the Dáil this week.”

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