Call for Kerry pa­tients to have surgery in other hos­pi­tals

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - VISAGE BEAUTY SALON -

THERE are many peo­ple in pain, in­clud­ing 124 peo­ple who have ap­point­ments for or­thopaedic surgery at Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Kerry that are not be­ing ful­filled, In­de­pen­dent Deputy Danny Healy-Rae told the Dáil.

“Many more are wait­ing to be as­sessed and are in pain,” he said.

“I ask the Taoiseach to ask the HSE and man­agers to spread the work around and make ap­point­ments in Cork, where there are two hos­pi­tals, Lim­er­ick and Dublin.”

In re­sponse, Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar said the first pri­or­ity is to have the­atres back up and run­ning in Tralee Hos­pi­tal. “I will pass on to the HSE his sug­ges­tion that pa­tients be trans­ferred to other hos­pi­tals, whether in Cork, Croom or Lim­er­ick, if there is spare ca­pac­ity,” he said.

The need for ac­tion on spi­ralling in­sur­ance costs that are crip­pling many Kerry busi­nesses was high­lighted in the Dáil by Fianna Fáil Deputy John Bras­sil.

“A con­sis­tent ques­tion I am asked in con­stituency clin­ics and when I meet the peo­ple of Kerry is: ‘Why are in­sur­ance costs so high?’,” he asked. “They find the costs very dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend. They also ask why we, as leg­is­la­tors, can­not do some­thing about it.”

Why are Ir­ish peo­ple pay­ing up to four times more than our UK coun­ter­parts for mi­nor in­juries such as whiplash, he asked. “I be­lieve the very high com­pen­sa­tion lev­els that are avail­able in this coun­try are at­tract­ing peo­ple in­clined to en­gage in fraud and some­thing needs to be done about that also.”

Deputy Bras­sil said he be­lieved there is a will­ing­ness in the Dáil, once and for all, to tackle this scourge. “The busi­ness peo­ple, home­own­ers and law-abid­ing cit­i­zens of this coun­try de­serve fair in­sur­ance rates,” he said. DE­LAYS in the pay­ments of Ar­eas of Nat­u­ral Con­straint (ANC) to farm­ers in Kerry were raised in the Dáil by Deputy Michael Healy-Rae. “I came across five farm­ers whose ar­eas of nat­u­ral con­straint, ANC, pay­ments were held up. These are peo­ple who dili­gently do their pa­per­work and do ev­ery­thing right. I am not crit­i­cis­ing the ex­cel­lent peo­ple work­ing in the De­part­ment who are do­ing their best.”

In re­sponse Min­is­ter of State An­drew Doyle said he be­lieved more than 90% of the ANC pay­ments have been made but there may be some tech­ni­cal de­lays. “The green low-car­bon agri-en­vi­ron­ment scheme, GLAS, is the next one due for pay­ment with which there have been prob­lems,” he said. “In the past two years con­sid­er­able work has been done to deal with some of the tech­ni­cal is­sues more ef­fi­ciently. The feed­back at the Na­tional Plough­ing Cham­pi­onships was that farm­ers were fairly sat­is­fied that if they had a con­cern, it was be­ing an­swered as quickly as pos­si­ble. AF­TER some dif­fi­cult years for An Garda Síochána, the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence is be­gin­ning to re­turn un­der the new Garda Com­mis­sioner, Drew Har­ris, and morale is be­gin­ning to lift in the force it­self, Fianna Fáil Deputy John Bras­sil told the Dáil.

How­ever, he said num­bers are still not at the de­sired level and in their ab­sence the fa­cil­ity of over­time is needed. “In­tro­duc­ing a blan­ket ban for the re­main­ing months of 2018 is a blunt in­stru­ment that could have dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects,” he said. “I ask all par­ties con­cerned, the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice and Equal­ity, the Government and the Garda Com­mis­sioner, to re­view and re­verse this de­ci­sion and to al­low the con­fi­dence grow­ing in the force to con­tinue.”

In re­sponse, the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice & Equal­ity, Char­lie Flana­gan said the Garda bud­get is a mat­ter pri­mar­ily for the Garda Com­mis­sioner him­self.

“The Garda bud­get is of the or­der of €1.6 bil­lion,” he said. “Out of that, less than €100 mil­lion is the bill for the over­time bud­get. The Garda Com­mis­sioner said in his ini­tial pub­lic com­ment three weeks ago that he was go­ing to look at the Garda bud­get. That is what he is do­ing. I keep in reg­u­lar con­tact with him and with the Garda rep­re­sen­ta­tive as­so­ci­a­tions. I look for­ward to com­plet­ing the on­go­ing am­bi­tious pro­gramme for re­cruit­ment in An Garda Síochána.” THERE is noth­ing wrong with pro­mot­ing al­co­hol in mod­er­a­tion, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae told the Dáil. Speak­ing on the Pub­lic Health (Al­co­hol Bill) 2015, he said. “To say it is wrong for sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions to get ad­ver­tis­ing spon­sor­ship from drinks groups is more rub­bish,” he said.

“If the drinks in­dus­try has money, wants to ad­ver­tise and is will­ing to sup­port a lo­cal club or team, I see noth­ing in the world wrong with that. It is per­fectly above board. It is wrong to try to make that il­le­gal. It would be like throw­ing the baby out with the bath­wa­ter. I do not agree with it. That has been the prac­tice for many years. If young peo­ple who are of an age want to have a drink and act re­spon­si­bly, there is noth­ing wrong with that. If they want to join the lo­cal pi­o­neers and be a mem­ber of the pi­o­neer as­so­ci­a­tion, that is fine too. Peo­ple have choices to make in life.”

If the link is bro­ken be­tween sports spon­sor­ship and the drinks in­dus­try and those in­volved in the al­co­hol busi­ness, where will the money come from to fund lo­cal clubs that have been re­ly­ing on spon­sor­ship from drinks ad­ver­tis­ing, he asked.

“Who is go­ing to make up the short­fall? There is noth­ing wrong with ad­ver­tis­ing al­co­hol. It is the same as ad­ver­tis­ing any other prod­uct. It is not an il­le­gal prod­uct. There is noth­ing wrong with al­co­hol in mod­er­a­tion.”

Deputy John Bras­sil

Deputy Danny Healy-Rae

Deputy Michael Healy Rae

Con­cern at de­lays in pay­ments to Kerry farm­ers

Noth­ing wrong with pro­mot­ing al­co­hol in mod­er­a­tion

Call to re­view over­time ban by Garda Com­mis­sioner

Spi­ralling in­sur­ance claims crip­pling Kerry busi­nesses

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