Seanad debates

Wednesday, 12 March 2003

10:30 am

Mary Henry (Independent)

I second Senator O'Toole's proposal that we take the report of the Information Commissioner first on the Order of Business. I am sure the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform is a fine lawyer, but this report was incredibly useful to me as a legislator. We are legislators, but we are also citizens and we are curtailing our own rights in the legislation that is being put through the House. This matter should be addressed with some urgency.

I would be grateful if the Leader would ask the Minister for Health and Children to come before the House to explain the number of task forces and commissions that have been set up. I can assist Senator Ryan by saying that, according to a friend of mine, the number was 103 at the last count, although several have been established since then. A serious problem is the lack of reporting from many of these task forces. We heard today about the task force on radiotherapy, which was expected to report well over a year ago. Members of the medical profession thought that the report was not released before the general election because a centre was not to be set up in Wexford, but that was nearly a year ago. We have heard also of the serious problems in St. Luke's Hospital. Some of these reports must be released. I ask the Leader to ask the Minister to explain why this is not happening. The hiatus between being set up and reporting is far too long.


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