Thursday, 28 November 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I congratulate and thank the 1,500 people in County Roscommon who marched last Saturday to try to get the issue with the Irish Wheelchair Association resolved in Cuisle. I hope that we can work together with all the stakeholders to get this resolved.
Senator Gavan rightly raised the issue regarding University Hospital Limerick. I was in this situation. The Senator talked about Fine Gael not doing any work. Since we have been in government in 2011, we have made significant changes in healthcare. I was a victim of scaremongering and a political football regarding Roscommon. People said that people would die and that the place would be closed. Hundreds of people are alive today due to the air ambulance. Roscommon hospital is a model for smaller hospitals around the country. A national inpatient experience survey was done in Roscommon hospital and it got a 98% approval rating which I want to put on the record because many people and media outlets had a race to the bottom. Many good things are happening in the health service. Senator Gavan was absolutely right to raise some of the bad things but sometimes I think we lose sight of the great experiences that people have of our health system around the country. It can improve and will never be perfect. Fine Gael in government has done much to change the way that we deliver healthcare throughout the country. I am very proud of that.
On a lighter note, more than five years ago, our colleague, Senator Ned O'Sullivan raised the issue of seagulls having lost the run of themselves. There was great mirth. I was a victim of that today. I was on Grafton Street with a sandwich and I was mugged by a flock of seagulls.