Friday 20 January 2017

Shatter takes aim at Varadkar on health reform

Published 28/01/2016 | 02:30

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter

Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter has criticised ministers who "complain in public" in a thinly veiled swipe at his party colleague and Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

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Mr Shatter pointed to several shortcomings in the country's health service and said it was a "disappointment" that Fine Gael had failed to "deliver on reforms".

Addressing the Fine Gael parliamentary party, Mr Shatter said Fine Gael must do much more to put an end to the "completely unacceptable" conditions in the Accident and Emergency Departments.

He also expressed deep concern about the prevalence of hospital diseases such as MRSA which he says have affected two of his loved ones in recent times.

But without referencing Mr Varadkar by name, the former Justice Minister said ministerial responsibility has to be accepted by all members of Cabinet and that one "simply cannot blame everybody else around you".

During a lengthy but calm contribution, Mr Shatter said that Mr Varadkar's predecessor James Reilly had "arm-wrestled" with Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin in private "unlike what we have seen more recently".

He also said that it is important in the run-up to the General Election that ministers are not "seduced" by the media into making public comments that could cause difficulty for their colleagues.

He also expressed concern about reports that Mr Varadkar has rowed back on a previous decision to force doctors and nurses to admit when they have made a mistake.

Mr Shatter said that he is unsure whether he will be back in the parliamentary party in an indication that he feels his seat in Dublin-Rathdown is at risk.

Irish Independent

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