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Craughwell, Gerard P.

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Senator Gerard P. Craughwell

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Order of Business
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As someone who many would say has a big heart, I also have a tricky heart and as I have had to use the ambulance service on a number of occasions I know that lying in bed waiting for an ambulance is not something I relish. As stated yesterday in this House, were I living in rural Ireland I would probably not be alive today. I would welcome a debate on ambulance services. I am particularly concerned not about misuse of ambulances by people but misuse of them by the health service in terms of the number of patients on ambulance trolleys in our accident and emergency departments, which leads to the immobilisation and unavailability of the ambulance service.
I have previously raised the issue of rent control in the House. The importance of rent control is now more obvious in the context of the issue of homelessness now in the public domain. I mentioned some days ago that I was conducting a survey across county councils. To date, more than 70% of the respondents have asked that rent controls be implemented. There is something fundamentally wrong with people profiteering from the housing crisis in Ireland. In my opinion this is a societal rather than Government problem. At the same time, the line Minister should come to this House for a debate on the issue. I call on the Leader to organise a debate on the housing crisis with the line Minister tomorrow.