Wednesday, 2 June 2004
Health (Amendment) Bill 2004: Report and Final Stages.
My one concern, which is shared by the Irish Medical Organisation, is that on the health boards at present the medical profession is well represented and doctors have an ethical duty to act as advocates for their patients. We would hope when the new structures are put in place that the Minister will ensure an adequate representation from the medical profession. As advocates for our patients we consider this particularly important.
I thank the Minister of State and his Department for their input to the Bill. I thank also Members on the other side for their input. I trust the Bill, when enacted, will be fruitful. I take on board and acknowledge the remarks of Senator Henry and the remarks on the previous day of Senator Feighan. We are all interested in seeing the democratic balance included in the Bill and in the regulation that will follow. To some extent that issue has been addressed.
There are some positive aspects to this Bill. One aspect we have debated is that of county councillors not serving on health boards. I have stated here many times that is not advantageous to the provision of a proper health care system. Local councillors have had a great input. I am opposed to the Bill on those grounds.
I wish to advise the House that, arising from the inadvertent casting of a vote, the result of the division as shown on the display board has been amended with the agreement of the tellers for both sides. The amended result, which I will now announce, will appear in the Journal of Proceedings.
The Dail Divided:
For the motion: 30 (Eddie Bohan, Cyprian Brady, Michael Brennan, Peter Callanan, Margaret Cox, Brendan Daly, John Dardis, Timmy Dooley, Camillus Glynn, John Gerard Hanafin, Maurice Hayes, Mary Henry, Brendan Kenneally, Michael Kitt, Terry Leyden, Don Lydon, Martin Mansergh, John Minihan, Paschal Mooney, Tom Morrissey, Pat Moylan, Francis O'Brien, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Mary O'Rourke, Ann Ormonde, Kieran Phelan, Shane Ross, Jim Walsh, Mary White, Diarmuid Wilson)
Against the motion: 12 (James Bannon, Paul Bradford, Fergal Browne, Paddy Burke, Ulick Burke, Paul Coghlan, Noel Coonan, Frank Feighan, Michael Finucane, Brian Hayes, Joe McHugh, Sheila Terry)
Tellers: Tá, Senators Minihan and Moylan; Níl, Senators U. Burke and Feighan.
Question declared carried.