Press Release

Minister appoints new Chairman to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Mr Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister for Health and Children, today (6 September 2001) announced the appointment of Mr Michael McLoone as Chairman of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. The Minister has completed a wide ranging consultation process over recent days in advance of the appointment of a Chairman and of other Board members. The Minister said “I am delighted that Michael McLoone has agreed to accept my invitation to chair the Board of the IBTS at a time of ongoing change and development. His widespread experience at top levels in the public service including the health services will be a major resource to the Board.”

Mr McLoone has experience in organisation development in the health and local authority services which is particularly relevant as the IBTS is to commence the implementation of a major programme of organisation development.

The Minister referred to the significant developments which have taken place at the IBTS in recent years including a new national Headquarters, new IT system, new scientific appointments and the introduction of new tests ahead of a considerable number of other transfusion centres. The Minister said “I will continue to invest in the IBTS to ensure that it is in a position to develop as a transfusion service in line with the best international standards. I am satisfied that there is a substantial level of commitment within the Organisation to achieve this objective.”

The Minister again paid tribute to Professor Patricia Barker who resigned recently as Chairperson. The Minister said “I wish to acknowledge the major contribution Professor Barker has made to the redevelopment of an essential health service which was reflected in a widely recognised commitment to the improvement of our public services”.

There are significant challenges ahead for the IBTS particularly as transfusion medicine continues to develop at a rapid pace. The major priority of the new Chairman and the Board together with the staff of the organisation is to meet these challenges in a positive and productive manner.