CLARE Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty has been appointed chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health.
Reflecting on his appointment, Dr Harty said he stood for election in Clare with a commitment to improve services in rural Ireland and to try to make some positive contribution to improving our health system.
“Health is one of the greatest challenges facing our country at the present time. As a general practitioner, I am acutely aware of the difficulties encountered by our people as they try to grapple with the shortcomings of the health services,” he said.
Deputy Harty continued, “I hope this committee will have an important role in shaping policy and legislation that will positively impact on our health services in the coming years. Because of the makeup of the new Dáil, committees have an opportunity to influence government as never before. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the committee and promise them and all who are invited to attend our meetings that I will exercise my role with fairness, impartiality and courtesy. At the same time, I anticipate a busy schedule so the work of the committee must be undertaken with drive and efficiency.
“I also look forward to working with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, who in his brief period in office, has demonstrated a sense of urgency and a commitment to doing things better in the interests of patients. My primary concern is for the patient, the person on the receiving end of the health services. Structures, systems and budgets are crucial but in the end we will be judged on whether or not we have made some useful contribution to improving the patient’s life.”