A member of the Oireachtas Health Committee says you can't take politics out of the health service.
Fine Gael's Bernard Durkan was responding to a suggestion that the HSE and the Department of Health should have one chief executive.
Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen believes appointing Robert Watt as HSE CEO would be an opportunity to 'end the dysfunction between the Department of Health and the HSE'.
Deputy Durkan told Newstalk Breakfast Deputy Cowen 'may have something' about the two entities not necessarily working together.
"But one thing must remain absolute in the picture at all times, and that is policy.
"Policy must be carried out and policy must be made by Government, and the Department of Health must reflect Government policy.
"It's doesn't happen to the extent that it should happen, there's no doubt about that".
But he believes politics and health can never really be seperated.
"There were issues that arose during the discussion on Sláintecare that some of us tried hard to address, and weren't addressed.
"The theory previously was to take politics out of the health services, and out of health altogether.
"It doesn't work that way: politics is what runs the country, politicians run the country, we live in a democracy, that's the way it has to work".
He adds: "The chief executive would have to reflect policy - but don't forget that the chief executive then would be an appointee and wouldn't be a policy maker.
"If we have a policy maker, who is the policy maker going to be?
"Is it going to be a politician, is it going to be a Government department led by a politician?
"But Barry Cowen is referring to one thing: that the degree to which we are at one when it comes to moving forward, that has to be addressed".
While Deputy Durkan says the HSE was never reformed the way it should have been.
"I was never a supporter of the HSE concept in any event.
"It was put in place at a time when it was felt that the old system had failed - i.e. the health boards.
"They hadn't failed, but there was a need for a change in legislation to make them more effective.
"That didn't take place, and it should have taken place".