James Reilly has told the Dáil that when he became minister for Health he found systems that don't communicate with other, and descriptions rather than analysis of problems in the health sector.
He was speaking during a debate on a motion of no confidence in him, tabled by Fianna Fáil.
The motion relates to the minister's handling of the health service following the announcement last month of €130m in spending cuts to be implemented before the end of the year.
Fianna Fáil TD Billie Kelleher claimed chaos and dysfunction had reigned in the Department of Health since Mr Reilly had taken office.
He said it was the empty noise of a party that had run out of ideals and idealism a long time ago, a party that had damaged every family in the country and had sold the country down the river.
Minister Reilly said the motion could be described as political opportunism.
The debate was adjourned before 9pm and will continue tomorrow.
The motion was tabled by Fianna Fáil with amendments from the Government and Sinn Féin.