Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
Deputy Micheál Martin: Yesterday I received another large bundle of freedom of information documents on the selection of primary care centres and the addition of centres at Swords and Balbriggan. One might be suspicious on the eve of budget day to get such a large selection of documents because it is a classic way to bury material that the Government might not want people to see but, on a quick read through the documents, they clearly reveal a story of the selection of those sites which is much different to the one that was revealed by the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Gilmore, over repeated questions in this House, not to mention the Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly.
The Taoiseach: Deputy Martin has returned to this on a number of occasions. I am looking at the page here. I see somebody's writing that states "Taois", and then "Taoiseach" and "Tánaiste" stroked out, "signed off on Friday".
Let me be very clear with Deputy Martin. My only interest in this was in agreeing with the Minister, Deputy Reilly, that there should be more than 20 put on the list to bring about competition, to bring about buy-in from general practitioners and to ensure that under the PPP system at least 20 would get across the line. That was my involvement in it. The Minister, Deputy Reilly, had no function whatsoever in the selection of sites for primary care centres-----
Deputy Micheál Martin: That is not the point.
Deputy Micheál Martin: No. Read that one, that is the key one.
The Taoiseach: I have got it here.
Deputy Micheál Martin: Not that one.
Deputy Micheál Martin: I am not.
Deputy Micheál Martin: No. You keep giving a different answer.
An Ceann Comhairle: Through the Chair.
The Taoiseach: -----is seeing that the foundations for these primary care centres are cut, contracts are put in place, workers are employed to build them and the patients and citizens of the country can have first-class facilities in primary care centres around the country.
We need a great deal more than the 20 mentioned, and that will get through from the expanded list of 35, as Deputy Martin will be aware. He himself was involved as Minister for Health at a time of unlimited funding and he failed miserably to reform the structure or to bring about a system that would provide decent health care for the people. He is coming back in here time and again trying to make a case that there was unwarranted political interference for some kind of commercial gain. Deputy Martin is wrong and he should be big enough to recognise that and get on with helping to ensure that these primary care centres are built in the interests of the people all over the country.
Deputy Dinny McGinley: Deputy Martin's party invented political interference.
The Government made this decision in July and it is now December when I get this information. That is because the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste nor the Minister would not tell the truth about it in this House.
An Ceann Comhairle: We would want to be careful here.
Deputy Paudie Coffey: Fianna Fáil were pulling stokes 40 years ago.
Deputy Michael McCarthy: Who was it got us the bank guarantee?
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