Dr Eddie Molloy told RTÉ radio’s News at One that he was not aware of the encounters that Dr Tom Keane and Laura Magahy had which provoked their resignations, but for people of their stature to take this decision was very serious, he said.
Dr Molloy was commenting on a report that 11 members of the Advisory Council had expressed “shock, regret and concern” at the resignations. According to RTÉ the council members said they were seeking answers from the Minister for Health and his department regarding the events that led up to the resignations.
“In light of these developments, as members of SIAC, we urge the Government to ensure the Sláintecare programme of reforms is implemented in word, deed and spirit”.
Dr Molloy said that it was more than 11 members who were in support of the statement. There was “overwhelming support” for the communication.
At the centre of the issue was “resistance and delay” by the Minister for Health in implementing the Sláintecare recommendations, in particular the proposal for a regional structure.
The “monolithic HSE” would be subdivided into six autonomous health services. “The needs of Kerry are different from the needs of Dublin.” Devolution was the way to go, he said.
For over a year it had been the unanimous view of the Council that the devolution should go ahead. Dr Keane and Ms Magahy had written to the Minster pleading with him to “move things along.”
However, according to Dr Molloy, the Minister had questioned the advice of the Council and said that changes would not be made during a crisis.
“New money” would be coming in (for Sláintecare), he said, and he did not want to see new money going into an old system without implementing changes.