In Committee on Finance. - Therapeutic Substances Bill, 1932—From the Seanad.

Message received that Seanad Eireann has passed the Therapeutic Substances Bill, 1932, in which it has inserted the following amendment to which the agreement of the Dáil is desired:
Section 12, sub-section (1). The following added at the end of the sub-section:—
(d) such substance is imported by a registered medical practitioner and such practitioner at the time of importing such substance delivers to an officer of Customs and Excise a declaration in writing signed by him to the effect that such substance is urgently required for one of his own patients and that circumstances (to be specified in such declaration) did not permit of his obtaining in sufficient time an import permit to import such substance.

In regard to this addition to Section 12, I should like to know what it actually involves in the case of a medical practitioner who wants urgently to order any particular medical substance for his patient. He has to communicate with the Excise and Customs officer but I do not know if it is necessary to get his permission before he can order the medicine or if he will be allowed to get the medicine he orders by wire by the next morning's post. Any restriction that would cause any delay in the delivery of that medicine would be criminal, because the life of the patient is involved. I do not know why a doctor should be called upon to give all those reasons—possibly post mortem reasons—for ordering. He has enough to do without putting a lot of additional clerical work on him.

This amendment was intended to provide further facilities for medical practitioners to import therapeutic substances in case of emergency. The matter had been discussed in this House on Second Reading by Deputies Mulcahy and Hennessy and an amendment was inserted which appeared to cover adequately the points at issue. On further consideration of the Bill however and after discussions with medical men outside the House, it appeared to be advisable to provide further facilities and as a result this amendment was inserted in the Seanad and I recommend it for the acceptance of the House.

Question put and agreed to.
Message to be sent to the Seanad accordingly.