Council has 'no confidence' in Minister for Health

MEMBERS of Ballina Municipal District have discussed the tenure of the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, at their February monthly meeting.

Councillor Gerry Ginty had the following notice of motion tabled: “That this council has no confidence in the Minister of Health; there are 750,000 people on hospital waiting lists, 110,000 people on trollies, 300 people die of hospital overcrowding annually, 2,500 children are waiting for first mental health appointments, GP services are grinding to a halt and on top of this, the National Children's Hospital is spiralling out of control. This and the complete lack of accountability is extremely damaging to Irish society.”

Speaking at today's meeting, held in Moygownagh Community Centre, Councillor Ginty (Independent) added that the person at the top has to accept responsibility.

The recent protests outside Minister Harris' house were wrong and only served to distract attention from the real problems, he added.

In defence of the minister and by way of explaining why he didn't support the motion, Councillor Neil Cruise (Fine Gael) said the HSE is an animal not fit for purpose currently. The minister had very good intentions of making improvements in health and until the structures are improved, calling for his or any other minister's head would not make a difference.

However, Councillor Seamus Weir (Independent), who seconded the motion, and Councillor Annie May Reape (Fianna Fáil) made the point that in and of itself, the National Children's Hospital overspend will have a negative impact on local projects.

Councillor Weir added that he couldn't understand how Fianna Fáil is still backing Minister Harris.