Concerns over obstetrical care. Why is there no adult intensive care unit in any of our maternity hospitals?

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I propose that the Minister for Health or the Minister of State at the Department of Health should come to the House to brief us urgently on what is happening with obstetrical care. It is now more than two years since the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar … Continue reading

Portlaoise Hospital: Obstetric and Maternity Services


[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I ask the Leaders to draw the attention of the Minister to the state of our obstetric services and the staffing levels in them and possibly to arrange a debate. The tragic loss of the parents in Portlaoise deserves our sympathy. As a parent, I cannot feel … 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 must dream to escape nightmare; Statistics show that our beleaguered health system is the sick man of Europe


As published in The Sunday Independent on 27th October 2013 FRIENDS I have a dream today. I have a dream of an Irish health service where every woman, every man and every child could see the same doctor in the same hospital or clinic following the same reasonable wait if they have the same illness, … Continue reading

Strike action by junior doctors

[Speaking in the Seanad] I am delighted that my good friend and colleague, Senator Colm Burke, has mentioned the plight of junior hospital doctors. He has been an informed and authoritative champion of all manner of issues in the health service and I hope his party appreciates the expertise and diligence he brings to legislation … Continue reading

Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Bill

Legislation to provide for mandatory professional indemnity cover for certain medical practitioners. Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire. I am very supportive of this legislation which has a sort of resonance with some of the issues that have arisen in the context of the abortion debate. We believe the contingency for which we are legislating is … Continue reading

‘Emergency’ legislation & the liquidation of Anglo


All I can say at this hour of the morning is that I hope that poisoned chalice everybody refers to is full of Red Bull. Otherwise, we will have some difficulty getting through the next hour or so. There have been frequent references to how inadvisable it is to have people making critical decisions in … Continue reading

Shortage of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs)

I do not want to sound like a broken record and I am aware that the magnitude of the crisis involving non-consultant hospital doctors has exercised many of my colleagues in this and the other House over the past several weeks. However, I ask the Leader to bring to the attention of the Minister for … Continue reading

Consultants must welcome these new jobs

Published in the Sunday Independent 22 April, 2007 I BELIEVE that my colleagues in the Irish Hospital Consultants Association and the Irish Medical Organisation will be making a truly historic mistake if they elect not to co-operate with the appointments process for the recently advertised consultant posts. It was both reasonable and responsible for these … Continue reading