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Health warning should be attached to legislation rushed through by government

15 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has this weekend questioned Minister Harney’s efforts to rush through the Health Bill during the Dáil and Seanad’s final sitting next week.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The loophole that has been found in the existing Health (Corporate Bodies) Act 1961 to ensure the legal status of bodies that deliver health services on behalf of the Minister must of course be addressed.

“It is the timing and speed of putting the Bill through the Dáil and Seanad which is questionable. If the existing Act has such significant legal flaws surely rushing it through before giving the Dáil and Seanad adequate opportunity to review heightens the probability of further legislative shortcomings?

“I also believe as a general principle of Oireachtas life TDs and Senators should all be extremely wary of government rushing through any legislation on the final week of a term sitting.

“However of even greater concern are the key sections of the Bill which are clearly designed to facilitate government’s plan to allocate land at public hospital sites to developers of private for-profit hospitals.

“Sinn Féin will oppose legislation that facilitates the Government plan to 'co-locate' private for-profit hospitals on public hospital sites.

“This government policy, championed by Mary Harney, will reinforce the two-tier hospital system and cannot provide the additional public hospital beds that are so badly needed.” CRÍOCH

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