The Health Minister Leo Varadkar has denied leaking an email to the media in which he said “heads will have to roll” because of the emergency department overcrowding crisis.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused Leo Varadkar of leaking the memo to The Irish Times.
Deputy Martin has said the Minister has presided over the failure of the health service to reduce the number of patients on trolleys and is now trying to pass the blame.
Minister Varadkar has said he wasn’t behind the leak.
“Well, like - I didn’t. Yesterday I wanted the news to be about the €3bn investment that is going to happen over the next six years,” said the Health Minister.
“Whoever leaked that email obviously did not have my interests at heart, but you know it is pretty evident that (Irish Times reporter) Martin Wall has a very good source somewhere in health and I’m sure you guys can ask him where he got it from. I’d love to know myself.”
Elsewhere, Varadkar has said the person responsible for the data breach of more than 40 patient files at a hospital in Drogheda must be disciplined.
The HSE and Data Protection Commissioner have launched separate investigations after the confidential documents were found on a street outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
Management have apologised for the breach and has said they will meet affected patients individually to discuss the matter.
Minister Leo Varadkar has said the incident is “unacceptable” and the person responsible must face the consequences.
“There is going to be a full investigation, obviously it is totally unacceptable that has happened in any hospital,” Minister Varadkar said.
“It is not only a breach of confidentiality, it is a breach of the law given the data protection acts the hospital is going to carry out a full investigation and I think if they identify the person responsible for the breach they should be disciplined.”