Today we launched our plan for moving towards a new National Community Health Service in Cork with Tánaiste Joan Burton, Minister Kathleen Lynch and our candidate in Cork South-Central, Ciarán Lynch. By 2021, we will achieve significant steps towards the full rollout of Universal Health Care. We will provide free access to GP care, develop more nurse-led services, lower the cost of medicines and increase funding for primary care, community care and our hospitals.
Today the Government announced the location of the new Children's Hospital at St James's Hospital, representing the most important single building project in the State. The delivery of the National Children's Hospital was a key Labour commitment before the General Election and in the Programme for Government.
Funding for the project was ring-fenced by the Government last year and will pave the way for the construction of a hospital that will be of benefit to many future generations of children.
Minister Alex White said: "A building alone has no value without the health professionals to ensure the highest quality of care. This decision by Government will ensure the strongest possible concentration of clinical excellence being brought to bear on the treatment of sick children."
A €2 ¼ billion infrastructure Stimulus Plan has been announced today by Minister Brendan Howlin, representing a step in the right direction on the path to recovery with the creation of 13,000 jobs, €280m investment in education, €115m in health, €850m in transport, €190m in justice and €1.4b in projects that meet key infrastructural needs.
Among the projects to benefit will be the development and rejuvenation of a campus for the Dublin Institute of Technology at Grangegorman; the upgrading of the N17/N18 Gort to Tuam motorway and the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy project.
Other projects include €190m to be invested in the State Pathology Laboratory, two new Garda headquarters as well as the provision of two bundles of primary care centres comprising of up to 10 centres.
The Labour Party has prioritised schools, hospitals and job creation in the Government's capital spending programme announced this afternoon.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, set out the Government's capital spending programme saying: "Clearly we are now living in different economic times. This report, by necessity, is about priorities... Our priorities as a Government are clear and are manifest in this plan. In summary: jobs, schools and health."
Among the priorities include 40 new schools, a new National Children's Hospital, job creation, the linking of the two LUAS lines, the Railway Safety Programme, replacement buses and upgrades of existing QBCs.
Last Fridays 'Pink Day', organised by Wicklow TD, Deputy Anne Ferris, with Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society was a huge success with more than €800 being raised for the worthy cause.
All members of the Oireachtas and staff were encouraged to turn the Houses pink for a day by wearing a pink item of clothing to drive breast cancer awareness.
Each year, more than 1,700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed with Irish women having a one in 12 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
This Friday Nessa Childers MEP in association with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is hosting a seminar entitled 'Shared Priorities, The Dementia Agenda in Europe and Ireland'. The day will be held on Friday, June 17th in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin 8, starting at 9am and finishing up at 3.45pm.
The one day event will be of interest to organisation and individuals involved in policy design, advocacy and service provision. There is no admission fee for the day and places are limited.
One in four people in Ireland has, at some point, suffered with a mental health issue - a fact highlighted by Waterford's Ciara Conway this week during the debate .
Deputy Conway pointed out that she is well aware of the challenge of tackling mental health issues in this country. Before becoming a TD she worked as a Social Worker with the H.S.E and saw first-hand the problems people are facing.
The Deputy referred to a report by Sally E. Bonnar on the' Admission of Young People to Adult Mental Health Wards '.