Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Oireachtas News 22 April 2013
In the Dáil this week, the Companies Bill 2012 will be discussed at second stage.  In the Seanad, Pat the Cope Gallagher, MEP will deliver an address on ongoing reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. At Committee this week, the Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee will meet with representatives from the Irish Fiscal Council to discuss their recently launched Fiscal Assessment Report.  

The Health Sub Committee will meet to discuss the Health Service Executive whihc will take place on Wednesday 24th April.  The Health & Children Committee will discuss Organ Donation in Ireland from a Medical Perspective on Thursday 25th April Session A: 9:30 - 11.30am.  This will be attended by Professor David Hickey, Consultant Transplant Surgeon, Professor Peter Conlon, Consultant, Nephrologist and Dr James O’Rourke, Beaumont Hospital; Dr Colman O’Loughlin, Consultant, Mater Hospital; Dr Ruairi Dwyer, Intensive Care Society of Ireland; Dr Liam Plant, National Director of Renal Office, Cork University Hospital; Dr Brian O’Brien, President Intensive Care Society of Ireland, Cork University Hospital; Mr JP McDowell, Partner, McDowell Purcell Solicitors.
A second session discussing Organ Donation from a Policy perspective will take place on the same day Session B: 11.45am - 13.45pm.  This will be attended by Ms Mary Jackson, Principal Officer, Department of Health; Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan, Special Advisor, Department of Health; Professor Jim Egan, Director of Transplantation; Dr Paddy Costello, Irish Medicines Board

First Chair of new Child and Family Agency appointed The Government has appointed Ms Norah Gibbons as the Chairperson of the board of the new the ‘Child & Family Agency’.  Nora Gibbons has worked in the area of social work both in the UK and Ireland.  She was Director of Advocacy of Barnardos from 2005 to 2012, she was a member of the Commission to Inquire into Child abuse, (which produced the Ryan Report), she chaired the Roscommon Child Abuse Inquiry in 2009; and co-chaired the Independent Child Death Review Group, with Dr Geoffrey Shannon, from 2011 to 2012.  She is a member of Acknowledge Forum of Historical Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland since 2012 and was formerly the Chairperson of the board of Action Alcohol Ireland and served on the Taskforce on the Establishment of the Child & Family Agency.

Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, welcomed the appointment of Ms Gibbons stating: “The new Agency represents the single greatest transformation in children and family services in the history of the state. I am delighted the board of the new Agency will be led by Norah Gibbons, a true champion for reform of children’s services and one of Ireland’s leading advocates for children.” Work is underway on the establishment of the Child and Family Agency with legislation expected to be published shortly.

Major immunisation awareness campaign A campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of immunisation was launched on Monday 22nd April by the Health Minister James Reilly.

"Prevention is a key goal in healthcare, and the ability of vaccines to prevent illness and death associated with many serious diseases is one of the success stories of scientific innovation," he said.  The campaign, supported by the HSE, highlights the importance of childhood vaccinations in preventing serious illness. The HSE has stressed that parents and carers need to remember that children need to complete the full course of immunisations on the schedule to ensure they are adequately protected.
"Getting these diseases presents a much greater risk than the minor side effects from immunisation. We often forget how serious these are - thanks largely to vaccines- because we don't see then nearly as much as we used to," said Dr Brenda Corcoran of the HSE National Immunisation Office.  She stressed that the conditions which vaccination protects against, such as measles, can cause serious illness and death. There is currently a major measles outbreak in the UK
.  "Immunisation is one of the most important things you can do for your child. By vaccinating, you help protect your child from getting diseases that can cause both minor and major illness," said Prof Denis Gill, Chairman of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

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