TD Blasts Harris as McDonalds Reopens, But No Sign of Cancer Screening

Chair of the Dáil COVID committee Michael McNamara - Independent Clare TD

The Dáil has been hearing from the government that the Coronavirus has been effectively suppressed in the community setting.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the virus has been effectively suppressed in the community.

However one Independent TD has criticised the fact that McDonald’s can reopen but people still can’t get a cancer screening.

Chair of the new Dáil COVID committee Michael McNamara said non-COVID health services need to get back up and running

“Minister, (Harris) we’ve now reached a stage on our roadmap where we can have a McDonald’s but we can’t have a cancer screening. Is that satisfactory to you, as minister of health?”

Health Minister Simon Harris spoke of progress, with the reproductive rate of the virus remaining low 0.5.

He dismissed the comments of the Clare Independent TD McNamara..

“I wouldn’t be in anyway flippant in relation to this. The decision to suspend cancer screening was one taken by clinicians on public health grounds and what I have to satisfy…I don’t have a responsibility for McDonald’s but I do have a responsibility for the safety of the people in our health service, safety of the staff and the safety of the women and men of Ireland who use it.

At the moment the advice, not just in the Republic of Ireland, but in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland and New Zealand, I’ve yet to find another country where they’ve turned back on their screening programme.

I want to turn it back it on but I want to do it in a safe way. We’re being led by clinical advice and within two weeks, we;’ll have the non-Covid care plan fro the HSE, led by clinicians which will determine when is a safe and how they intend to recommence screening.”

Deputy McNamara in his riposte urged the minister to get real it seems….

“In normal times you wouldn’t have the responsibility for McDonald’s but given the extraordinary powers this chamber gave you, it seems you have the responsibility for everything in your regulations….”

“And I would urge you, minister, to look at priorities because sometimes they don’t seem to make sense to ordinary people across this land. Thank you.”