Why must Ministers seek legal advice to deal with the HSE?
It is true that the accountability issue has been raised again in sharp relief in the investigations into the deaths of children in care. Given how often we are told that there is such a large amount of public resources devoted to the health services administered by the HSE, the blockage between those of us elected to these Houses and the people providing the services, which means it is not possible to establish precisely what is occurring, is incredible. Not even the Minister of State appears to be in a position to establish what is occurring.
The matter of different bodies arranging legal advice between themselves to establish their positions and whether they can move an issue forward is an extraordinary spectacle. Is it €16 billion per annum for the health Vote?
Members and, judging by what he has stated, the Minister of State cannot establish basic information without there being a competition between us and the HSE about legal advice. It is incredible that any democratic country is unable to have a proper debate or to establish information directly in the Houses. The HSE might have the best will in the world, but the manner in which it is configured and organised means it operates as a block to true democratic accountability in respect of child care and health services.
This matter is raised repeatedly in the House. How many more times will it be raised by practising, concerned politicians without anything seeming to happen? That people need to seek legal advice to establish whether they can do the jobs they are there to do is a spectacle.