News & Media

Accountability still needed for Beacon

27 March 2021

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Health and Disability Services
  • Will NTPF and outsourcing work given to the Beacon by reconsidered while CEO remains in place?

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly, responding to the belated but welcome decision of the Health Minister to suspend vaccinations at the Beacon, and comments from the Taoiseach, said:

“The Taoiseach and the Minister for Health have failed again to tell us how they will ensure people will be held accountable over what happened at the Beacon. This private hospital receives significant public funding through the NTPF and outsourced work from our under-resourced public system.

“A day after ruling out removing the vaccination clinic from the Beacon the Minister for Health has belatedly reversed course. This is the right decision but a day late and I presume the HSE have created alternative local capacity for vaccine rollout.

“Appointing an official to examine what happened unfortunately won’t deliver accountability and amounts to window dressing.

“An immediate explanation is also needed for how so many doses, 20 in this case, were left over at the end of the day when vials contain much less than that. How was the programme being managed and who was overseeing it?

“As I said yesterday, the position of the CEO is untenable. Considerable public funding goes to the Beacon through programmes championed by FF and FG. Considering the damage done to our vaccination programme this work must also be re-examined.

“I have repeatedly called for a dedicated Minister for Vaccinations to ensure that situations like this don’t arise. This two-tier elitism has shocked people and unfortunately, has been enabled by the lack of a cohesive vaccine strategy from the Minister for Health.”