herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Varadkar in firing line at FF Ard Fheis

HEALTH Minister Leo Varadkar is more focussed on photo opportunities than developing a long-term plan for the health system, according to Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

Mr Martin (inset) last night accused Mr Varadkar of failing to address morale among health workers.

"First of all they said things were getting better. They then blamed James Reilly. Then Enda Kenny said he was taking personal charge of Health. When that didn't work they blamed James Reilly again and fired him," he told delegates.

Plan

"Now they've put a new face in who is available to discuss anything but a long-term plan for the health services," he claimed.

Mr Martin made the remarks as he opened Fianna Fail's 76th Ard Fheis in the RDS.

Reacting to the criticism, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said Fianna Fail's health policy promises no reform.

"Our long-term plan on universal health care will see the first concrete steps this summer with GP care without fees for the youngest and the oldest, and better chronic disease care," he told the Herald.

"Fianna Fail's health policy wants to keep to a flawed system, exactly as it is, and pour more money in from higher tax."

This weekend's Ard Fheis is particularly important for the party given the level of infighting and internal criticism in recent weeks.

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