‘On The Record’
The Taoiseach: The Minister of State has done here is to look at the situation and, if one likes, take a stocktaking view of what has happened and needs to happen. It is important to say to Deputy Martin that the Government is fully committed to delivering free GP care in its first term of office, as set out in the programme for Government. No decision has been taken to go back on that. It is important to remember that, ultimately, the entire population will be covered by a free GP service.
When the Minister of State, Deputy White, came before the Cabinet sub-committee dealing with health recently, he pointed out that it will be necessary to introduce complex legislation to provide free GP care to those with long-term illness. Read the full transcript of a Leaders Question on delivering free GP care:
The Minister for Health, James Reilly, T.D. today (15th February 2013) launched two key health reform documents:
- Money Follows the Patient: A Policy Paper on Hospital Financing , and
- The Path to Universal Healthcare: A Preliminary Paper on Universal Health Insurance.
The two documents fulfil important commitments in Future Health, the strategic framework for health service reform which was launched last November
Speaking at the publication of the papers, the Minister said:
I am delighted to publish the ‘Money Follows the Patient’ policy paper. This is a key building block for universal health insurance (UHI) which will also deliver significant benefits in its own right and in advance of the introduction of UHI. The system will provide a fairer and more transparent basis for funding hospital services. It will drive greater efficiency in the delivery of services and will ultimately support the provision of quality care in the most appropriate setting. It represents a vital early step on the journey of health reform. The policy paper will form the basis for consultation with stakeholders and for commencing implementation of the first step, known as shadow funding.”
The Minister noted that ‘Money Follows the Patient’ is one of a number of building blocks which he is working on to achieve UHI Read the rest of this entry »
Speech by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch on a Topical Issue Debate on FSAI. I wish to thank the Deputies for raising this. The FSAI is responsible for the implementation of food safety policy which is determined by my Department. As part of its work, the FSAI continually monitors foods on the Irish market on a proactive basis to ensure that they are complying with the requirements of food law and are safe. As part of this routine activity a small survey was carried out in November 2012 to investigate the authenticity of meat products on the Irish market. This survey was conducted as part of the FSAI monitoring and surveillance programme on labelling of foods, specifically to check on the type of animal species in meat products. A total of 27 beef burger products were analysed. 10 of the 27 products (37%) tested for horse DNA and 23 (85%) for pig DNA.
At this stage, it was necessary for the FSAI to arrange for more intense testing of the samples, to ensure the correctness of the initial analysis and to quantify the amount of horse DNA in each sample. The results of these tests were received on 14th January 2013. Of the 10 burgers found to contain horse DNA, one (purchased in Tesco and produced by Silvercrest) contained 29% horsemeat, another 0.3% and the remainder had less than 0.1%. Traces of horse DNA were also detected in batches of raw ingredients, including some imported from other Member States. The FSAI also confirmed that there was no food safety issue. The retailers involved removed all implicated batches from sale on 15th January 2013.