This Week on Radio 1 just covered yet another story about James and the bumping up of ... no ... not health centres this time but hospital upgrades in Kilkenny and Wexford. Ministers Howlin and Hogan announced the great news to their constituencies before the HSE had signed off on the decision.
I'm sure we'll yet again hear accusations of cronyism and demands that the Minister resign, which will again be ignored. As more details become available of the latest scandal to hit James Reilly, please feel free to add to this thread.
I wonder what Cather Magee ex-CEO of the HSE is thinking right now ...
"Hospital upgrades in the constituencies of two Cabinet colleagues were accelerated in the HSE Capital Plan at the behest of the Minister for Health, RTÉ's This Week programme has learned under documents released under the Freedom of Information Act."
This Week has seen the letter, which informs Principal Officer Jim Breslin of the need for extra money if the upgrades to the emergency departments in the two hospitals are to be completed on the timelines announced by Ministers Howlin and Hogan. In the case of Wexford General Hospital, the HSE informed the Dept of Health that an extra €20m would be needed for the building works, while just over €14m would be needed for Kilkenny.
Approval of this funding had to be sanctioned by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
An exchange of emails between the HSE Director of Estates and the Department of Health reveals an additional €12m was ultimately approved for Wexford General Hospital by Mr Howlin's department, while improvements in Kilkenny were to be financed by "efficiencies" in other hospital equipment budgets".