Tuesday 13 November 2018

Veil of secrecy links terrifying health scandal with those that went before

Vicky Phelan: I never thought the problem would be of this magnitude. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Vicky Phelan: I never thought the problem would be of this magnitude. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

In her annual report for 2009, then-ombudsman Emily O'Reilly described being led on "a sort of an 'Alice in Wonderland' trip" around the legal system by the HSE in a bid to get access to basic information.

She did not pull any punches as she described the health care executive as having something "rotten" at its core and accusing health chiefs of operating in "a parallel universe", while noting that her counterpart for children, Emily Logan, was also "blue in the face" from dealing with the HSE.

Even the health minister at the time, Mary Harney, "often struggled" to get information from the HSE, the ombudsman claimed.

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