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Kelly asks Harris if he has confidence in McGrath

3 September 2017

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD, has called on Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD to say whether he has confidence in his Junior Minister Finian McGrath following his comments on the HPV vaccine.

Deputy Kelly commented:

 "It is completely unacceptable for a minister at the Department of Health to put anti-HPV vaccine views on the public record as Minister McGrath has done.

"The Minister for Health, Simon Harris has been quite clear this week that we should leave medical advice to the experts. Will he be taking the same approach with his Junior Minister?

"Can Minister Harris continue to work with Minister McGrath considering his dangerous view on the HPV vaccine? 

"The position taken by Minister McGrath is irresponsible and many people have said he should now reconsider his position as a Junior Minister at the Department of Health.

"The question must be asked as to how the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health can now have confidence in Minister McGrath? 

"No Minister, especially one at the Department of Health, should be putting dangerous views like this out in the public domain. It flies in the face of the #ProtectOurFuture campaign launched by the HSE earlier this week.

"Minister McGrath should read up on the facts about the HPV vaccine. The vaccine which is on offer protects against two types of HPV, which causes 73% of all cervical cancers.

"We all know that Ireland has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the EU, for a Junior Minister of Health to rubbish a vaccine that will lower these rates is very concerning.

"Unless Minister McGrath retracts his views, surely the Taoiseach and Minister for Health cannot continue to work with Minister McGrath."