Varadkar and Harris must go- Bríd Smith TD

Press Release- Bríd Smith TD, People Before Profit   11/05/2018

Brid Smith TD of People Before Profit has called for the immediate resignation of Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris. She said: “Internal memos that were released yesterday show that the HSE put their own publicity strategy ahead of informing women about faults in their cervical cancer screening. “Yet the former Ministers, who were responsible for the health services, are taking no responsibility. This is outrageous. I do not believe for one minute that Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris knew nothing about the HSE strategy. It beggars belief that two ambitious men who, to put it mildly, have a record of heightened concern about PR, were not informed about the publicity strategy of the HSE.

“It is time to end the ‘see nothing, hear nothing’ game that the political elite play.

“Everyone knows that in an age of supposed transparency, bureaucratic elites know when to commit items to paper and when to ensure reports are only given verbally.

“They have developed a practice that when things go wrong, a  sacrificial punch bag is offered to take public criticism while the political masters protected. This cynical game must now end.

“If Varadkar or Harris knew nothing about these memos, they are naïve, incompetent fools who do not understand how bureaucracies work and had no will to change their culture.

“For that alone, they should resign.

“But I don’t believe they were fools. They are immersed in a culture of PR spinning and must have heard about an oncoming to danger to their positions.

“It is time to bring in full political responsibility and then repatriate cervical cancer screening programme to the Irish public health system.

“Privatisation and a pass the buck culture have cost women’s lives. It must end.”

Ends

Contact- Bríd Smith TD- 087 909 0166

Nick Lee (Press Officer)- 087 615 6473

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