Social and Educational Factors of Obesity

[Speaking in the Seanad during Statements on Tackling Obesity in Ireland] I welcome the Minister and I am sorry I was not in the House for his opening address. I welcome the priority he and the Government will give to this problem. Many of his medical school classmates, younger women and men than me, will … Continue reading

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

Last debate on tobacco plain packaging legislation before President signs it into law

Watch video here: [Speaking in the Seanad during debate on Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages] The Minister deserves great credit for taking this cause on board. As we have heard repetitively, but correctly, Ireland has been a leader in this area, first … Continue reading

Health Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad during a Fianna Fail Private Members Motion on Health Services] Again, I welcome the Minister. He is a young man and is about the same age as I was when I first became a consultant oncologist in Ireland’s medical service. I was full of enthusiasm and optimism and thought a problem … Continue reading

Nurses Retention Fee: Further hospital crisis imminent if NMBI don’t respond appropriately


Speaking in the Seanad during my commencement debate on “the urgent need for the Minister for Health to outline the contingency plan to prevent an effective shutdown of hospitals in the event of mass un-registering of nurses by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) on March 2nd.” Watch video of debate here: An … Continue reading

Increased Staff Numbers at HSE contrasting with Unacceptable Waiting Lists for Patients

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I am proposing an amendment to the Order of Business. I want him [Minister for Health] to explain how it is that two days ago we saw statistics indicating that 50,000 people, approximately 1.25% of the entire population, were on waiting lists in the health service for … Continue reading

Longer waiting lists due to health system failure

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] The longer one is in a place such as this, the more grounds one has for cynicism and despondency. As somebody who has consistently for 20 years espoused fundamental reform of our health system, who is prepared to blame successive health Ministers from the Labour Party, Fianna … Continue reading

Leo now stands at a major crossroads

Health Care Reform

[As published in the Sunday Independent on 14 September 2014] Minister can avoid Reilly’s fate to be the face of health reform instead of re-election puppet. There was a rich symbolism in the release of a video of former Health Minister James Reilly being drenched in the Ice-Bucket Challenge, in the same week that it … Continue reading