Netizen 24 IRL: Government likely to move to appoint HSE chairperson-designate under new reforms

Diposting oleh On 12.29

Government likely to move to appoint HSE chairperson-designate under new reforms

The Government may look to appoint a new chairperson-designate for the HSE who will have a significant executive role in running the health authority in advance of recruiting a new director general.

The Cabinet on Tuesday gave approval for the drafting of legislation to provide for the establishment of a new board for the HSE.

Highly-placed sources said that part of the new reforms to be introduced by the Minister for Health Simon Harris, new HSE chairman will “have teeth” and may work in the organisation two days a week.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday that the ne w HSE board would be smaller than the previous board of the health authority which was abolished by the former Minster for Health James Reilly some years ago.

“It is going to be smaller, it will have an executive chair â€" it’s not just going to be somebody or a group of people who turn up for a meeting once a month, they’ll have much greater involvement.”

A Department of Health statement later said that the general scheme of the new legislation provided for a nine-person non-executive board including the chairperson and the deputy chairperson.

However informed sources said the Cabinet had considered proposals for a new chair of the HSE, who would have a significant executive role.

It had been anticipated that the Government would begin the process this month of recruiting a new HSE director general to succeed Tony O’Brien, who departed last week in the midst of the cervical screening controversy.

However, highly-placed sources said the Government may move first to appoint a new chairperson-designate to the HSE.

Mr Harris said: “The events of the past few weeks have once again made clear there is an urgent need to restore public confidence in the HSE through a series of actions to strengthen the management, govern ance and accountability of the organisation. A key component of this is the establishment of a Board for the HSE.”

Scoping inquiry

Meanwhile, the Cabinet was also told that Dr Gabriel Scally, the independent chair of a scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck controversy, had raised concerns about the “fevered atmosphere” surrounding the matter.

In a letter to Jim Breslin, secretary general of the Department of Health, Dr Scally advised of some of the difficulties he was encountering in his work.

It is believed he was making reference to the work of the Oireachtas health committee and th e Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee, who have been questioning health officials and others about the controversy.

Dr Scally wrote: “It is apparent to me that some key individuals and organisations are being distracted by the necessity of preparing to appear before committees and answer questions on very specific aspects of this substantial system failure that has led to such genuine concern and heartbreak.”

“The correct way forward to analyse a system failure is by detailed and systematic analysis of that failure. To do that to any satisfactory extent I need to be able to gain the full attention and co-operation of the key individuals and their organisations.”

Dr Scally was a ppointed by the Government to assess the facts surrounding the controversy and is due to report by the end of June.

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