A little box ticked for an election promise but a long way to go

Eamonn Farrell - Photocall Ireland

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill 2015) I welcome the extension of the provisions to the over-70s. It is overdue and while it is, as the Minister of State has said, a step along the road, it is a very long road and a lot needs to … Continue reading

Health Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad during a Fianna Fail Private Members Motion on Health Services] Again, I welcome the Minister. He is a young man and is about the same age as I was when I first became a consultant oncologist in Ireland’s medical service. I was full of enthusiasm and optimism and thought a problem … Continue reading

Inhumane Waiting Lists and Cancer Care Levels

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I ask the Leader to bring to the attention of the Minister for Health, and to consider having a debate on, the promised reform of our health system. It was one of the key planks of Fine Gael and the Labour Party before the last general election … Continue reading

Statements on the current state for our health system, to Minister Varadkar

Health Care Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad during ‘Statements on Health Services’ debate] I welcome the Minister. I wish him the best in his efforts to try to reform the health service. The Minister does not need my advice in this regard but I urge him to remain firm and steadfast in respect of the national children’s hospital. … Continue reading

Longer waiting lists due to health system failure

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] The longer one is in a place such as this, the more grounds one has for cynicism and despondency. As somebody who has consistently for 20 years espoused fundamental reform of our health system, who is prepared to blame successive health Ministers from the Labour Party, Fianna … 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

Health Insurance (Reform) Bill

Health Care Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad] It is 21 years since I returned to Ireland. At that time, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the health system was in fundamental need of reform. The key problems that were obvious to me were the general poor quality, extraordinary inefficiency and highly unequal nature of the health system. … Continue reading

Health Identifiers Bill

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Health Identifiers Bill 2013] I am broadly in support of the idea of enhanced patient identification as a means of improving safety. There is no doubt that when one has as internally discordant set of health services as we have in this country that it is … 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