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A shortlist of names of possible candidates to fill the two vacancies currently on the HSE Board will be “shortly” sent to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, this newspaper has been told.
A Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that the appointments are expected to be made by the end of this month.
One of the vacancies on the HSE board is specifically for a patient advocate, a position that has been vacant since the beginning of last year following Mr Mark Molloy resignation after what he described as the “tokenistic” treatment of patients in the Irish health service.
The HSE board Chair Mr Ciarán Devane wrote to Minister Donnelly in July last year highlighting the two vacant positions on the Board.
In the letter dated 3 July and seen by MI following a Freedom of Information request Mr Devane wrote that “the board more broadly is looking forward to continuing to work with your Department to deliver a better health system. We will be fully behind the goal of universal healthcare.”
Minister Donnelly became Minister for Health in June and Mr Devane wrote that “when the time is right we would be delighted to have you come speak to us at one of our meetings”.
“Related to that, you do have the opportunity to appoint two members to our board. One is the second of the two clinical positions resulting from your own amendment, and the second is a patient voice position.
“I will be very happy to discuss what skills and attributes might help strengthen the team.”
The Department of Health spokesperson told MI that after a recruitment search in September and October last year “an assessment panel was convened in early December, and a number of suitable candidates were identified. These names will shortly be submitted to Minister Donnelly, and appointments are expected to be made in January 2021.”