The head of the Department of Health has described resistance to change in the health service as "nonsense" and a "conspiracy theory".
Robert Watt was appearing before an Oireachtas Committee after a number of figures involved in implementing Sláintecare resigned.
Former chair of the Sláintecare advisory council Dr Tom Keane said in a resignation letter that change was impossible.
"He felt the environment was such that change was impossible," said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in the Committee morning.
However, he was interrupted by co-leader of the Social Democrats Roisin Shortall who interjected with, "and what's your understanding of what he meant by that?"
Minister Donnelly replied with "I am somewhat puzzled by that" and he doesn't see a health service that's making no progress.
"It's all nonsense"
Sec Gen of the Department of Health Robert Watt hitting out at the suggestion there's institutional resistance to change when it comes to Sláintecare.
He says people have been watching too many episodes of "Yes, Minister"
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) October 6, 2021
Secretary General of the Dept of Health Robert Watt also hit out at the idea, raised by resignations from the Sláintecare programme, that officials are blocking change:
"It's a little bit of the whole people have watched too many versions of 'Yes Minister'. Of these civil servants not willing to make changes and looking after their interests."
However, Minister Donnelly had somewhat changed his tune by the end of the meeting by saying, "will there have been, and is there resistance within the system to large-scale programmes of reform including this? Of course, there will be."
Some TDs leaving the Health Committee today saying they're none the wiser as to where progress may be being blocked.