Friday 20 October 2017

Kenny gives Reilly vote of confidence after four hospital chiefs cuts warning

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again backed his health minister, James Reilly
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again backed his health minister, James Reilly

Fiach Kelly, Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has again expressed his confidence in Health Minister James Reilly after four hospital chiefs said health cuts will seriously affect patient services.

Mr Kenny was pressed on the issue during Leader’s Questions in the Dail this morning, but he said Dr Reilly had his support – and has one of the most difficult jobs in government.

The chief executives of four of Ireland's largest hospitals wrote to HSE Director General Tony O'Brien warning that cuts in funding have begun to seriously threaten the quality and safety of patient services.

Dr Reilly’s spokesman has claimed the letter is a matter for the HSE, but Sinn Fein’s Mary-Lou McDonald said this is not a tenable position.

But the Taoiseach said Dr Reilly had to wait for the HSE to produce its service plan, which will detail exactly how it will cope with the cuts. This is due to be completed by November 15.

“This is not an easy job, Minister Reilly has one of the most difficult jobs of any minister,” Mr Kenny said.

He also said “hospital managers still have to manage” their Budgets.

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