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Reilly may speak to Cabinet about hospital fast-tracks today

It was revealed at the weekend that two hospital projects were fast-tracked in two of his cabinet colleagues’ home towns.

Fine Gael Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly with a copy of the report
Fine Gael Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly with a copy of the report
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly is expected to speak to the Cabinet today about the fast-tracking of hospital projects.

It emerged thanks to documents obtained by RTÉ’s This Week programme that upgrades to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny (Environment Minister Phil Hogan’s home tome) and Wexford General Hospital (Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin’s home town) were fast-tracked.

According to RTÉ, the documents showed that Ministers Howlin and Hogan announced the new works on the hospitals before the HSE was aware of such fast-track proposals.

Criticism

Minister Reilly came in for much criticism after these documents were made public by RTÉ, with Sinn Féin health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin saying the developments outlined in the documents were “damning in the extreme”. He accused the coalition of “cabinet cronyism”.

Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD said Minister Reilly “continues to court controversy”, and used the opportunity to call on him to clarify why progress on the establishment of government procedures for the new National Children’s Hospital has stalled.

Today, it is expected that Minister Reilly will speak to the cabinet on the fast-tracking, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn told RTÉ.

Read: Documents show ministers announced hospital works before HSE Board knew>

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