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Oireachtas all-party Cochlear Implant group agrees to keep up the pressure for funding

22 May, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

The first meeting of the Oireachtas all-party group on Cochlear Implant met this afternoon (Wednesday).

It was very well attended. 17 TDs and Seanadóirí took part or sent one of their staffers.

A number of others indicated their support for the campaign but were unable to attend because of other Oireachtas commitments.

The meeting was chaired by Louth TD Gerry Adams and addressed by two parents from the Happy New Ear campaign, Danielle Ryan and Amie O Connor.

The families also met Minister Lynch today.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking after the meeting said:

“I want to thank all of the TDs and Seanadóirí who attended today’s meeting and the families for briefing us on recent developments. The families are meeting Minister Lynch.

“Good progress has been made recently and a business proposal to provide bilateral cochlear implants will be presented to the Minister by Beaumont hospital in June.

“The business plan calls for €7 million capital investment and annual running costs of €4 million. This will address the 200 children who are expected to take up this opportunity.

“The business plan is based on a British model which will have the children divided into groups with the largest, Group 1, containing 65 children aged under five years. It is expected that it will take 18 months – two years to clear the back log of children.

“Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin told the meeting that the Health Committee will be holding its quarterly meeting with the Minister for Health on Thursday and that this issue is down on the agenda for discussion. He asked the other party representatives to join in the discussion in support of the children.

“The meeting acknowledged that this is a winnable campaign but that the focus must be on keeping up the pressure and delivering the funding and business plan as early as possible.”

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