Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has appealed to the Health Minister to provide the necessary resources to ensure that the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland can carry out its important work.

Deputy Smith has called on the Minister to allocate a national funding stream to the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland to enable them to provide services to patients and families right across the country.

“The local branches of the Parkinson’s Association do extremely important work in assisting people with Parkinson’s.  If this funding was scaled up to a national level it would allow the Association to expand its range of services”, explained Deputy Smith.

“The Association is currently campaigning for funding for a nationwide Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist as well as an increase in funding for neurological services.  Currently patients are expected to travel abroad for Deep Brain Stimulation surgery – this is simply unacceptable and is an abdication of responsibility on the part of the Minister.

“I was very disappointed that Minister Harris failed to answer my Parliamentary Question, claiming that as it was a “service issue” it should be directed to the HSE.  The Minister needs to stop passing the buck – at the end of the day he is responsible for the running of the health service – and he needs to start stepping up to the mark.

“There are around 8,000 people in Ireland that are living with Parkinson’s disease.  They deserve to be treated in their own country and to have access to the services they need.  I am calling on Minister Harris to allocate the necessary funds to secure the additional services that are required”.