The chair of the Sláintecare committee, Social Democrats co-leader Roisin Shortall has called on the Taoiseach to intervene to “move along” the plan.
Ms Shortall was speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland following the resignation of the chairman of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Committee, Prof Tom Keane and the executive director of the Sláintecare programme office, Laura Magahy.
The resignations raised serious questions about the future of Sláintecare, she said and the onus was now on the Minister for Health to explain why they had resigned.
Ms Shortall added she was certain their reasons would have been outlined in their resignation letters.
“The Minister and Secretary General (of the Department of Health) owe it to the public to say what is the problem.”
It was not hard to come to the conclusion that there was dissatisfaction and frustration with the slow progress of the plan, she said.
The Taoiseach should now step in to move this along, she urged: “It's way overdue.”
Ireland is the only European country that does not have a fully funded universal care system, she added.
“We're now four years into a 10-year programme of reform, but progress has been very slow.”
Many Ministers were happy to use Sláintecare as a brand, Ms Shortall said, but this had to be more than a rebranding, there needed to be reform and accountability.
Changes must be seen, she added, and decisions should be made on the basis of needs not politics.