• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

Dept of Health refuse to act within the law?


ger12

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
48,255
Quite an interview on Morning Ireland with the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly today. Apparently the Department of Health has been illegally operating the mobility allowance scheme for the past 12 years. The Department has known about this illegality since at least 2008. Despite agreeing in April last year to remove an illegal upper 66 years age limit, it has failed to do so. The Department now believes acting on the Ombudsman's recommendations would create liabilities the State cannot afford.

Is this acceptable for the Dept of Health to do so (I presume under the Ministers instruction) given the financial circumstances in this Dept or is it wholly unacceptable for the State to refuse to act within the law regardless of circumstances?

"Minister for Health James Reilly is breaking the law and rejecting international human rights principles by failing to remove an upper age limit to an allowance for people with disabilities, according to a report by Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly."

Disability age limit illegal - O'Reilly
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/1025/1224325680270.html

Department illegally operating mobility allowance scheme - Ombudsman
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/1025/ombudsman-mobility-allowance.html
 
Last edited:

cobalt

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
191
I can understand why the system was originally developed with the criteria it has: We probably can't afford to extend it in its current form to all age groups, since the likelihood is that a very high proportion of those in their 80s and 90s would qualify, and a fair proportion of those in their 70s too. If these could take taxis round the place rather than having to rely on buses/rail with their free travel pass, the bill would be massive.

That said, the kind of discrimination that's been drawn here is simply illegal and can't be permitted. In my view, the important failing is that the government (actually, successive governments, since it was the previous govt to whom this was pointed out in 2008), despite knowing this, haven't reviewed and revised the system, to come up with something that's fair and yet still is manageable in terms of cost. This notion of just continuing on with the status quo and hoping the problem will somehow disappear is typical of what's wrong in so many areas of our administration.
A problem has been identified. Look for a solution. Fix it. Don't just stick your fingers in your ears, go 'tra la la, I can't hear you' and hope it'll magically go away!
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,845
It's an assertion by the ombudsman, not a fact. They're not acting illegally until a court says so. Until someone cares enough to roll the dice in court, it's hard to blame Harney, coughlan, Reilly for not volunteering to take money from a small pot and spread it wider.

People should be adults here and realise that if this costs 10 million, that 10 million isn't going to come from the salary pot of consultants and nurses, it's going to come from some where else in the plan.

That being said, saying you're not doing it because you can't afford to is moronic. The stance should be that you're not breaking the law, even if you clearly are.
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
It's not Reilly, it's the department. She was guessing "he would have had to have known". I heard the interview and found some of her comments more than a little off the cuff for a so-called ombudsman.
 

ger12

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
48,255
It's an assertion by the ombudsman, not a fact. They're not acting illegally until a court says so. Until someone cares enough to roll the dice in court, it's hard to blame Harney, coughlan, Reilly for not volunteering to take money from a small pot and spread it wider.

People should be adults here and realise that if this costs 10 million, that 10 million isn't going to come from the salary pot of consultants and nurses, it's going to come from some where else in the plan.

That being said, saying you're not doing it because you can't afford to is moronic. The stance should be that you're not breaking the law, even if you clearly are.
That'll set the State back a couple of quid - a number of JR's.
 

ger12

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
48,255
It's not Reilly, it's the department. She was guessing "he would have had to have known". I heard the interview and found some of her comments more than a little off the cuff for a so-called ombudsman.
Are you seriously suggesting that the Minister in Health would have been unaware of a decision such as this?
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
Are you seriously suggesting that the Minister in Health would have been unaware of a decision such as this?
You seem to be starting off on another bout of Reilly bashing. She was guessing, just as you are. Her discussion was with the department.
 

DCon

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
5,901
It's not Reilly, it's the department. She was guessing "he would have had to have known". I heard the interview and found some of her comments more than a little off the cuff for a so-called ombudsman.
It's his department

Government ministers are collectively responsible for the actions of the government. Each minister is responsible for the actions of his or her department. Departments of State do not have legal personalities. Actions of departments are carried out under the title of ministers even, as is commonly the case, when the minister has little knowledge of the details of these actions. This contradicts the rule in common law that a person given a statutory power cannot delegate that power.[9] This leads to a phrase in correspondence by government departments, "the Minister has directed me to write", on letters or documents that the minister in question may never have seen.
Government of Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

DCon

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
5,901
It's an administrative scheme which is run or not run properly in this case, by the department.
by the department that Reilly has legal responsibility for.

Reilly cannot evade responsibility here
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
by the department that Reilly has legal responsibility for.

Reilly cannot evade responsibility here
If a patient dies in HSE care is he also legally responsible?
 

ger12

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
48,255
As I said cue another Reilly bashing thread.
When you've stopped throwing your toys out of your nice shinny blue pram, maybe you'd like to discuss whether the State refusing to act when it had promised to do so - as the department has been operating a scheme for the past 12 years on the basis of a condition that was illegal and that it has known to be illegal for the past four years - is reasonable given the current economic climate.
 

DCon

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
5,901
If a patient dies in HSE care is he also legally responsible?
That would be a more complicated issue I would think. Sick people die all the time and it is rarely due to medical negligence

However, the Department and Minister choosing to break the law (if they are) is a different matter

If the Government should fail to fulfill its constitutional duties, it may be ordered to do so by a court of law, by writ of mandamus. Ministers who fail to comply may, ultimately, be found to be in contempt of court, and even imprisoned.
Government of Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I wonder if Paddy Power would give odds on Reilly seeing jail first for bankruptcy or failure to do his job.
 

Limerick Lad

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2006
Messages
4,609
Where and by whom was it established that how the scheme was being operated was illegal?
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
When you've stopped throwing your toys out of your nice shinny blue pram, maybe you'd like to discuss whether the State refusing to act when it had promised to do so - as the department has been operating a scheme for the past 12 years on the basis of a condition that was illegal and that it has known to be illegal for the past four years - is reasonable given the current economic climate.
No toys, no pram and no Reilly. They were told about it over a year ago. TBH the report should have come out and Ms O'Reilly should have shown up at the Oireachtas committee meeting today rather than playing the "journo" on radio.
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
That would be a more complicated issue I would think. Sick people die all the time and it is rarely due to medical negligence

However, the Department and Minister choosing to break the law (if they are) is a different matter



Government of Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I wonder if Paddy Power would give odds on Reilly seeing jail first for bankruptcy or failure to do his job.
As I said another excuse to do a bit of Reilly bashing. Much as he deserves it at times this is not one of the messes he caused.
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
Where and by whom was it established that how the scheme was being operated was illegal?
Based on the Equality Law Ms O'Reilly pointed out to the DOH that not granting the payment to over 66s was illegal. She also said they they accepted that.
 

Lassie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
2,150
If a patient dies in HSE care is he also legally responsible?
I would say that if they die because of decisions that he made/imposed he is morally culpable. it comes with the job. Politics and a ministry in particular should be the ultimate in caring of all the 'caring' professions.
 

DCon

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
5,901
As I said another excuse to do a bit of Reilly bashing. Much as he deserves it at times this is not one of the messes he caused.
he did not create but he has failed to remedy.

Harney no longer has responsibility for the department so Jim cannot hide behind her inaction and incompetence
 

DCon

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
5,901
Based on the Equality Law Ms O'Reilly pointed out to the DOH that not granting the payment to over 66s was illegal. She also said they they accepted that.
details here Too Old to be Equal? - The Office of the Ombudsman

The report follows her investigation of a complaint against the Department of Health. The Ombudsman found that:

the Mobility Allowance Scheme discriminates on the ground of age as it includes an upper age limit, which is in breach of the Equal Status Act, 2000
the upper age limit in the Scheme has been illegal since the commencement of the Equal Status Act in 2000
the actions of the Department do not suggest any urgency in seeking to bring the scheme into compliance with the Equal Status Act. This is despite having had the defects in the scheme brought to its attention by a number of bodies, including the Equality Authority

The Department has accepted the Ombudsman's findings and recommendations which include completing a review of the Scheme within the next six months.
 
Top