Tuesday 20 March 2018

Colum Kenny: State's failure to grasp the nettle of regulation could prove costly

The Government's response to RTE's documentary on home care was disgraceful, writes Colum Kenny

The absence of the Minister for Health was shameful. What kind of country have we allowed Ireland to become when a government does not feel it necessary to have its minister for health appear in public to answer serious criticisms of the care of older people?

Minister Mary Harney has not just failed to regulate the health service adequately. For too long, she and her Cabinet colleagues made a virtue of not firmly regulating public affairs in general. Even after the banking collapse, they are still at it.

Harney would not get into the studio last week, either for Prime Time or for Pat Kenny's Frontline. A minister without a party, and without a political future, she is never now going to admit that her various governments got it so wrong. She has long frustrated deputies with her refusal in the Dail to take ultimate responsibility for health service failings. She was not about to gratify a concerned public last week.

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