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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Senator


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Deputy Billy Kelleher

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Snippet Contents:

On a personal level I congratulate those who have been reappointed and those who have been elevated to the Cabinet. In the absence of the Taoiseach I congratulate him on the privileged position he now holds. With that privilege comes huge responsibilities and we do need to ensure that those responsibilities are discharged by all the members of the Government collectively to address some of the significant challenges we face in this country.
I wish to refer to health for a moment although the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, is not present. We have a situation in the public health system which can no longer be tolerated. Children with scoliosis now wait 18 months for an MRI scan to diagnose the fact that they have scoliosis. Children are waiting two years for surgery to address the life-limiting condition of scoliosis. That is what is happening at present. I speak directly to the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, because he is now the man in charge of both taxation and spending. We need to address the significant deficiencies in health. The Taoiseach spoke today about an Ireland for all, and that everybody should be given an opportunity but people with scoliosis face insurmountable challenges. I continually meet parents who are put to the pin of collar as they see the life slowly leave their children because of this condition. That is what is happening as I stand here today.
In this short contribution I urge that we make some progress towards addressing those issues. We hear the broad parameters set out about a Government that is caring, that is centrist and that will address the challenges and afford an opportunity to everybody but we should spare a thought for the challenges that face those children. In the October budget I urge the Minister at the very least to address the most vulnerable in society. They are primarily people who are on hospital waiting lists across the country.