Sunday 13 October 2019

Lack of medical expertise on HSE board 'astonishing', says Donnelly

Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly
Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The failure to include anyone with a medical background on the new board of the HSE was described as "astonishing" at the Oireachtas health committee.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on health Stephen Donnelly questioned the expertise of some of the eight people recently appointed by Health Minister Simon Harris to the revamped nine-member board.

The committee was discussing the HSE Governance Bill 2018.

It was also told that the new board would be able to recommend the salary and conditions of the new chief executive - although the figure would have to be approved by the Health Minister and also the Minister for Finance.

Later, Mr Donnelly said he succeeded in forcing through changes to the new Bill to mandate that the HSE board has clinical, financial, and patient advocacy expertise.

Mr Donnelly added: "The amendment I put forward would provide for one patient advocate, two clinical experts and one financial expert to sit on the HSE board along with four other members.

"We need a health service where nurses, doctors, midwives and all allied health professionals are given a say."

The meeting was also told that the new legislation allows for the new chief executive to hold another post, but it must be with the permission of the board.

A search is currently under way for a chief executive of the HSE following the decision of the former director general to step down.

HSE executive Ann O'Connor is interim Director General.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News