Plotting future of the HSE
WHO wants to become chief executive of the HSE? Sir Gerry Robinson, when asked if he would care to take on the role, described it as "a job for a young man who wants to grow old quickly".
Professor Tom Keane is not a young man, but it appears that whatever the risk of ageing he would like to do the job. Yesterday, he signalled his interest in the clearest manner. And after two years as national director of cancer control, he must have a good idea of the challenge. He believes, probably rightly, that the HSE is "much maligned". Thousands upon thousands of patients testify to the skill, professionalism and humanity of the front-line staff. Again and again, they say that once they get through the notorious accident and emergency system they have nothing but praise for the treatment they receive.
But the organisation suffers from the hangover of maladministration that it inherited from the former health boards. It remains overstaffed at backroom level.