Monday 25 September 2017

Liam Fay: Reilly’s good doctor act has run its course

Breast-beating Reilly's good doctor act has run its course

Minister For Health James Reilly TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister For Health James Reilly TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Liam Fay

Dr James Reilly may not have broken his Hippocratic Oath, but he's given it a serious sprain. The opening line of the pledge traditionally taken by physicians is a promise to "do no harm". Last week, however, Reilly conceded that his Government is inflicting "tremendous distress" on the ill through the blundering implementation of its medical card reviews.

Causing anguish to the parents of children with Down Syndrome or adults with multiple sclerosis is, he insisted, "not a place I want to be as a doctor or as a minister for health".

Reilly's acknowledgement of the harm he and his cabinet colleagues are doing is commendable, but it would carry a little more weight if we hadn't heard it all before.

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