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

Unprecedented Meltdown in the Health Service

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I know that I am beginning to sound like a broken record and that the attention of many in the Oireachtas has been distracted by other events which will take place in the first quarter of 2016. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there … Continue reading

Delayed Access to Tests for Detecting Genetic Breast Cancer

Obviously, substantial attention has been paid to the issue of breast cancer genetics in recent days. I would like the Leader to bring to the attention of the Minister for Health the current circumstances that pertain with respect to genetic testing for patients in Ireland. Most breast cancers are not genetic. A small minority of … Continue reading

Generic drugs, pharmaceuticals, reform of the health service.

[Speaking on the Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Bill 2013] … I speak from the perspective of having worked in the health service. The issue of drugs is deadly simple. The Government should pass a law to make it mandatory to use generic drugs unless there is a specific doctor-ordered exception to the rule, … Continue reading

Expenditure on public relations consultants in the health system

I am not certain whether I wish to ask for a debate or clarification in respect of a particular matter. I refer to an issue which has been of great concern to me for some time, namely, the amount of money spent on public relations contracts at all levels – from hospitals up to the … Continue reading

Call for a debate on health policy reform

This should not be another of the very worthy but piecemeal debates we have had on individual pieces of legislation, which could be broadly construed as part of an overall agenda for reform, but I believe they are not. The fundamentals of reform of our health system were contained in the programme for Government synthesised … Continue reading

Restriction of Choice of Hospital for Public Patients

I would like .. to seek clarification from the Minister for Health on two issues, the first of which relates to an emerging policy of public patients being stripped of their choice of public hospital. That is occurring in this country. It has serious implications for many citizens who would like aspects of their care … Continue reading

Speaking on the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill

Having worked on the fringe and, in recent years, directly in the academic medical and academic scientific sectors for the past 19 years, I have a certain perspective on this matter. It is that we have not supported the sector well and that any deficiencies that exist within the sector cry out for reform of … Continue reading

We have the smallest number of doctors per head of population for any specialty one cares to mention


Senator Norris alluded to the fact that the Greeks raised an army of 300 men who stood shoulder to shoulder at Thermopylae and defeated 20,000 Persian intruders. This is relevant to our current situation and I am not referring to any unpleasantness with Iran or anywhere else – I am referring to the health service. … Continue reading

Priorities within Public Sector Reform and Cutbacks

While listening to a radio interview the other evening I heard the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, in somewhat of a Freudian slip, refer to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform as the Minister for Howlin. I must admit that I am howling now myself about something that has been brought to … Continue reading