In an apparent attempt to introduce greater ministerial accountability, the new minister for health in Ireland, Dr James Reilly, has asked all members of the Health Service Executive (HSE) board to resign.
It is reported that the existing board chair will remain but all other board members will be replaced by Department of Health officials.
Some have claimed that this move represents ‘bad governance’ since the board will no longer be an independent board. However, Healthcare Governance Review believes in the fundamental governance principle, espoused by Dr John Carver, that governance (boards) exists to translate owners’ requirements into organisational performance. What Dr Reilly appears to be doing is effectively putting the owners (i.e. the public, through the elected minister and his officials) in control.
Could this move actually represent good governance and will Ireland realise improved public health service performance as a consequence?
Watch this space.