Statement from Minister Harris: Cannabis for Medical Reasons
I would like to state that I have provided a further update to Ms Vera Twomey tonight, following our most recent meeting on Thursday 23rd February and an email update on Tuesday 28th February, in which I informed her that the HSE has advised me that her consultant will be in touch to arrange a further consultation for her daughter, Ava. I also shared with her a statement by Dr Tony Holohan, the Department’s Chief Medical Officer, on the advice he has provided to me which stresses that the granting of a licence must come with the endorsement of a consultant who is familiar with and responsible for the care of the individual on whose behalf the application is being made.
I am extremely conscious of the long and arduous journey Vera and her family have made to arrive at the Dáil tomorrow and I have indicated my willingness to meet Vera and her husband Paul again tomorrow should they so wish but I have also honestly stated that it is not within my power to provide medicinal cannabis tomorrow. I believe the course of action is for this matter to be addressed with the medical professionals involved in Ava’s care. I remain fully committed to establishing an access programme for cannabis-based treatments in Ireland and, in that regard, I welcome the early consideration by the Oireachtas Health Committee of the recent HPRA report, following a request from me, which will now take place tomorrow and will hear from Department and HPRA officials.