Latest revelations about HSE Head reinforce calls for Harris’ resignation – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has reiterated his call for the resignation or sacking of both the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and the Director General of the HSE, Mr Tony O’Brien. Deputy McGrath was speaking after reports by Simon Carswell and Martin Hall in today’s Irish Times confirm that Minister Harris gave written consent allowing Mr O’Brien to become a Board member of Biosciences company Evofem while he was still in place as head of the HSE :

“The report today confirms that prior to taking up the extremely lucrative employment package the HSE had established that no conflict of interest existed for Mr O’Brien given his simultaneous role as Head of the HSE.

What I am calling for is the immediate publication of this assessment given how difficult it is to see how such a conflict of interest could have been avoided.

If any other administrative head of a countries health service signed himself up for a key role in an international company, while remaining in his current position, then surely questions would  be asked around the propriety of that.

Instead all we are likely to get here is a retreat into the legalities of contract law.

Questions also need to be asked about the judgement of a Minister for Health who gave explicit written consent allowing this.

Did Minister Harris not think that Mr O’Brien had enough to be doing with a crumbling health infrastructure all around him?

A failure to either resign or be sacked will only confirm what many people already know; that behind the scenes those in charge of health policy and the delivery of health outcomes are absolutely untouchable regardless of how catastrophic their ‘leadership’ proves,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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