Maternity Services

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I would like clarification from the Deputy Leader on a few issues. They are really the same issue, but they have different ramifications. As Members may remember, I introduced legislation earlier in this term which would have prevented Government agencies suing anybody, presumably including each other, in … Continue reading

The need for the MS drug Famprya to remain funded by the State

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I would be grateful if the Deputy Leader could find out something for me. I was very distressed to find out from a patient, in correspondence I received this morning, that the drug fampyra, which has been shown to improve the ability of patients with multiple sclerosis … Continue reading

Regulation for the use of tanning sunbeds

[Speaking in the Seanad during Committee Stage of the Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill] Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Aire ar an Bhille. It is great news that the Bill has passed. In addition to the practical implications of protecting young people against the harmful effects of unnecessary ultraviolet radiation, it gives us … Continue reading

Regulation of Sunbeds Usage

[Speaking in the Seanad during Committee Stage of the Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill 2013] There were 400 newly diagnosed cases of malignant melanoma in Ireland in 1998. That number had increased dramatically to 800 by 2008 and to 1,100 by 2010. Other kinds of skin cancer which are less life-threatening, but are still life-threatening and … Continue reading

HSE hospital figures; Medical Cards; HSE threatening legal action

Eamonn Farrell - Photocall Ireland

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to ask the Minister for Health to attend the House today to address the issues that arose with respect to the letter by the Irish emergency medicine trainees that courageously highlighted some glaring deficiencies and some misperceptions that … Continue reading

We need firm action to solve healthcare crisis, not another pointless, costly report; Reform of the system is being blocked by civil servants, politicians and quango-crats

Health Care Reform

As published in the Sunday Independent on 13 October 2013 WHILE there has been appropriate criticism of the standard of clinical care delivered to the late Savita Hallapanavar by frontline professionals in Galway, another group of people bear substantial responsibility for her tragic death and that of her unborn child. These are Brendan Howlin, Michael … Continue reading

Regulation of Lobbyists

Speaking in the Seanad on the Register of Lobbyists Legislation: motion (Link to text of motion: ) I am pleased this motion has been introduced. It does not require amendment and deserves our support. I am not sure if it was inspired by events several weeks ago when it was reported that a high … Continue reading

Medical Research -proposed changes to ethical research committees

I request the Leader to consider having a debate on medical and biomedical research, which is a very important sector of the economy. Not only does it increase the standards of science and medicine, and the standards of research, but it also improves clinical outcomes for patients and has positive and beneficial effects for the … Continue reading

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill


I will broadly support the Bill while taking on board all of the reservations raised by Senator Barrett. The only hopeful way to consider this legislation is to view it strictly as an interim measure until the big bang of major reform into a universal, single-tier insurance-based health care system occurs. I hope it occurs … Continue reading

HSE restricting surgery referrals

I want to draw the attention of the Members of the House to an article in the front of today’s Irish Examiner entitled, “HSE to restrict 20 most common surgeries”, which states that access to hip replacements and skin operations will be restricted. I would be insistent that the Leader would ask the Minister to … Continue reading