Róisín Shortall TD, Co-Leader of the Social Democrats and chair of the cross party Dáil committee which produced the Sláintecare report has acknowledged that the Government has finally announced the Lead Executive for the Sláintecare implementation office.
Responding to the announcement, Deputy Shortall said, “Ms Laura Magahy is the managing director of a private sector company, and has been associated with a number of high profile and controversial projects. It is also noteworthy that Ms Magahy’s company, M.CO Projects ltd, has a commercial relationship with the HSE, where for example, it was paid an estimated €2.2m in 2016 by the HSE for consultancy and support services. It is important that the Government now clarify how these commercial interests can be reconciled with Ms Magahy’s new role with Sláintecare and what her relationship with M.CO Projects will be.”
Deputy Shortall has welcomed the appointment of Dr Tom Keane as chair of an advisory council on the implementation of Sláintecare; “Dr Keane’s strong record of reform and commitment to the principles of universal healthcare will be critical in addressing the challenges which will face the implementation of this radical and ground breaking health strategy, and in developing a detailed implementation plan.”
Furthermore, Deputy Shortall noted “clarity is needed on whether the Government accepts the recommendation of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare that the Implementation Office should be independent of the Department of Health. Without this, there is a serious risk of it being impeded by those who are resistant to institutional reform.”
“However, having finally taken this crucial step, it is now time for the government to commit to fully funding Sláintecare. We are still waiting on the Government to agree their official response to the plan, despite it being promised before last Christmas” concluded Deputy Shortall.