A spokesman for the Health Minister has said a Fianna Fáil claim that another special adviser has been appointed for the minister is wrong.

The spokesman said the executive position of Director of Performance Improvement for Unscheduled Care was appointed last month.

The successful candidate is answerable to the Special Delivery Unit’s Chief Operating Officer.

Fianna Fáil Health Spokesman Billy Kelleher said the appointment is on top of that of Dr Martin Connor who is a special adviser to the SDU, on a salary of €160,000.

Mr Kelleher said Mr Connor is not in Ireland for half the year.

He said on the same day the public are hearing about yet another advisor on an extortionate salary, 337 people are waiting on hospital trolleys around the country.

A department spokesman said Fianna Fáil's claims are inaccurate.

Mr Kelleher called on Minister James Reilly to make a statement in the Dáil on the appointment, adding that the spokesman has "sought to completely muddy the waters on this issue".