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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Kaftrio and Cass Report

I am glad it is the Leader who is sitting in the chair today because there are a couple of things I want to raise that I know are of interest to her. The first is the stalemate between the HSE and Vertex in respect of the drug Kaftrio. We have not moved on the provision of that drug at all. I note that Cystic Fibrosis Ireland is calling for the health technology assessment to be fast-tracked and for Kaftrio to be provided without delay to the 35 affected children. The HSE can then reimburse Vertex after a pricing agreement is reached. We are talking about 35 children. We are better than that.

The second issue I will raise was brought up in the Dáil on 20 September, when the Minister of State, Deputy Feighan, gave an update to the Dáil on the Cass report. He stated the HSE was reviewing the report. I remember the Leader gave me a commitment on the day Senator McDowell and Deputy Flanagan had a briefing on gender identity services and told me the HSE was also doing a report on the issue. This report has not appeared yet. Will that be forthcoming?

I support what Senator Craughwell has said. I welcome the idea that has been mooted that, under the new Administration when the Government switches around portfolios next year, a Minister for refugees could be created. I welcome that idea. Such a Minister is needed. We also needed a Covid Minister at that time. This is something unprecedented. We have never seen anything like this before just as we had never seen anything like Covid before. An individual Minister would provide a more holistic approach to the management of the refugees coming into this country, which would very much be welcomed.

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