Health service has 'turned the corner', Minister claims

The Irish health service has "turned a corner" – according to the Minister for Health.

Responding to criticisms by the Troika ahead of Ireland's exit from the bailout, James Reilly said delays in implementing plans as agreed were due to mitigating circumstances.

Speaking in Brussels, Minister Reilly defended the health system against criticism.

"They're highlighting areas where they're concerned about, and that's fair enough. But in the ESRI report today, there's been a huge increase in activity in our hospitals, and our public hospitals are ... reducing the average length of stay and the amount of work that they're doing," he said.

"So I think our public health service has really turned the corner."

He said the slow progress in signing off on Haddington Road had a knock on effect on tackling high wages in the health sector through the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill.

He also said delay in implementing universal insurance was a government-led decision.

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