Former Sláintecare head declines to appear before Oireachtas committee

In a letter to the Oireachtas health committee on Monday, Ms Magahy said she was unable to attend the hearing of the Oireachtas health committee.
Former Sláintecare head declines to appear before Oireachtas committee

Digital Desk Staff

The former head of the Sláintecare health reform office Laura Magahy has said she will not appear before an Oireachtas committee regarding her resignation from the project.

In a letter to the Oireachtas health committee on Monday, Ms Magahy said she was unable to attend the hearing of the Oireachtas health committee.

As The Irish Times reports, the committee has been looking into the background to the resignations of Ms Magahy and another senior figure involved in the Sláintecare health reform programme, Prof Tom Keane.

Prof Keane was chairman of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council.

The committee last week heard from Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the secretary general of the Department of Health Robert Watt.

The committee had provisionally identified October 20th as a date to speak with Ms Magahy and Prof Keane.

The Government has insisted that it is committed to the implementation of the health reform plan despite a number of recent resignations . However critics say the resignation of Ms Magahy and Prof Keane cast a shadow over the reforms.

In her letter to the committee, Ms Magahy, who was executive director of the Sláintecare programme office in the Department of Health, said: “The reasons behind my resignation were outlined in my letter to the Minister for Health, who I understand has now put in place a new delivery mechanism as outlined by the Minister at last week’s committee meeting.

Letter of resignation

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for their support and interest in Sláintecare implementation during my tenure.”

In his letter of resignation to the Minister last month Prof Keane wrote: “Sadly, I have come to conclude that the requirements for implementing this unprecedented programme for change are seriously lacking.”

In her resignation letter, Ms Magahy - who was previously managing director of Temple Bar Properties - said good progress had been made in many important areas, but that “progress had been slow in three key areas requiring dedicated, focused, reform effort: regional health areas; eHealth, and waiting list”.

Another member of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council Prof Anthony O’Connor also subsequently resigned. He said there was a “destructive” and “contemptuous” management of the process which led to the original culture of Sláintecare being “bulldozed”.

Last week Mr Donnelly told the committee that frustrations were not raised with him by Prof Tom Keane or Laura Magahy before they resigned.

The Minister said “the first I was aware” of either of the council members being frustrated was when they resigned.

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