——in relation to the provision of hospital transport for the towns of Mullingar, Athlone, Longford and Tullamore. I take on board the Senator's comments. I welcome the appointment of the dermatologist who will operate for three days at Mullingar hospital and two days in St. James's Hospital. This certainly is good news for Mullingar hospital.
Senator Quinn called for a debate on the cost of medicine in Ireland in comparison with other EU countries and the possibility of the flu jab not now being available on prescription. I am aware the Minister has sought huge reductions in medicine costs, which she outlined to the House on the last occasion she was here and which she will reiterate when next in the House. I welcome this massive reduction in the cost of medicines to the Exchequer each year. I congratulate the Minister on her achievements in this area.
Senator Ormonde spoke of the horrific bombing in Kampala and the loss of 80 lives as a result, including one Irish person. I agree with the Senator's sentiments.
Senator Coghlan inquired about the Dublin mayoral Bill. I will update the House tomorrow in regard to progress on this legislation.
Senator Norris raised the issue of the company which made and installed the pipe organ in the National Concert Hall and is now not being allowed to tender for its refurbishment, which is a disgrace. I will pass on the Senator's views to the Minister. This is hard to accept given the bad times we are now experiencing. If there is in place a regulation preventing this company tendering for the job, we must take another look at it. Senator Norris also called for a debate on poverty. I have no difficulty in providing time for such a debate following the summer recess.
Senators Corrigan, Bradford, Mooney, Ross and John Paul Phelan expressed their shock and horror in regard to Iran and the proposed stoning to death of a 14 year old girl. I congratulate Senator Mooney on his all-party motion last week in respect of the challenges facing the young lady last Sunday. I say well done to the Minister for Foreign Affairs for all he has done and continues to do in respect of these matters and for calling in the ambassador and letting him know in no uncertain terms our total opposition as a nation to this practice.
Senator Corrigan called for a further debate on disabilities. I have already arranged with the Minister of State, Deputy Moloney, to come to the House in the first week following the summer recess to update it on all matters within his portfolio, in particular disability issues.
Senator Buttimer called for a debate on jobs and the 450,000 people who are unemployed. I have no difficulty providing time for a debate on this issue which is the most pressing in terms of the challenges facing Government. However, it must also be noted there are currently 700,000 more people working than was the position in 1987 when the Fine Gael party last received a mandate from the people, which is a remarkable achievement.