A FORMER top banker who is overseeing the government's healthcare reforms is this weekend apologising to doctors and healthcare professionals for an "inappropriate" joke he told during a conference last week.

Hugh Cawley, the head of the change management team at the Health Service Executive, told a joke which involved Tampax and a lawnmower.

Both Cawley and the HSE this weekend apologised unreservedly for the remarks.

The HSE is preparing for radical reforms of the health services which will see the abolition of the health boards. The HSE will run the services and manage its 100,000 healthcare staff from next January.