Sorry, Leo, but the buck stops with you on health
Published 11/01/2016 | 02:30
Such are the intrinsic difficulties of managing the seemingly ungovernable Irish health service, we should extend a wide margin of appreciation to those chosen few who accept the poisoned chalice of Irish politics and agree to be Health Minister.
The goodwill extended to current Health Minister Leo Varadkar, a qualified doctor, has surpassed that extended to any of his predecessors in recent memory.
Few emerge politically unscathed from the department former Taoiseach and ex-Health Minister Brian Cowen dubbed "Angola" because of the countless landmines, including strikes and overcrowding, that - as now - routinely erupted in the health sector. Yet Mr Varadkar has, thus far, and mere weeks away from a General Election, managed to avoid much of the opprobrium that others have endured. If anything, his popularity has increased, which is quite some feat.