Tuesday, 8 October 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Jennifer Murnane O'Connor (Fianna Fail)
We have all been listening attentively to the budget debate. I want to speak about a podiatry service in Carlow that is provided by the HSE. Podiatry, or chiropody as I know it, involves diagnosis of disease and abnormalities of the foot and the lower limbs. I have received several telephone calls this week informing me of the proposed closure of the podiatry service in Carlow. This service is so good it is packed out all of the time and there are 100 people on its waiting list. The elderly people who contacted me are upset to hear of its closure, which I can understand. I have tabled a Commencement matter on this issue and I have contacted the Minister's office about it. As I said, this service is currently provided by the HSE but I have been told that legally the HSE is not obliged to provide it and that it is available from voluntary groups or a private provider, but that means people would have to pay for it. This is unacceptable and it hits the most vulnerable people in our communities. Today is budget day. I cannot stand over the closure of this service, which has given to the people of Carlow who need it. There is a good chance it will close but I will fight tooth and nail to ensure it does not.