New effective but expensive cancer treatments and tax changes for revenue raising for medical treatment

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I will give some good and some bad news and in the process ask the Deputy Leader and the representatives of the Government parties to communicate to the Minister for Health and possibly to schedule a debate in this Chamber on an issue that has become a … 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

Health issues related to cancer

[Speaking in the Seanad on the report of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee: ” How lifestyle changes can help reduce cancer rates”] I must admit I knew very little about the fact that this process was taking place or the consultations it involved. Consequently, I am approaching it as something of an ingenue. That said, … Continue reading

The need for regulation of sunbed usage

[Speaking on matters on the adjournment] I urge the Government to introduce legislation regulating the sunbed sector at the earliest opportunity. I am pleased to say the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, has graciously informed me that such legislation will be introduced very shortly. I will be taking a … Continue reading

Skin cancer and delays in dermatologist appointments

On a grey and overcast day, it may not seem appropriate to raise the issue of skin cancer, which is a topic I seem somewhat obsessed with. However, because I see on a daily basis tragedies that result from late diagnosis of skin cancers, I was extremely distressed when one of my dermatology colleagues called … Continue reading

Health (Amendment) Bill 2013

I welcome the Minister of State back to the House. When many of the minor health care reforms such as this, which are coming through the system in preparation hopefully for the big bang of the move to a fully insurance-based system, come up I find myself selectively approving of them through gritted teeth because … Continue reading

Private health insurers’ possible cartel-like activity

I hate to sound like a broken record because I raised this issue yesterday, but additional information has come to my attention which urgently needs to be brought to the Minister’s attention. An approved licensed drug, Ipilimumab, is the first to benefit substantial numbers of patients with a relatively uncommon cancer, malignant melanoma. It is, … Continue reading

Melanoma patients: unequal cover from health insurers and long waiting lists for dermatologists

I have an urgent request for the Leader to bring to the attention of the Minister for Health something that has been bubbling under the radar for several weeks, the uneven access to cancer treatments for patients with private health insurance, depending on which company they are with. This causes spin-off problems for the public … Continue reading

VAT on sun protection cream in spite of rising melanoma cases

Skin Cancer

I ask the Leader to bring it to the attention of the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance a matter that could be, at this late stage, rectified in the budget. I refer to the absurd situation whereby sun creams and sun blocks are levied with VAT at 23%. They are charged the … Continue reading