Many thanks to everyone that has messaged concerned about what is happening in Gaza and wanting me to raise this issue with the government. I have been a lifelong supporter of the Palestinian people. I’ve called for and voted for a full Dáil debate in support of the Palestinian people. I’ve taken part in protests. The Workers and Unemployed Action group fully support the people of Gaza and members protested again most recently in Cahir last Saturday. I will continue to pressure the Government and support freedom and dignity for Palestinian people. Seamus.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Seamus Healy called on the Minister for Health to personally intervene to ensure that a quality, safe Mental Health Service is available to the people of South Tipperary.
Deputy Healy complemented the staff providing the service who work above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. However, despite their best efforts, the Service has serious difficulties and is less than adequate.
Some would say the service is dysfunctional and others describe it as being in crisis. The reason for this is the changes over recent years by the Minister and the HSE to the mental health services for the people of south Tipperary. These changes were bulldozed through by the Minister of State, Deputy Lynch, and the Health Service Executive. There was sham consultation and no engagement whatsoever with stakeholders by the Minister and the HSE.
Stakeholders who were 100% committed to A Vision for Change were dealt with in an arrogant and dismissive manner and it was suggested in a mischievous and dishonest manner that stakeholders were opposed to A Vision for Change, which could not be further from the truth. The staff associations, service users, general practitioners, consultant psychiatrists and public representatives were not listened to and staff felt bullied, threatened and intimidated. Indeed, the Minister of State, at a deputation, indicated that not only were the changes she was proposing set in stone, but that they were set in blood. Of course, the Minister of State and the HSE have refused to honour the various commitments they made at the time.
For instance, there are five community mental health teams in south Tipperary, including three sectoral adult teams. None of these teams is properly staffed. Not a single team has the staffing levels provided for in A Vision for Change. The rehabilitation team, for instance, has no allied health professional of any kind. Earlier this year, clinics could not be held because of the shortage of consultant staff. Indeed, the closure of the inpatient beds at St. Michael’s unit in Clonmel and the transfer of those beds to St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny has been a disaster. I am told by service users and family members that south Tipperary patients are being delayed in admission to that unit, south Tipperary patients are subject to early unsupported discharge from that unit, and family members find it difficult to visit and support their relatives who are patients in the unit. There is no continuity of care for south Tipperary patients at consultant level. The crisis house promised for south Tipperary has not been built and now, apparently, is on the back burner and the interim crisis house meant for short stay, a maximum of 72 hours, is being used for stays as long as weeks and months.
Particularly disturbing are the contents of a letter sent by nine consultant staff in the service in Carlow-Kilkenny and south Tipperary to the Minister of State, Deputy Lynch, in June 2013. That letter speaks of the service in terms of being unsafe, of them having serious concerns, of excessive numbers of deaths, of inadequate local governance arrangements, of nine fatalities between August 2011 and January 2013, and of meetings having been a sham. No response has been made to that letter since then, over 12 months ago.
The people and the service in south Tipperary have no confidence in the Minister of State, Deputy Lynch, or the Health Service Executive. I call on the Minister to personally intervene to ensure that a quality safe service is available to the people of south Tipperary.
Seamus Healy T.D
Tel 087 2802199
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st July, 2014.
* 590. To ask the Minister for Health the position regarding the extension of BreastCheck to the 65-69 age group; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Seamus Healy T.D.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st July, 2014.
The BreastCheck Programme provides free mammograms to all women aged 50-64. A priority of the BreastCheck Programme at present is to maximise national uptake in the 50-64 year age cohort.
It is my intention to extend the upper age range to include the 65-69 age cohort as soon as possible in line with available resources.
Medical Card holders who wish to claim a refund of charges in relation to taking of Bloods may write enclosing receipts and their Name, Address, Contact Telephone Number, Medical Card Number and Expiry Date to:
(For South Tipperary Area)
Ms. Anne Bambrick
Manager Primary Care Unit,
HSE South (East)
(For North Tipperary Area)
Ms. Marian Kennedy
Primary Care Unit
St. Joseph’s Hospital
Deputy Seamus Healy has called on Minister Phil Hogan to immediately instruct Irish Water to clear blocked sewers. This problem is now evident in several areas of Clonmel and further afield.
Very serious public health and safety issues are arising as a result of the failure of Irish Water to Clear these sewers.
Local authorities have done this work in the past and Irish Water which has assumed the water and waste water responsibilities of local authorities must now carry out this work.
Urgent and immediate action by Minister Hogan and Irish Water is now required.
Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199
Parents who have children aged four years and over, and who are in receipt of a social welfare payment / taking part in a training employment scheme, or whose income is under the recommended income threshold may be eligible for this allowance.
The Department of Social Protection have stated that they will pay a number of people automatically which means a lot of families will not have to apply for this payment manually. However, If you have not received an automatic payment by the 9th of June 2014, please complete an application form. More information is available by contacting the office on 052 6121883 or call to any of our clinics.
Income limits for Couples 2014
Couple Income limit
1 child €563.60
2 children €593.40
3 children €623.20
4 children €653*
Income limits for Lone Parents 2014
Lone parent Income limit
1 child €410.10
2 children €439.90
3 children €469.70
4 children €499.50*
*The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional dependent child.
If you believe that your income is below the income threshold and have not received a payment automatically, call the office and we will be happy to assist you in filling in a form. Closing date for this allowance is the 30th of September 2014.