Monday 11 December 2017

Yes Minister: HSE board agrees to step down

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The board of the Health Service Executive today told Health Minister James Reilly that it is willing to resign in light of his call on them to do so.

An interim board will now be put in place consisting of HSE executives and Department of Health officials.

Dr Reilly refused to reveal what he had said at the board meeting in Dublin at noon, but he had indicated he wanted radical change. Within minutes the board told him that they were willing to stand down.

Dr Reilly said it was no reflection on their ability but was part of a wider strategy of change which he had clearly signalled in the election campaign.

Dr Reilly has long campaigned for the HSE to be abolished, claiming it does not work and has failed to meet targets of reducing hospital waiting lists.

In its election manifesto Fine Gael pledged to cut 8,000 jobs in the HSE by 2014 through a combination of voluntary redundancies and not replacing those who leave.

In the Programme for Government, agreed with coalition partners Labour, the HSE is to be scrapped.

Its powers will be either transferred to the Department of Health or taken over by a new universal health insurance system based on the Dutch model, with free GP care for everyone.

Dr Reilly today said that the outgoing board members had given extraordinary service and he wanted to commend them for facilitating the change agenda:

The outgoing board members are:

- Chairman Dr Frank Dolphin who also chairman of Rigney Dolphin Ltd a business services company he founded in 1990.

- CEO Cathal Magee who succeeded Brendan Drumm last September. He was previously managing director of Eircom

- Solicitor Eugene McCague, who offered his resignation earlier this week.

- Pat Farrell, chief executive of the Irish Banking Federation and a member the International Financial Services Centre Group. He also sits on the Executive Committee of the European Banking Federation.

- Retired Department of Finance civil servant Joe Mooney also sits on the Pensions Board.

- Dr P Anne Scott , a professor of nursing and deputy president of Dublin City University, who had held academic posts at universities in Scotland.

- Dublin Dockland’s Development Authority chairperson Niamh Brennan, a chartered accountant and chartered director and currently professor of management at University College Dublin.

- Dr Dermot Power, a consultant in geriatric medicine at the Mater hospital in Dublin.

- Sylda Langford, a former director general of the office of the minister for children who previously worked at the department of justice. She also chairs the Citizens Information Board.

- Joe Lavelle, a manager with Deloitte and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

- Former Dublin City manager John Fitzgerald, who is also chairman of An Post and the Grangegorman Development Agency and two other regeneration agencies.

- Nuala Hunt, a chartered accountant and a tax consultant and a former governor of the National Maternity hospital.

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