Saturday 16 December 2017

High-level row is no use to sick

IT comes as no big surprise to learn that the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly and the Minister for Health Mary Harney are engaged in a bitter row. When she was appointed by the Government in 2003, Ms O'Reilly ceased to be a probing journalist and became a civil servant, and some cynics suggested that the appointment was meant, at least in part, to muzzle a critical voice.

If that was the intention, it didn't work. Ms O'Reilly has proved a thorn in the side of the political and public service establishment ever since. And that is exactly what an ombudsman ought to be.

Now an investigation by the Ombudsman's office has declared that the State has failed in its statutory duty to provide nursing home care, as evidenced by as many as 300 legal actions against the HSE over difficulties encountered in acquiring such care.

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