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Ó Caoláin calls for publication of North-South Health study

30 September, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has criticised Health & Children Minister Mary Harney for agreeing with Northern Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to suppress the North-South Feasibility Report on Co-operation in Health which was completed in 2009.

Deputy Ó Caoláin, who is raising the issue today at the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mícheál Martin, said:

“On 14 September in the Assembly the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Michael McGimpsey, stated that he and the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney had agreed not to publish nor to take forward the North-South Feasibility Report on Co-operation in Health.

“This study recommends much more extensive co-operation in health services, including providing specialist surgical procedures on an island-wide basis, surgery that people at present have to leave Ireland to access.

“The report also calls for the development on a joint basis of a service for those organ transplants that are less common and may require the critical mass of the combined population on the island to be sustainable.

“These and other proposals would make a real difference for patients and improve our health services. While co-operation is taking place, there is much more that can be done and the Irish Government should be pressing for this.

“Instead, Minister Harney seems to have happily agreed with Minister McGimpsey to suppress this report. The report should now be published and its recommendations should be implemented.” ENDS

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