Tuesday 23 January 2018

Who ever gets Health portfolio must hit the ground running

Dr James Reilly. Photo: Collins
Dr James Reilly. Photo: Collins
Sara Burke

Sara Burke

What Enda Kenny needs from the new Health Minister is a safe, tough, compassionate, credible pair of hands. At a minimum James Reilly's successor must score high on the damage limitation front.

Facing the next minister is the insurmountable task of convincing the electorate that the health services are improving, and that his or her plan for reform is the right one. And that needs to be done soon, before the 2016 election. There is a critical window of opportunity for change now; if this is not seized, it makes it much more difficult to instigate change later on.

First on the list of ministerial requirements is credibility. The new minister needs to be reasoned, informed, reassuring but also tough and believable enough to undo the credibility damage done by James Reilly.

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