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HSE shake-up is 'only creating semblance of change' - Sinn Féin.

A seven-member directorate is to be introduced to pave the way for the abolishment of the Health Service Executive but the changes had been met with some scepticism.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉIN HAS questioned whether the changes to the running of the Health Service Executive (HSE), announced yesterday, will have any impact at all.

The government announced yesterday that the existing management structure at the HSE is to be replaced with a seven-member directorate responsible for different areas of health care such as mental health and social care. The Chairman of the interim HSE board is also to step down.

There was also a promise to bring forward legislation to scrap the body altogether shortly with the government committing to establishing a system of Universial Health Insurance by 2016.

But such measures have been criticised by Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin who instead advocates a universal health system and who said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning that health minister Dr James Reilly was “only creating the semblance of doing something”.

“He promised much, but in government he has continued cuts imposed by former administration,” Ó Caoláin said this morning.

He said that since the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government had taken office there had been “more loss of services, less hospital beds, fewer nurses and the promise of even more cutbacks.”

A statement from the Department of Health said yesterday that the changes were the first in “a process of transformation which will require detailed planning.”

“This initial step is designed to avoid disruptive change at a difficult and challenging time for health and social services,” a statement said.

Read: HSE Board chairman steps down as changes to HSE governance approved

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Hugh O'Connell

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