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Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

Kenny resigns as FG leader

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will retire as Fine Gael leader, with effect from midnight on Wednesday. The Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is the 2/5 favourite to succeed Mr Kenny as party leader, while one time favourite, Housing Minister Simon Coveney is the 7/4 second favourite. Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin is the current 1/2 favourite to be Taoiseach after the next General Election, with Leo Varadkar next at 9/4. In a statement following the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Kenny said, “Last year I indicated I would not lead the Fine Gael party into the next General Election. I will continue to carry out my duties as party leader in an acting capacity, until my successor is elected through the Fine Gael Leadership election process. After 15 years at the helm, including two stints as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny wants the party executive to expedite hand over process by June 2 but stressed that he will …

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Drive to cut unemployment continues

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has pledged to strive towards a further reduction in unemployment in the year ahead. He was reacting to the latest figures showing unemployment in Ireland at its lowest rate since 2008. “In every month last year the unemployment level fell by more than 3,300 people. This is a really significant result for the many individuals and families who were blighted by the crash years, and shows that our policies to tackle unemployment are getting results. This Government intends to make even more progress in the year ahead,” said Minister Varadkar, who is one of the main contenders to take over from Enda Kenny as leader of Fine Gael. Unemployment is now at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2008, falling by 21.4% in the 12 months to the end of last year, a drop of 40,000 people to 147,400. Long-term unemployment also fell by 22%, a drop of 2,500 to 79,700. Significantly, the …

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Clare to gain from PRSI reforms

The PRSI reforms announced by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, will benefit small business in Clare, is has been stated. “Small businesses and the self employed sector are the back bone of our economy and are particularly essential in the future economic stability of rural Ireland, accordinig to Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen. “These tax equalisation measures will ensure that if a self-employed person’s business experiences a bad year or a few bad years and they don’t pay PRSI in those years, they can now protect or improve their right to a contributory State pension, and a pension for their spouse or child’s guardian should they die prematurely,” added the Care deputy. “This Government continues to support growing small businesses and promoting job creation, at a time when we see a 12.7 per cent decline in the live register figures here in Clare since this time last year. “The Fine Gael TD said the new PRSI …

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General election to get GP treatment?

CLARE doctors have not ruled out the possibility of fielding a candidate in the general election if Government does not approve a rescue package to save rural practices. Local GPs are prepared to consider entering the political arena if Health Minister Leo Varadkar doesn’t sign off on funding of an estimated €13.8 million nationally to safeguard the future viability of such practices. The possibility increases the pressure on Clare’s three Government TDs – Fine Gael deputies Pat Breen and Joe Carey and Labour’s Michael McNamara to deliver on previous commitments before a public meeting in Corofin Community Hall on Thursday, January 7 next. Almost 300 people packed into Corofin hall last month to support a campaign to reverse cuts imposed on rural practice over the last four years. The organisers secured a commitment from Deputies Breen, Carey, McNamara and Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley that they would attend the January 7 meeting. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Dr Liam Glynn claimed the Government has …

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Trained personnel to administer life-saving medicines

Trained members of the public, under new legislation , will in emergency situations, be allowed to administer life-saving rescue medicines. The new laws introduced by Health Minister Leo Varadkar covers glucagon for diabetic hypoglycaemia, adrenaline auto-injectors for severe allergic reactions and glyceryl trinitrate for angina. can been Between 2007 and 2013, 16,722 people died in Ireland after suffering a heart attack from multiple causes, 359 died following an acute asthma attack, 17 from hypoglycaemia, and four from severe allergic shock. Minister Varadkar said, “These are important new healthcare initiatives which have the potential to save lives. I am allowing organisations such as colleges, workplaces and sports venues to hold emergency ‘rescue’ medicines and arrange for staff to be trained in their use. Pharmacists will also be able to supply and administer these medicines to individuals in emergency circumstances. “These new arrangements do not in any way change the existing ‘good Samaritan’ rule which allows any member of the public to …

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Public consultation on National Maternity Strategy

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has launched the public consultation process for the new National Maternity Strategy. He has called on members of the public, and especially patients, to make their views known to the Department of Health about what they would like to see in the new strategy. The strategy will aim to ensure that women in Ireland have access to safe, high quality maternity care in a setting which is most appropriate to their needs. Minister Varadkar said, “ The maternity services have come under much public scrutiny recently. There is a clear need to provide reassurance in terms of safety, quality and choice, and I want to hear the views of patients and members of the public in these areas. “In recent weeks, I have heard some horrific accounts of first hand experiences, while others have been full of praise for the service they received. So we would like to find out what areas do we need …

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European investment in Primary Care

Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch have described the European Investment Bank’s decision to invest €70 million in 14 Primary Care centres as a breakthrough for investment in primary care and great news for patients around the country. The EIB said today it has approved a €70 million loan in principle to invest in the Public Private Partnership project for Primary Care Centres. This represents up to 50% of the finance required to deliver primary care centres at 14 locations in Ireland. The EIB will provide cheaper funding than would be otherwise available. The EIB Board has earmarked the Irish Primary Care Centres as the first projects in Ireland expected to benefit from financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investment, a new initiative seeking to support €315 billion of new investment across Europe and to be managed by the EIB. Since March 2011, 44 Primary Care centres have already opened …

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ALONE wants scrutiny of private nursing homes

ALONE, the charity that supports older people in need, has called on Health Minister, Leo Varadkar to ensure that a robust system is put in place to ensure all individual complaints made against nursing homes are independently investigated. A new Memorandum of Agreement between HIQA and the Ombudsman excludes private nursing homes where almost 18,000 older people reside. Sean Moynihan, chief executive Officer of ALONE said, “There are currently 700 allegations of mistreatment and bad practices at nursing and care homes in Ireland; this is a matter of grave concern to us and to older people generally. HIQA does not have the power to investigate individual complaints and as a result older people have been left with nowhere to turn”. Moynihan explained, “Currently vulnerable older people are being asked to complain to the organisation that they are alleging abuse against. The new Memorandum of Agreement between HIQA and the Ombudsman only protects the 20% of older people residing in public …

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