Belfast Telegraph

Minister in clear-out of HSE board

Health Minister Dr James Reilly has cleared out the board of the Health Service Executive (HSE), claiming the dramatic shake-up will improve services and accountability.

The 12-strong oversight team offered to step down after Dr Reilly called for a blanket resignation in the first major move to abolish the organisation.

"I see this as a hugely important part of progressing the change agenda, one for which I have to remind people we have an enormous mandate from the people for," Dr Reilly said.

None of the outgoing health bosses will receive pay-offs for resigning.

Chairman Dr Frank Dolphin has been asked to stay on as head of an interim board to oversee the smooth transition of HSE responsibilities to the Department of Health.

Dr Reilly said he hoped new legislation will be in place by the end of the year to scrap the board structure. He said scrapping the positions would shorten the chain of command and ultimately make the Minister for Health more accountable.

"I felt that boards were being put in place to put distance between the minister and their responsibilities," Dr Reilly said. "I'm shortening that chain of command with this new change today. And I believe this will be for the betterment of patients through improved services."

HSE board members include the organisation's chief Cathal Magee, Irish Banking Federation chief Pat Farrell, and Dublin Docklands Development Authority chair Professor Niamh Brennan.

The minister has already accepted the resignation of solicitor Eugene McCague after he offered to step down earlier this month as a member.

Those on the new interim board will be named in the coming weeks, but it will be comprised of senior management from the Department of Health and HSE.

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