David Norris criticises citizens for missing HSE appointments

Sonja Tutty

Senator David Norris said Irish healthcare would be better if people did not skip so many appointments, in a panel discussion in DCU on Monday.

Norris explained that long waiting times could be fixed if Irish people, “took some responsibility and showed up to their appointments,” in the DCU Law Society’s panel discussion, “Grá in the Law”.

He said Irish healthcare is brilliant despite the long waiting times, in response to an audience member’s question regarding Ireland’s healthcare system compared to the rest of the EU’s.

The question was based on the Health Inequalities in Europe report that found Ireland to be one of the most unequal countries in the EU regarding access to health. This is blamed primarily on the country’s two-tier health system and dependence on private health insurance.

Maria Walsh responded to the same audience member’s statement that Fine Gael perpetuated inequality in healthcare, by saying she did not know how the system could be fixed but hopes someone can offer an answer soon.
Maria announced on Sunday that she would be seeking a nomination from Fine Gael to be run in the European Parliament elections.

They were joined on the panel by fellow gay rights activist and co-founder of Gay Community News, Tonie Walsh and Dell Diversity Officer, Ingrid Devin. The panel’s discussion was led by audience questions and queries submitted anonymously online.

Tonie took a question about equal rights in Northern Ireland and answered: “We need to be showing greater empathy to our brothers across the border.”

Furthermore, he added that Ireland should not only support change in Northern Ireland but should also detoxify unification just as: “the euro detoxified the tricolours.”

Following a question that asked if Ireland was doing enough on the ground to achieve equality, all panellist agreed that as long as the Catholic church ran any education it would never be good enough.

Tonie said sex and relationship education should be introduced at an earlier age and stated Norway is a great example of effective sex education.

Norris replied that as a devoted Church of Ireland member, schools should teach facts and that morals and religious values should be taught by parents at home.

After the event, DCU Law Society secretary Vanessa Devin said: “We were impressed with the panel and found they were really engaging with the audience,” and, “we found that our members really benefited from [the panel].”

Sonja Tutty

Image Credit: Sonja Tutty