A mother desperately trying to get the government to provide life-saving Cystic Fibrosis medication for her daughter has hit out at a massive €80 million grant handed over this week to the horse and greyhound racing industries.
Speaking from her daughter’s bedside in Crumlin Childrens’ Hospital, Hazel Robinson asked “Is a greyhound more important than children’s lives?”
She told the Topic newspaper that her daughter is fighting for her life, despite the availability of a drug that can help her. “When a drug becomes available that can help, they should be getting it the minute it hits the shelves.”
The Orkambi drug (which improves lung function and reduces hospitalisation for cystic fibrosis patients) would cost the health service €160,000 per patient per year, or €400 million over five years.
€400,000 million over five years, or €80 million per year, matches the amount the government is happy to hand over to gambling industries.
Minister for Health Simon Harris (who was one of the 105 TDs who this week voted to approve the latest grants to horse and greyhound racing) said in relation to Orkambi that he would not be “bullied or extorted” by a drug company seeking an excessive payment, nor would he allow the taxpayer to be extorted.
“€80 million has been pumped into the greyhound and horse racing industries this year alone,” Hazel Robinson commented. “But when it comes to giving our children life-saving medication, we have to fight tooth and nail for it. What does that say about our country. Parents shouldn’t have to go begging on the streets and I shouldn’t have to go on social media and cry my heart out to the nation, begging for my child’s life.”
Join 37,000 others in signing Hazel’s petition which urges the Irish Government to approve the medication
Contact your TDs and urge them to stop using scarce public money to fund gambling industries. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
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Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry