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Tag Archives: Dr Michael Harty

GPs split on the Eight

A SLIGHT majority of Clare GPs are in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment on the eve of Friday’s national referendum. While national opinion polls have shown a lead for the Yes side in the lead-up to the referendum, local GPs are almost equally divided on this question, with 11 in favour and nine against. According to a Clare Champion survey, seven local doctors who responded will be exercising their right to apply a conscientious objection to delivering a termination. It also emerged that of the 20 GPs surveyed, none were consulted by the Health Service Executive or the Department of Health about how terminations will be carried out in their practice. The Minister for Health Simon Harris has consistently stated he would like to see a GP-led service for the termination of pregnancy, if introduced in the country. Eleven GPs who were surveyed agreed with the idea of unrestricted permission to terminate a pregnancy up to 12 weeks, without …

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Candidates in election mode

THE expected return of Dr John Hillery as a possible candidate for the next general election is adding spice to the political manoeuvrings that have stepped up a gear across all parties. Although the resignation of Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald on Tuesday prevented a Christmas snap election, which no politician or voter wanted, all prospective candidates are now firmly in general election mode. The extraordinary political events of the past week suggest that, unless Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin add new safeguards to their confidence and supply agreement, which was severely dented over the Department of Justice emails debacle, a general election could be called early next year. Fine Gael, which leads the beleaguered, minority-led Government, moved quickly to select its two outgoing Clare deputies, Minister of State Pat Breen and Joe Carey, at its selection convention on Monday night. While Senator Martin Conway, who was one of the three nominations, withdrew at the last minute to …

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Clare hurlers playing for Limerick?

DR Michael Harty has told Dáil Éireann that Clare would lose inter-county hurlers, if parts of the county were subsumed into Limerick. He was speaking on a Private Members’ Local Authority Boundaries Review debate on Tuesday, which looked at similar issues in Cork. “Anyone familiar with Clare hurling will know that most of our senior team, which has been successful in recent years, come from that area. I am sure people in those areas would not swap the saffron and blue for the green of Limerick, although I am originally from Limerick myself. These are the issues that are important to people when a boundary change is proposed and they are not to be underestimated,” the Independent Clare TD told Dáil Éireann. “Such was the opposition to this proposal that it was not politically possible to pursue it and the then Minister, Phil Hogan, decided not to act on the annexation proposal. A group called Clare Against the Boundary Change …

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Dr Harty condemns “Manchester slaughter’

Clare TD Michael Harty has condemned “in the strongest possible words the indescribable slaughter of the Innocents in Manchester last night.” The West Clare GP said, “To kill and injure teenagers and children on a happy night out at a concert is beyond comprehension. It goes without saying that no cause, no ideology can excuse this outrageous attack on the young and vulnerable. “As a doctor, I am very well aware of the grief and pain suffered by the loved ones of those who die in horrific circumstances. I am equally aware of the slow, difficult and sometimes incomplete recovery of those who survive. They are all in our thoughts today as they battle for life and hope in the face of this atrocity.” The independent Deputy, Dr Harty spoke of the close links between Ireland and County Clare and the city of Manchester. “Over the decades, many of our sons and daughters emigrated there. They found work and a …

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Harty deplores Fair Deal extension delay

THE Government’s progress on extending the Fair Deal Scheme to Home Care is proceeding at a snail’s pace, Clare Deputy Dr Michael Harty has claimed. The independent TD has, however, welcomed the decision by Helen McEntee, Minister for Older People, to launch a public consultation process at the end of May. “I welcome this public consultation as it is important to seek the opinions of all those who have views on the subject including old people themselves. I also welcome the fact that the department commissioned the Health Research Board to undertake a review of the home care systems that are in place in four other European countries. However, long experience in the health service has taught me that reports upon reports can merely act as a delaying tactic. “I don’t doubt the minister’s assurance that Government considers that a standalone funding scheme, designed for Home Care is needed but I don’t detect any real sense of urgency in her …

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Dr Harty attacks HSE on Grace case

Clare TD, Dr. Michael Harty launched a stinging attack on the HSE in the Dáil on their handling of the “Grace” case. “The Grace case illustrates a lack of proper governance, accountability and transparency within the HSE. It amply illustrates the dysfunctionality that exists in the HSE.” “HSE management has lost the trust and respect of the general public, which depends on it to provide good governance and good leadership,” he said. Dr Harty said the Grace case illustrates what happens in the HSE when a problem is found. “First, there is a failure to recognise that a problem exists even though it is readily identifiable. The HSE continues to compound the error when it has been identified. It denies that the problem exists even when whistleblowers have uncovered the shortcomings. It sets up commissions of inquiry – and in this case two commissions of inquiry – and then delays the publication for several years on the grounds of due …

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HSE accused of failing to plan for GP crisis

Clare Deputy Dr Michael Harty has pledged to raise the Shannondoc cutbacks in the county at this week’s session of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health. Dr Harty has acknowledged the changes to the Shannondoc out-of-hours services in Kilrush, Ennistymon and Killaloe are a reduction to the medical cover for patients. He claimed these changes are another manifestation of the mismanagement of the health service and highlighted the failure of the HSE to anticipate and plan for the medical manpower crisis which faces general practice and the wider health service. He said all out-of-hours services are experiencing difficulty in finding locums to supplement local GP rosters. “The working commitment and conditions of service required to work in single handed rural practice are too onerous. Consequently, GP positions are not being filled when they become vacant. The contract underpinning these working conditions is in need of urgent review and renegotiation. “Newly qualified GPs and established GPs are emigrating to work in …

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Harty raises sex offenders issue in Dáil

CLARE Independent TD Dr Michael Harty has raised, under a Dáil question, the issue of accessing a national sex offenders’ register. Dr Harty asked Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald “the reason there is not a national sex offenders register available for inspection; and if she will make a statement on the matter.” The minister outlined that gardaí may disclose to the public information regarding a convicted sex offender “where it is considered that such person poses a risk”. In her full statement, Minister Fitzgerald said, “I can advise the deputy that the relevant legislation in this regard is contained in Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001, which makes persons convicted of a range of sexual offences subject to notification requirements. All offenders who are subject to the notification requirements are monitored by the Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit (SOMIU) at the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The unit is supported by Garda Inspectors …

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