Dáil debates

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-out: Statements


10:05 am

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

A lady contacted me who is in desperate need of gastric sleeve surgery. She saved for four years for the surgery in Turkey. She forwarded to me a letter from her surgeon which states that this surgery is time-sensitive and necessary. I contacted the Department of Health and was informed that only a liaison officer can tell her, when she returns to Dublin Airport, whether she is exempt from hotel quarantine. She cannot afford the cost or time involved with quarantining for two weeks in a hotel on her return. She desperately needs this surgery. Will the Minister establish a pre-clearance system so people who travel for medical reasons will know in advance if they have to hotel quarantine? It is a reasonable request.

Cork University Maternity Hospital currently only vaccinates pregnant women who are over 30 weeks, far behind what other maternity hospitals in the State are doing. Why is there a delay? Will the Minister commit to contacting the hospital and supporting it in fast-tracking vaccinations for pregnant women?

For the past month, I have been contacting the Minister’s office, the HSE and others to find out on behalf of a snooker hall whether it can open for business. The owners do not when they are due to reopen. They do not know if they fall under gyms or indoor hospitality. There are other businesses out there who are confused, want to follow the guidelines and adhere to restrictions but we need a dedicated phone line for businesses to ask these questions and get clarity. Where does this snooker hall, and others like it, fall? Will the Minister establish a dedicated phone line to support the business community?


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