Lack of career structure in the area of medical research

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of Senator Sean Barrett’s private member’s Bill Universities (Development and Innovation) (Amendment) Bill 2015] I thank Senator Barrett for allowing me the privilege of seconding this worthy legislative proposal. If and when somebody sits down to write the history of this Seanad, he or she will acknowledge that … Continue reading

Problems in the structure of Irish medical education

14-05 John Speaking 2

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014] I will shamelessly take the opportunity of having the Minister held captive in the Chamber to make a cri de coeur to her in her new capacity as Minister for Education and Skills to seriously examine the structure and number of … Continue reading

Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014] I thank the Minister for his contributions to the education portfolio. I would like to state that one of the joys of my brief career here to date has been the opportunity to interact with the Minister. He has done, and … 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

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

Bahraini Doctors

Is there ongoing monitoring by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the situation of Bahraini medics, who now face their second trial having gone through a military trial, despite the Bahraini prosecutorial authorities having stated some time ago that the charges would likely be dropped? To refresh the memories of my … Continue reading

Call for debate with Minister for Education and Skills to discuss the strategy for higher education

Such a debate is necessary in light of this morning’s disappointing news that there has been a further attrition in the academic rankings of leading Irish universities. We reached a high water mark in this regard as recently as two years ago when two of our institutions were ranked in the world’s top 100, with … Continue reading

European Directive which may lead to the De-recognition of Irish Medical Schools

I ask the Leader to bring to the attention of the Ministers for Health and Education and Skills moves that are afoot in Europe as part of a harmonisation process of the recognition of medical schools to derecognise medical school programmes lasting fewer than six years. These moves reflect a traditionalist European model of medical … Continue reading

Patents (Amendment) Bill – the importance of research and innovation.

I have a keen interest in the issue of research, particularly medical research but also more generally. I have a very firm near ideological conviction that the future of the country, its salvation and the solution to many of our problems will be largely linked with investment and the appropriate steps we now take in … Continue reading