17/9/10 Opening of Medical Genetics centre at OLCH

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Opening of the improved National Centre of Medical Genetics
WORDS OF WELCOME TO MINSTER MARY HARNEY


Speaking Notes of
Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland
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Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital; 17th September 2010

Minister Harney, you are welcome once again to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital. 

You are welcome for a good news occasion, for you and for us all.  The improved National Centre of Medical Genetics, which you officially open today, is a great example of the creative and innovative work that is being done within the Irish Health care system.  It is an example of what can happen through fruitful cooperation between many bodies.  It is great today to be able to celebrate one of the many the success stories of Health Care in Ireland together.

The Health Services Executive has provided €2.5m euro in support of the project.  I thank you Minister for that support and I thank you for your personal interest and support for this project. 

I welcome all of you here today.  I greet the staff of Our Lady’s Hospital and take this opportunity to put on public record my appreciation and that of the Board for your dedication and professionalism and for you genuine commitment to ensuring that  - even in very difficult economic times - the children who come here and their parents receive the highest technical but also human support.

I greet colleagues from the Children’s University Hospital, the HSE and National Pediatric Hospital Development Board. I also wish to acknowledge all the patient support groups that help us advocate for what is best for our genetic health care.

I would like to thank Professor Andrew Green and his staff.  It is their day of celebration.  They contribute greatly, both through the clinical and lab service, to the management of the many children who attend Our Lady’s with complex multisystem disorders.
They also provide outreach clinics across the country for families. They see many adults with genetic conditions, as part of an integrated service. Genetic conditions are no respecter of age.

Many of the children attending OLCHC are affected by rare diseases that make it much more difficult for families to find support and information. This centre can provide the support for them and can be part of the European wide drive for plans and support for patients with rare diseases.

I wish to particularly commend the NCMG for its success with UCD and TCD in being an integral part of the worldwide drive, part funded by the Health Research Board, in determining the genetic component to autism.

This Hospital was the idea of one of my predecessors, Archbishop Edward Byrne.  His primary concern was ensuring that the poor of the expanding new areas of South Dublin which were growing up already in the 1930’s would have the best health care available to them.  Our Lady’s has never lost its concern for the marginalized and has grown into something that those who first dreamed of the idea could never have imagined and of which they and all of us can be proud today.


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