The Sláintecare chief and chairman who resigned suddenly were facing major obstacles in their drive to break down the HSE into regional structures, a member of the Sláintecare council said today.
anagement consultant Eddie Molloy was speaking after the shock resignation of chief of Sláintecare Laura Magahy and chairman Tom Keane.
He cited reluctance by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to move on this issue during the pandemic.
Sláintecare is the 10 year blueprint to transform the health service and make it fairer and more efficient.
However, he said today a key recommendation – that is to set up regional accountable health authorities – was being blocked.
Ms Magahy and Tom Keane wrote to Mr Donnelly about the issue earlier this year. The plan was to break down the HSE into six regional structures.
It would involve devolution of budgets and an autonomy.
“For over a year the unanimous view was that the regional structures be moved forward,” Mr Molloy said.
The minister “contested the advice” and he referred to his experience with McKinsey, where Mr Donnelly was a managment consultant, and said you would not do something like this during a crisis like Covid.
Mr Molloy referred to to the old cliche about not wasting a crisis.
“There is new money coming in to support Sláintecare and you never put new money into dysfunctional structures. You use the money to incentivise.
“It is a very big crunch point. I don’t know what encounters they had that led them to walk away”.
It also understood they were deeply unhappy about a new plan aimed at tackling waiting lists particularly around which body would be ultiimately responsible.
A statement from the Sláintecare council today said members expressed “shock and regret and concern” at the resignations.