Health – Transplant Services; Waiting Lists; Breast Cancer Drugs; Vaccination Rates

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I also request that the Minister come in and update us on the transplant situation. Over the past few years, those in charge of transplant policy in the country have felt it has been very unco-ordinated. We have seen other examples of problems in the health service … Continue reading

Leo now stands at a major crossroads

Health Care Reform

[As published in the Sunday Independent on 14 September 2014] Minister can avoid Reilly’s fate to be the face of health reform instead of re-election puppet. There was a rich symbolism in the release of a video of former Health Minister James Reilly being drenched in the Ice-Bucket Challenge, in the same week that it … Continue reading

Questioning the priorities of the HSE

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I am fairly upset about two health administration related issues which have come to light during the break. One was the announcement that the HSE was sponsoring a symposium by Professor Kaplan of Harvard for 300 assorted HSE employees on the question of value for money, and … Continue reading

Portlaoise Hospital: Obstetric and Maternity Services


[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I ask the Leaders to draw the attention of the Minister to the state of our obstetric services and the staffing levels in them and possibly to arrange a debate. The tragic loss of the parents in Portlaoise deserves our sympathy. As a parent, I cannot feel … Continue reading

Delay to health/tobacco control legislation

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to request one of the health Ministers to come into the House today to comment on the discrepancy in the way health-related legislation is dealt with across the two sovereign jurisdictions on either side of the Irish Sea. … Continue reading

Protection of Children’s Health from Tobacco Smoke

[Speaking in the Seanad during Committee Stage of my Bill – Protection of Children’s Health from Tobacco Smoke Bill 2012] As sponsors of the Bill, we have taken the unusual step of bringing forward Committee Stage amendments that reflect two issues. First, we are cognisant of the public and welcome the support the Minister gave … Continue reading

Approach to health reform must be comprehensive not piecemeal

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] A probably apocryphal story is told about a country which had been decolonised following a long association with the UK and decided as a symbol of its independence that it would move from having all the traffic driving on the left British-style to driving on the right … Continue reading

Organ Donation and Transplants

[Speaking in the Seanad on SI 325 of 2012 – European Union (Quality and Safety of Human Organs Intended for Transplantation) Regulations 2012: Motion] I generally compliment the tone of the debate. I note, however, that it has been commented by one of my colleagues that Senator Daly, who deserves huge credit for his initiative … Continue reading

Charity sector regulation; medical cards; smoking legislation; Oireachtas bar

I welcome the increased scrutiny of the charity sector. It is important, however, that in increasing the level of such scrutiny, we do not put additional bureaucratic hurdles in place. That is the challenge the Minister for Justice and Equality is going to be obliged to meet. This is because, after a time, bureaucracies seek … Continue reading