Varadkar must be held to account
The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar recently told the Public Relations Institute of Ireland that the secret of his success was a good bedside manner - which is all very well for a career politician but not of much benefit to those who depend on a health service that is still far from fit for purpose.
As the body politic gears up for a general election early next year, the business of governing has increasingly taken a back seat to the business of winning votes, a 'showtime' event every few years during which citizens are expected to suspend reality against a promise of something better.
Mr Varadkar has many fine qualities as a man to match his élan as a politician, but no amount of bedside manner can mask his failure to get to grips with the health service. In that regard, he is the latest in a long line of figureheads in the Department of Health who have failed to contend with the vested interests and contradictory systems at play in this area.