Saturday 18 November 2017

No qualified pancreas transplant surgeon exists in Ireland - Seanad

Health Minister Leo Varakar forced to appear before Seanad tonight to explain issue

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

THE Government suffered two defeats in the Seanad.

Coalition senators were outvoted by the Opposition who demanded that Health Minister Leo Varadkar appear to discuss the issue of pancreas transplants.

The Government was defeated by 24 to 23 following a Fianna Fáil motion tabled by Kerry senator Mark Daly.

Fianna Fáil Seanad leader Darragh O’Brien told the Upper House: “We have been trying to get answers from Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, for some time now, on behalf of patients whose lives are at risk, as Ireland remains without any surgeon qualified to carry out pancreas transplants.’’

Mr Varadkar was forced to then appear at 9pm tonight to discuss the issue.

Later, a Fianna Fáil motion calling for a reversal of cuts to lone parents was passed.

A Fine Gael source said they expect further defeats in the Seanad in the coming weeks due to the Government's minority.

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