GPs should not face any barriers to acting as whistleblowers if they have concerns about patient safety, Health Minister James Reilly has warned.
The minister said he was prepared to re-examine a controversial clause in the draft contract for GPs who are due to sign up to give free care to the under sixes.
The GPs have cited the inclusion of a wording which, they claim, would "gag" them as whistleblowers as one of their objections to the contract.
The minister insisted that he "would not preside over a contract preventing a doctor from speaking out".
"If there is a need to refine the words in the contract to do that it will be done," he added.
Asked about the survey by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) showing a shortage of midwives in all maternity units, he said a HSE examination was under way.
He said that despite the moratorium on recruitment, the employment control framework allowed for flexibility.
The Neligan family gathered at the Mater for the opening of the new theatre in the same hospital where Mr Neligan performed Ireland's first heart transplant.
They helped raise funds for part of the €569,000 of the €700,000 needed for the theatre, which earns its "hybrid" title because it allows surgeons, radiologists and specialists to work in the same room.