Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion
Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion

9:00 am

Photo of Michael HartyMichael Harty (Clare, Independent)
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The purpose of this meeting is to allow the Minister and his officials and the interim director general of the HSE and her staff to update members on key healthcare issues. On behalf of the committee, I welcome the Minister for Health, Deputy Simon Harris, who is accompanied by the Ministers of State, Deputies Catherine Byrne and Jim Daly. From the Department of Health, I welcome Mr. Jim Breslin, Secretary General. I also welcome the new interim director general of the HSE, Ms Anne O'Connor, who is accompanied by Mr. Liam Woods, Mr. Dean Sullivan and Dr. Peter McKenna.

I draw the attention of witnesses to the fact that by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to the committee. However, if they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable.

Any opening statements made to the committee may be published on its website after this meeting.

Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.

Any opening statements that have been made to the committee may be published on its website after the meeting. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.

I invite the Minister to make his opening statement.