Journalists

Thursday 20 June 2019

Eddie Molloy

Health Minister Simon Harris with Dr John Murphy at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Political interests infect every move to reform health system 

About 18 years ago, when I was invited to engage with the Department of Health, I requested copies of relevant documents that I should read in advance of meeting with officials. A few days later, two men in a van arrived at my door with two large plastic crates containing over a hundred reports, plans and reviews. Since then, successive health ministers have added a few hundred more to the pile and this week yet another review of A&E overcrowding is promised.

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Malaise in our political culture poses the biggest risk of all 

In his Introduction to the Draft National Risk Assessment 2014, issued for discussion by his department earlier this year, the Taoiseach set out the rationale for, and urgency, of such an initiative: "One of the priorities for our country and our people is to ensure that we learn from the mistakes of the past . . . We must identify the risks that Ireland faces and therefore ensure appropriate prevention . . . Never again should dissenting voices be silenced when warning of risks up ahead . . . We must work to ensure Ireland's terrible reversals of fortune . . . never recur."

Eddie Molloy: When going by the book, the bishops would be advised to look at the Bible 

CANON 1398 states that a woman who procures an abortion is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church along with all conspirators, such as the nurses and doctors who assist her. Canon lawyers disagree on whether legislators who enable abortion should also be excommunicated. The Irish bishops are similarly divided, with some seemingly happy to leave the threat of excommunication hanging over the heads of politicians.