Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion
Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour) | Oireachtas source

Some of us ask pertinent parliamentary questions and that is another way to get information. I have pointed out to the Minister and Secretary General that sometimes, one must follow up parliamentary questions to get documentation.

I agree with the Chairman that it does seem bizarre. I have asked for the memo that went to the Minister in August on at least three occasions now. I do not think we need to get a note from the clerk to ask the Minister to get it. I expected to get it while the committee has been sitting here because I asked for it four hours ago.

To be clear, we also looked for all correspondence to and from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regarding requests for meetings in October. We also want all minutes of the board meetings from the board of which Mr. Breslin is the chair and the original hospital board. The minutes of the steering group should also be distributed to everyone.

Anything else that the witnesses think would be useful should be given to us. Is that not the best way? If in doubt, do not leave it out.

I am intrigued by the pinch point. I have always accepted the Minister's bona fides about the cost escalation of €61 million. He found out that figure was at least €200 million in August. I want to know what happened between summer 2017 and August 2018 as to communications from the board to the steering group, to the other board and to the Minister. That has not really been discussed today. I have been waiting for two and a half or three hours to get to this point.

Mr. Woods sat on the board of the hospital and on the steering group. In his view, when was the escalation and changeover? Think about it. We are accepting the bona fides in respect of the €61 million. When was there a sign of an escalation over the €61 million that made Mr. Woods think this was a real issue?


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