Did You Hear Her?


I thought I was imagining things today when I heard our Minister for Health interviewed on radio following yesterday’s vote to bring the Progressive Democrats party to an end.

When asked on This Week about her own position as Minister for Health, she replied…

“I love the job.  I love being involved in reforming the health service. It’s a difficult and challenging job but I think we’re making enormous success…erm…great progress has been made.”

I nearly choked on my coffee.  Who does she think she’s fooling? The fact that she faltered on the word ‘success’, makes me believe that she’s finally realised the game is up. And not a minute too soon.

You can listen for yourself here.

4 Responses to Did You Hear Her?

  1. Fergal Reid says:

    There’s not as many pictures of her as you might think, alright!

  2. Steph says:

    Hello Fergal and welcome!

    Yup! You’re right – that’s why I had to help myself to your find! 😀

  3. Tazocin says:

    It really disgusts me that Harney will continue as Minister for Health. The PDs were rejected at the last general election and have finally disbanded; she is not going to run for election to the Dáil again yet she is free to continue as Minister for Health despite massive and widespread public opposition to what she is doing. She will never face the Irish electorate again and is my view unaccountable.

    Given the wider problems facing the government at the moment, it appears to me that Cowen is playing it safe by allowing her to continue to “take the flak” in Iveagh House; in Harney’s defence she brazenly appears to relish her job and it is one many of the “big-hitters” in Fianna Fáil would avoid at all costs.

    I now think there cannot be positive change in the Irish Health Service without a change in government. Unfortunately I do not see much cause for optimism on the opposition benches; the party that will attract my vote is the party that realises they do not have the expertise to reform the health service and will actively engage with patients and front line staff to build a 21st century service for the country.

  4. Steph says:

    Hi again, Tazocin

    You’re absolutely right about Harney being accountable to no-one. She has nothing to lose at this stage other than her fat ministerial salary so it suits FF very well to let her continue to take the flak. Who in their right minds would take on the poisoned chalice that is the Health portfolio?

    What beats me is the fact that the opposition are not baying for blood over Harney’s co-location policy. Despite huge opposition to her plans to privatise healthcare, she has insisted that it’s the quickest way to get more beds into the system and yet here we are 4 years later, with zero progress in solving the problem of overcrowding. Her co-location policy has failed miserably so why are the opposition parties not insisting on a vote of no-confidence in it?

    I believe that Harney is well-intentioned but her biggest problem is that she’s being poorly advised by the pen-pushers in her department. She needs to get rid of her management structure with their commissioned reports and bring in someone from the business world who gets things done. People like Michael O’Leary (Ryanair), Bill Cullen (Renault/The Apprentice) or Gerald Kean (Solicitor) all spring to mind.

    Harney’s biggest mistake was her failure to deal with the HSE when she inherited it with her ministry. Billions of money is being wasted annually by the HSE, money that could be spent on frontline services to alleviate patients’ suffering and avoid the present cutbacks. She needs to bring back responsibility and accountability so that the public can see where their taxes are being spent and can take pride in the health service once more.

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