HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has this evening welcomed the announcement of the nomination of Alex White as the new Minister of State for Primary Care.
Earlier the Labour TD White was confirmed as the replacement for Róisín Shortall at the Department of Health after she resigned last night following a much-publicised dispute with the Health Minister over sites for proposed primary care centres.
The Dublin South deputy will be formally nominated to fill the vacancy at next week’s Cabinet meeting.
In a statement this evening the Department of Health said Reilly was looking forward to working with White and his other Minister of State Kathleen Lynch “in the major task of reform of the health services”.
Reilly, who was not informed of Shortall’s resignation in advance of her announcement last night, thanked his former colleague for “the considerable amount of hard work she had undertaken” according to a statement from the Department of Health.
He also said that Shortall’s “commitment to the betterment of the health services was clear” and expressed confidence that his new ministerial team would do their best to progress Shortall’s work, particularly in the area dealing with alcohol abuse in society.
The statement in full:
The Minister for Health Dr James Reilly TD has welcomed the announcement of the nomination of Alex White TD as a Minister of State in the Department of Health.
Minister Reilly looks forward to working with Alex White and Minister Kathleen Lynch in the major task of reform of the health services.
Minister Reilly also paid tribute to Róisín Shortall “whose commitment to the betterment of the health services was clear”.
Minister Reilly thanked Ms Shortall for the considerable amount of hard work she had undertaken.
Minister Reilly expressed a confidence that the new team in the Department would do its best to progress that hard work, especially Róisín Shortall’s initiatives aimed at dealing with the great difficulties associated with alcohol abuse in Irish society.
Earlier, Taoiseach Enda Kenny also welcomed the proposal of Alex White for the junior ministerial role.
“I would like to welcome the proposal by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore of Deputy Alex White as Minister of State at the Department of Health,” Kenny said in a statement
“I also want to warmly congratulate Deputy White on his new role and I look forward to him making a significant contribution to the reform and development of our health service.”
White could not be contacted for comment this evening.