Dáil debates

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

General Practitioner Contract: Statements


6:30 pm

Richard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I always compliment anybody who can stand up to say sorry if he or she has done something wrong. The Tánaiste has done that. He also indicated in his statement that he had unfinished business in health. He also complimented the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, and the former Minister for Health, Deputy Harris.

I ask the Tánaiste to bear with me for a moment. On 15 October, I asked him about a Supreme Court judgment concerning assessments of disability. He told me that he did not know the question was coming up and that he would come back to me with a full report. I waited for the report but I got a reply from the HSE indicating that my parliamentary question had gone from the Department of Health to the HSE. The HSE replied to me on 23 October. There has been talk of Ministers and friends but I must not be the Tánaiste's friend because he did not reply to me yet. The HSE replied and told me that after the Supreme Court judgment, the Minister for Finance met the Minister for Health at the time, who told him to discontinue the assessments. The GPs were never told. If the GPs were the Tánaiste's friends, they would have heard it from him but they did not. I have not yet had a reply from him either.

We are going in circles and such a process, with no responsibility for actions, predates this Government. The responsibility lies with Ministers. If I did what the Tánaiste has done, I would be responsible and be held accountable. The Tánaiste should be held accountable for this.


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