Fianna Fáil Whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl has called on the Government to give a clear commitment on how it intends to proceed with compensation for the survivors of Thalidomide.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl raised the issue with the Tánaiste in the Dáil.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said: “The Programme for Government made clear commitments in regard to the survivors of the thalidomide drug which has had a devastating impact on the lives of 32 surviving people. Their demand has been for a redress process and for a health and social care package provided on a statutory basis.
“I raised this issue as there is a Health and Social Care Bill coming before the Dáil and I feel this would be an appropriate forum to include a provision for the survivors of Thalidomide. However the Tánaiste’s response was deeply disappointing.
“The Minister for Health has been in discussions with representatives of the people who are thalidomide sufferers. His door is open on this issue and he is available for further discussions. I hope it would be possible to arrive at a solution in those discussions.” – Eamon Gilmore TD
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said: “The government and the Minister for Health should show leadership on this issue. It appears the reason for the failure of the discussions was that what was being offered to these people, who have been very badly let down by the State, was a gesture. They do not want a gesture; they want services based on legislation so that they do not have to continue to plead for services which should be readily available to them.
“The survivors of Thalidomide have waited far too long for their concerns and care needs to be met and I am urging the government to address this as a matter of urgency,” concluded Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.