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

Introducing my new legislation to tackle the threats of defamation cases by public bodies and to allow more open and healthy criticism of public bodies

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of a Bill which I published – Defamation (Amendment) Bill 2014] In summary, the aim of my Bill is to provide for limiting the damages certain public bodies may receive in defamation actions so as to protect public discourse from public bodies using the resources of the State, … 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

Legislation for free GP care for under 6s


[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill 2014] It is obvious that circumstances have changed somewhat since this Bill first saw the light of day in a context when radical changes were taking place in the provision of medical cards. We had a new Bill which, taken on … Continue reading

HSE – wasteful expenditure and silencing of medical journalists

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I request the Deputy Leader to get a commitment from the Department of Health that a report card will be submitted to us on the results of this very expensive – and I believe utterly wasteful – management consultancy exercise that Professor Robert S. Kaplan conducted on … 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

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

Huntington’s Disease patients

[Speaking in the Seanad during Matters on the Adjournment with Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Kathleen Lynch] I thank the Minister of State for taking this Adjournment matter. I want to tell her about a particularly troubling illness called Huntington’s disease on which I am sure she has accumulated some information. … 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

Cancer patients – medical cards and public-care costs

I would like the Leader to get formal clarification from the Minister for Health of the status of public patients in hospital who do not have medical cards. To my shame I was unaware of the financial and social service support lacuna in which these patients find themselves with daily charges for inpatient care to … Continue reading