Thursday 21 September 2017

Editorial: James Reilly must do the decent thing and resign

Health Minister Dr James Reilly. Photo: Collins
Health Minister Dr James Reilly. Photo: Collins

Having, yet again, said sorry for the medical card debacle, Dr James Reilly should now do the decent thing and resign. Dr Reilly has already told us that the decision to review 'discretionary' medical cards in a futile attempt to cut his department's runaway budget was a disaster. But ultimately it is he who carries political responsibility for the fiasco that has ensued. The issue has not only damaged the Government in general but the Taoiseach in particular, in that he had promised a more 'hands-on' approach in Health, in effect promising to keep an eye on Dr Reilly.

So it is a little late to say sorry now in the hope of treading water until the Cabinet reshuffle, where Dr Reilly must believe another seat will be found for him and he can rest up after the trench warfare of the last three years.

Not only was this review of medical cards inhumane in some instances, but medical experts have estimated that the savings from it were so small that it was hardly worth it given the gigantic size of the Department of Health's budget.

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