Friday 28 October 2016

Leo Varadkar on Fine Gael leadership: 'I’m totally engrossed in health – maybe in the future but not now'

Published 10/08/2015 | 10:51

Health Minister Leo Varadkar said he hasn’t ruled out becoming the leader of Fine Gael in the future.

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Speaking this morning the Fine Gael minister said he wasn’t interested in taking over the leadership just yet.

“I’m totally engrossed in health – maybe in the future but not now.”

Mr Varadkar said he is focused on the development of the children’s hospital and the improvement of Ireland’s health service.

A planning application to build the new children's hospital will finally be submitted to An Bord Pleanála today.

Mr Varadkar conceded that the ministerial post is “tough”.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar

“It’s a tough job, every day there’s a new challenge, you spend a huge amount of time fire fighting which means that you can’t spend time on the long-term strategic stuff,” he told RTE presenter Keelin Shanley .

Writing in today's Irish Independent, Health Minister Leo Varadkar admits the children's hospital project has had a "tortuous history", but he hopes construction can begin next year.

On the location, he says parking spaces will be allocated to the families of every in-patient and St James's has more connections than any other hospital via bus, train and Luas.

Read More: New children's hospital goes to planning board after 'tortuous' past

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