Thursday, 20 December 2018
Order of Business
Senator Joe O'Reilly raised the issue of small towns and businesses and he has been the champion of small towns. I will have the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Michael Ring, come to the House in the new year.
Cloisim an méid a bhí le rá ag an Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile mar gheall ar chúrsaí Gaeilge, go mórmhór Bliain na Gaeilge atá críochnaithe againn ach beidh sí ar ais arís le cúnamh Dé. Beidh díospóireacht faoin Ghaeilge leis an Aire Stáit nua sa bhliain úr.
Senator McFadden raised the issue of the HSE pursuing cancer patients. It is absolutely wrong that the HSE would chase and go after people at this time of the year, especially cancer patients who are in the course of treatment. I call on the HSE to desist from this practice. I am aware the HSE has this service outsourced to a debt collection agency, but for those with family members who have undergone cancer treatment, the last thing they want to do is engage with debt collectors. It is bad enough to have an illness and go through treatment without being chased and harassed in this manner. I hope the HSE will listen to what we have said today.
Senator Mullen raised the issue of the pembrolizumab drug. The Minster has made a decision on that and Professor Michael Barry has had a very successful role in national pharmacoeconomics. The processes involved are being fulfilled.
We will not go back over the Local Government Bill. Senator Murnane O'Connor spoke of the barriers faced by returning emigrants. The Government has made changes and will make more changes. It is important to welcome people back home too.
Senator Clifford-Lee also referred to the Courts Service and, to be fair, under this Government we have seen 31 courtrooms refurbished at a cost of €2.2 billion, with more to come.
Senator Paddy Burke raised the issue of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. That is an important issue and we will have a debate on it in the new year.