Healy-Rae furious at smoking ban in Kerry hospital

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae has reacted angrily to a new proposal from the HSE to ban smoking on a hospital campus in the south west.

The Health Service Executive has confirmed that smoking will be banned on the entire Kerry General hospital campus in Tralee from January 6, 2014.

Similar initiatives have already been introduced to St. Vincent's and Connolly hospitals in Dublin, as well as Cork and Galway University hospitals, as part of the HSE's campaign to make all hospitals smoke-free by 2016.

However, Deputy Healy-Rae has said the move is not legal because certain departments are required to retain smoking rights for patients.

He said: "What they are actually proposing is illegal with regard to implementing it on the total campus, because if you have a general hospital, that has within that hospital a psychiatric facility, the Mental Health Act prohibits such a ban as this taking into account their area."

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