Thursday, 7 October 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Thalidomide Victims Compensation
Again, I will bring the comments of the Deputy back to the Minister. I would like to reiterate that the Government is committed to the continued support of the health and personal social services needs of Irish thalidomide survivors. There is empathy. It is very difficult. There are a number of cases concerning thalidomide before the High Court. It is not possible to comment on matters that are sub judice. Maybe that is a contributing factor in the context of why a meeting has not taken place. As the Deputy said, there are ways around that.
The current supports provided by the Government to survivors, including monthly payments for life and medical cards, are provided on an administrative basis, regardless of means. Access to the full range of health and personal services is ongoing. I assure the House that work is under way, as I said, in the Department to bring forward legislative proposals for health and personal social services for Irish survivors of thalidomide on a statutory basis.
I again thank the Deputy for raising this very difficult issue. The survivors have shown massive resilience and, as he said, courage. As a Government, we will try to do everything we can. There are probably issues that are outside my control, but I will bring the matter to the attention of the Minister.