16 Jul 2020, 15.11

The Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response will discuss the impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities, and healthcare services including cancer screening, tomorrow, Friday, 17 July, in Leinster House.

The Committee of TDs is holding three sessions throughout the day. The first meeting will focus on the impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities. The second and third meetings will focus on the impact of State’s response to the pandemic on patient waiting lists for care and screening services.

  • Disability Federation of Ireland, Chief Executive officer (CEO) John Dolan, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Acting Chief Commissioner Dr Frank Conaty, Inclusion Ireland, CEO Enda Egan will appear before the Committee at 9.30am.
  • Irish Cancer Society, Director of Advocacy & External Affairs, Rachel Morrogh, Irish Medical Organisation, CEO Susan Clyne will appear before the Committee at 12 pm to discuss non-Covid-19 healthcare disruption.
  • National Treatment Purchase Fund, CEO Liam Sloyan and representatives from the HSE including the National Screening Programme, and officials from the Department of Health will appear before the Committee at 2.30pm.

Speaking before the meeting, Committee Chairman, Michael McNamara TD said: “There has been an unprecedented interruption of normal health care activity in both community and hospitals settings  over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vital screening services for cancers are in abeyance. Life-saving organ transplantations were paused and non-emergency and non-Covid-19 treatments restricted.

“The Committee will be examining the impact the response, adopted by the healthcare system, has had on patient waiting lists for care and seeking answers on the timeline for resumption of vital services, including health screening,  and the catch-up programmes planned, to ensure that there will not be more deaths attributable to the State’s Covid-19 Response than to the virus itself.”

Deputy McNamara added: “We will also be focusing on the specific impact Covid-19 response has had on the estimated 650,000 people living with a disability in Ireland and the operation of disability services and organisations under the new public health guidelines.”

The witnesses will appear in the Seanad Chamber and by video link from Committee Room 2.

Watch the Committee live here.

Media enquiries

Petrina Vousden
Houses of the Oireachtas
Communications Unit
Leinster House
Dublin 2
+353 1 618 3437
+353 85 8745 295
petrina.vousden@oireachtas.ie

pressoffice@oireachtas.ie
Twitter: @OireachtasNews

Committee membership

Deputies

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin

Independent

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Independent

Fine Gael

Independent

Social Democrats

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Labour Party

Green Party