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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 547-567
 Header Item Youth Services Funding
 Header Item Child Care Services Provision
 Header Item Departmental Strategies
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions
 Header Item Cross-Border Co-operation
 Header Item National Lottery Funding Applications
 Header Item HSE Staff Responsibilities
 Header Item Equality Issues
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Health Insurance Prices
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals Delays
 Header Item Water Fluoridation
 Header Item Vaccination Programme
 Header Item Hospital Staff Issues
 Header Item Sick Pay Scheme Reform
 Header Item Equality Issues
 Header Item Departmental Agencies Staff Data
 Header Item Pharmacy Regulations
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Departmental Funding

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 547-567

Youth Services Funding

 547. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the amount the youth grant has been for the past three years; the total sum of money involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53989/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department supports the delivery of a range of youth work programmes and services for all young people, including those from disadvantaged communities, by the voluntary youth sector. These schemes include the Youth Service Grant Scheme, the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund and certain other provisions including the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, Youth Information Centres, the European Youth in Action Programme (administered by Léargas – the Exchange Bureau) and Gaisce – the President’s Award Funding of €56.806m was provided to my Department in 2012 and €60.154m in 2011 to support the provision of youth services and programmes. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs was established on the 2nd June , 2011.

Child Care Services Provision

 548. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of persons employed in the child care sector and the percentage of persons with varying levels of professional qualifications; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [54026/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Nearly all pre-school services in the State are now participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, which provides a free pre-school year to all eligible children in the year before they commence primary school. This programme requires that staff members acting as pre-school year leaders hold a childcare qualification equivalent to FETAC Level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications of Ireland (NFQ). A higher capitation rate is available to sessional playschool services participating in the ECCE programme in which all childcare workers have qualification levels above the minimum requirements for the programme. Staff working with children under the ECCE programme as pre-school assistants are not required to hold a specific qualification.

Pobal, which administers the childcare support programmes on behalf of my Department, compiles an Annual Survey of providers which provides information in relation to the childcare sector. According to Pobal's Annual Survey of the Early Years Sector 2011, there are in the region of 4,300 childcare services participating in the ECCE programme.

Some 2,920 respondents provided information on the level of training/qualifications of some 17,000 staff working with children. The results, which did not distinguish between those working with children enrolled for the ECCE programme and other children in the childcare service, show that 96% of these services have a least one staff member qualified to FETAC Level 5 or higher, 75.2% have at least one member qualified to FETAC Level 6 or higher and 34% have a least one member qualified to HETAC Level 7 or higher. The number of services with one staff member qualified to HETAC Level 8 and above and HETAC Level 9 and above is 22.3% and 3.2% respectively.

As the Deputy is aware my Department has commenced work on Ireland’s first-ever Early Years Strategy and in the terms of reference, as approved by Government, I expressly included the need to consider “a robust system of regulation and inspection” for the new Early Years Strategy. Part of this will include improving access to quality reliable information on services and performance. The employment of suitably qualified staff is a matter for each individual childcare service. It is expected that in time a register of staff qualifications will be developed and this will provide useful information regarding qualification levels.

Departmental Strategies

 549. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when she intends to publish the early year strategy; the level of consultation she has had with the relevant stakeholders; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54031/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department is developing a new Children and Young People’s Policy Framework to cover the five year period from 2013 to 2017. It will build on Our Children - Their Lives, Ireland’s first children’s strategy which was published in 2000. This high-level policy framework will also facilitate the preparation of a number of more detailed strategies including Ireland’s first-ever National Early Years Strategy.

The Early Years Strategy is under development and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2013 and published soon thereafter. This Strategy will cover a range of issues affecting children in their first years of life such as health, family support, learning and development and care and education and will identify the structures and policies needed to improve early year's experience in Ireland. I have appointed an Expert Advisory Group to advise on the preparation of the Strategy. The Group comprises external experts from a range of specialties, including paediatrics, early childhood care and education, child protection and public health nursing, chaired by Dr. Eilis Hennessy of UCD.

The results of a public consultation undertaken as part of the development of the Children and Young People’s Policy Framework is currently being analysed. It is also proposed that there will be further focused consultation with key stakeholders in relation to the Early Years Strategy.

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 550. Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the cost to the State of experts (details supplied); the persons' salaries for the past five years; if she will outline in tabular form all those other experts who have been engaged by her Department, their salaries, benefits, expenses and costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54126/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department was formally established on the 2nd June 2011. Information is provided from that date for the named individuals.

Producing the Report on the Independent Child Death Review €74,133.58
Producing reports in his capacity as Special Rapporteur on Child Protection €39,952.50
Adoption Policy €8237.19
  Geoffrey Shannon as above.

  No payments were made directly by my Department to Ms Norah Gibbons. With respect to her membership of the Independent Child Death Review Group my Department entered into an arrangement with her employer.

  Ms Helen Buckley was not in receipt of any individual payments by my Department in the last two years.

Inter-Country Adoptions

 551. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald further to Parliamentary Question No. 560 of 16 October 2012, if she will outline the anticipated timeframe for the adoption process to reopen; and the criteria applied to applications. [54132/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) has accredited ARC Adoptions Ltd. and Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency for activities in relation to facilitating adoptions from Vietnam. It is now open to both Irish agencies to apply to the Vietnamese authorities for a licence to operate in Vietnam prior to the commencement of adoptions from that country. The criteria which apply to all such adoptions are as set out in the Adoption Act, 2010.

Cross-Border Co-operation

 552. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if he will outline projects with which her Department cooperates with the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in the North.  [54149/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald There are no projects in which my Department cooperates directly with the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in the North. The ongoing North South work of my Department takes place under the auspices of the North South Ministerial Council. Examples of some of the important work approached on a collaborative basis between my officials and their counter parts in Northern Ireland are:

- the establishment of the North South Child Protection Hub, (a dedicated on-line child protection resource);

- the development of an "Inter-Jurisdictional Protocol for the Transfer of Child Care cases between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland";

- a review of vetting and barring arrangements in both jurisdictions;

- the development of a joint communication strategy to promote awareness of child welfare and protection;

- promoting internet safety in the area of child welfare and protection;

- promoting North-South Education and Training Standards in Youth Work; and

- promoting Youth Exchange Programmes (e.g. 'Causeway')

  In addition, the Irish Youth Justice Service in my Department is involved in a North-South Process which is led by the Department of Justice and Equality under the auspices of the St. Andrews Agreement.   

  The Youth Justice Project Advisory Group is one of six strands in this process. It aims to guide and support co-operation in the youth justice area on both sides of the border; to provide a forum for the active exchange of information, ideas and expertise between participating bodies on matters including restorative justice and tackling re offending; and the examination and identification of the areas where joint working could take place. The North-South Youth Justice Project Advisory Group meets twice a year and reports to the North-South High Level Senior Officials Group.

National Lottery Funding Applications

 553. Deputy Paschal Donohoe Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the position regarding applications submitted for funding under the parent child home programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54436/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I understand that the Deputy is referring specifically to an application for Lottery Funding from the Early Learning Initiative at the National College of Ireland. I can confirm that an application for funding has been received and is currently under consideration. The Deputy may wish to note that over 500 applications for grant support have been received from individuals, groups and organisations and that the current value of all applications amounts to €13 million which far exceeds the available funding of €500,000. I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that, in the circumstances, it will not be possible to assist all applications. However, the assessment process is at an advanced stage and all applicants will be informed of the outcome as soon as final decisions have been made.

HSE Staff Responsibilities

 554. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will report on the number of posts for child and family social workers that have been filled in 2012; if she will confirm the number of child and family social workers working in County Galway, including city; and if she will confirm the increase, if any, in the number of social workers nationally since the publication of the Ryan Report.  [54451/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Figures supplied by the HSE indicate that the number of whole time equivalent (WTE) social workers employed in the children and families area was 1,300 at the end of July 2012. In advance of the establishment of the new Child and Family Support Agency, work is ongoing regarding the disaggregation of the children and families resource base from the HSE. Consequently the number of social workers assigned to the care group will be subject to change as the mapping/classification of posts is further refined.

The HSE has made considerable progress since the publication of the Ryan Report Implementation Plan in 2009 in the recruitment of additional social workers. Over 260 social workers have been recruited arising from implementation of the Report's Recommendations. The National Director of Children and Family Services, Gordon Jeyes, will continue to apply his discretion to the filling of vacant posts, taking account of identified need and subject to services being delivered within available resources. My Department has sought the additional information requested by the Deputy from the HSE. I will provide the Deputy with the information when it becomes available.

Equality Issues

 555. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the action he intends to take to address his Department's failure on two occasions to comply with the Equal Status Acts in its administration of the mobility allowance and motorised transport grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53809/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch This matter requires further consideration in order to meet the requirements of the Equal Status Acts and to ensure no hardship for those currently in receipt of the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant. The Department is not in a position to amend the circulars relating to the Mobility Allowance or the Motorised Transport Grant as recommended in the Ombudsman's reports. The recommendations, if implemented, would ignore the very serious financial constraints on the Department, the HSE and the State generally. Implementation of the recommendations would create liabilities that the State could not afford.

Home Care Packages

 556. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will outline the tendering system for home care projects; if there is a roll-over tendering system; when the tendering process starts and finishes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53879/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Health Service Executive earlier this year concluded a Procurement Framework for the provision of certain services in connection with Home Care Packages. It is intended that this HSE tender will be reviewed around mid 2013. As the information sought by the Deputy relates to a service matter, your question has been referred to the Executive for direct reply.

Health Insurance Prices

 557. Deputy John Lyons Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide a means by which a person who ceases their private health insurance payments before the end of their contract, based on an inability to pay, may be exempted from the requirement to pay the Government levy for the rest of the contract; if he proposes any way by which persons who have had to pay the levy after cancelling a contract can seek a refund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54025/12]

 617. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will outline the treatment of the Government health insurance levy when persons in financial difficulties either cancel or downgrade their policies; if there is a mechanism available to reclaim this levy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54004/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 557 and 617 together.

  I recently published the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2012 on 18 October, which provides for a permanent Risk Equalisation Scheme (RES) to be in place from 1 January 2013. The main object of the Bill is to ensure that, in the interests of societal and intergenerational solidarity, the burden of costs of health services be shared by insured persons by providing for a cost subsidy between the healthy and the less healthy, including between the young and the old. Committee Stage for this Bill has now been completed and Report Stage is scheduled in the Dáil for later today, 4th December. There is currently no mechanism available to reclaim this levy where persons cancel or downgrade their policy. It is, however, important to note that customers are free to cancel and change their policy at their renewal date without difficulty. One option that could be of additional benefit is the issuing of a certificate in the case of those wishing to switch policies during the course of the cover year, which   will arrange to have further considered in the context of additional legislation concerning risk equalisation next year.

  In the interim, the increased notification periods for new and changed existing products provided for in the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2012 will protect the consumer by restricting the proliferation of products and product changes (there are 221 products on the market at present which is considered excessive) by limiting capacity of insurers to offer and withdraw contracts at very short notice. All customers should carefully consider the full range of plans and levels of cover available within the market, so that their own needs are fully met.

Social Welfare Appeals Delays

 558. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 414 of 27 November 2012 and in view of additional documentation since forwarded, if he will detail what happened to a basic payment appeal lodged with and acknowledged by the HSE appeals section in July 2011 in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22 that should have been transferred to the Department of Social Protection when responsibility for such payments and related appeals was assumed by that Department this year; if the documentation relating to this appeal was lost by the HSE appeals office, by the Social Protection appeals office or when being transferred between the two; if he will further detail the systems in place to ensure that all such basic payment claims and related appeals being handled by HSE community welfare officers and the HSE appeals office were successfully transferred to the relevant staff in his Department; if he will ensure that no claims or appeals were lost in the transfer of responsibility of these issues from the HSE to the Department of Social Protection; if he will further detail what redress a person would have if their claim or appeal was lost either by the HSE appeals office, the Department of Social Protection appeals office or in transfer between the two when the Department was assuming responsibility for such claims and appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54141/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Health Service Executive had responsibility for operating the Community Welfare Service prior to the transfer of this function and the associated staff to the Department of Social Protection on 1 January 2012. I have, therefore, arranged for the Deputy’s inquiry to be referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to him. In the event that there are aspects of his inquiry which the HSE is not in a position to deal with, it would be open to the Deputy to take these up with my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection.

Water Fluoridation

 559. Deputy Brian Stanley Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide a breakdown in tabular form of the annual cost of water fluoridation and the quantities used since 2000. [54580/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White Hydrofluosilicic acid (HSFA) is the chemical used in the fluoridation of public water supplies in Ireland. The cost of supply and delivery of HSFA and the quantity supplied for the last three years are as follows:

Year Cost (including VAT) Quantity supplied (litres)
2009 €1.60 million 3.9 million
2010 €1.64 million 4.0 million
2011 €1.69 million 3.96 million


  Information in respect of the years 2000 to 2008 is currently being collated by the HSE and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Vaccination Programme

 560. Deputy Regina Doherty Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his Department will consider the introduction of the MenB vaccine when it is licensed early in the new year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54714/12]

 668. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly following approval of the new 4CMenB vaccine, which is developed by pharmaceutical company Novartis, by the European Medicines Agency, when it is envisaged the vaccine will be granted a licence for use in this State and also if consideration is being given to introducing a vaccination programme on account of the potential transformative benefits this vaccine has in fighting meningitis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54450/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 560 and 668 together.

NIAC is a committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland comprising of experts in a number of specialties including infectious diseases, paediatrics and public health. The committee's recommendations are informed by public health advice, international best practice and by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). There is no doubt about the role that vaccines have played in improving the health of children. The development of new vaccines is very welcome. A Health Technology Assessment which includes a cost benefit analysis is carried out prior to any new vaccine being considered. This has a vital role in ensuring that care technologies, including vaccines, are used in a manner appropriate to their ability to maximise health gain and achieve value for money.

Should NIAC advice recommend the inclusion of a new vaccine into the primary childhood immunisation programme in Ireland, my Department, in association with the National Immunisation Office will examine the issue. If it is subsequently decided that a vaccine should be included in the vaccination programme, the Health Service Executive, through the National Immunisation Office, initiates the procurement process.

Hospital Staff Issues

 561. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his attention has been drawn to the practice of hospitals bringing in staff on overtime during closure days on wards in an effort to prevent penalties being imposed by his Department for failing to clear waiting lists, the clearing of lists which have been hampered by hospitals introducing roll over closures in an attempt to reduce their deficits; his views on whether that these measures are counter productive in view the state of the Health Budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53712/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Since it was established last year, the SDU has been working to unblock access to acute services by improving patient journeys through the system through encouraging hospitals to better manage their use of bed days and staffing resources and by streamlining waiting lists, including GP referrals. The initial focus for the SDU's Scheduled Care Team has been on waiting times for in-patient and daycase elective surgery, with the targets that no adult should be waiting more than nine months for inpatient and day case treatments and no child longer than 20 weeks.

The measures being taken are working; by the end of September the number of adults waiting more than nine months had fallen by more than 90% on the figure at the start of the year (4678 in Jan down to 415 in September) while the number of children waiting longer than 20 weeks nationally was down to 276 from 1,844 at the start of the year.

Improving access to outpatient services is the next priority, which is why for the first time, clear and comprehensive data on this problem is being reported. The data being collected will allow the SDU and NTPF to target their resources towards those patients who are waiting longest and ensure that they are seen and assessed. A maximum waiting time target has now been set of 12 months for a first time outpatient appointment by 30 November 2013. In parallel with reducing the numbers of longest waiters, the SDU will also work with the HSE Clinical Programmes to reform the structure, organisation and delivery of outpatient services to ensure that the right patient is seen and assessed by the right health professional at the right time.

There is no intention to impose financial penalties on hospitals in relation to achieving waiting time targets. The SDU will continue to work with the HSE and the NTPF in order to ensure that waiting time targets are met. The HSE is also continuing to work closely with the hospitals that are operating budget deficits to ensure that the service impact of cost containment is kept to a minimum and to ensure that patient safety remains at the core of all decision making. The focus at all times is to achieve savings by obtaining better value for money and by continuing to introduce efficiencies in how hospitals do their business.

Sick Pay Scheme Reform

 562. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the rate of absenteeism for year to date by region; the cost of absenteeism by region broken down by staffing categories; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53719/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As a result of Labour Court recommendations, reformed sick leave rules across the public service are being introduced over the next 15 months:

-   A halving of self-certified sick leave to a maximum of seven days in a rolling two-year period. These changes have been introduced with effect from 1 November 2012 and should have some effect on staff with a high incidence of such absences;

-   From January 2014, certified sick-leave for circumstances other than critical illness will be halved to a maximum of 3 months on full pay followed by 3 months on half-pay in a rolling 4 year period;

-   The new arrangements will introduce a critical illness provision of 6 months on full pay and 6 months on half pay.

  The reduced self-certified sick leave should have a positive effect on staff behaviour, with a consequent improvement in the absenteeism rates. The prospect of more restrictive rules on certified absence from 2014 may also help. However, regardless of the new rules, minimising the incidence of sick-leave absence has to be the subject of a clear and sustained management focus and the HSE is pursuing this, especially in locations and services which clearly have unacceptable levels of sick absence. As the specific question raised is a service issue I have arranged it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Equality Issues

 563. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will implement the recommendation of the Ombudsman in ensuring that the motorised transport grant scheme is operated in accordance with the requirements of the Equal Status Act  [53720/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Department accepts that significant issues have been raised by the Ombudsman in relation to the Motorised Transport Grant and the Equal Status Acts. The Department accepts that the Motorised Transport Grant cannot continue in its current form and must be compliant with the Equal Status Acts. The Department are seeking further legal advice on the options available to the Minister and is endeavouring to make sure that those who currently receive the grant, and rely on it, are protected as far as possible.

Departmental Agencies Staff Data

 564. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will report on the numbers of staff, levels of income and expenditure at the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland; if he will indicate the levels and amount of fees levied by the Society on the pharmacy sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53733/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The number of staff and levels of income and expenditure at the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) for the year 2011 are as follows: 25 staff, income of €6.338m and expenditure of €5.468m. This information is available in the PSI annual report for 2011 and on their website at http://thepsi.ie/tns/publications/core-publications.aspx. As required under the Pharmacy Act 2007 (Schedule 1, paragraphs16 (4) and 17 (1)), copies of the PSI Annual Report and Financial Statement are laid yearly before each House of the Oireachtas.

  The 2012 PSI fee schedule is set out below.

Ref. No PSI Rules Fees (Fees) 2008- Paragraph Fee Type Authority for Fee Fee Amount 2012
    Pharmacist Registration    
1
1
Application for first registration of a pharmacist Rule 11(2)(b) of Registration Rules
570
2
2
Application for continued registration of a pharmacist Rule 11(4)(b) of Registration Rules
400
    Pharmaceutical Assistant Registration    
3
4
Application for continued registration of a pharmaceutical assistant Rule 12(2)(b) of Registration Rules
200
    Restoration of Registration -Pharmacists & Pharmaceutical Assistants    
5
13
Application for restoration of a pharmacist registration following voluntary cancellation Section 61(1)(a) of the Act
600
6
15
Application for restoration of a pharmaceutical assistant registration following voluntary cancellation Section 61(1)(a) of the Act
400
7
14
Application for restoration of a pharmacist registration following cancellation for failing to pay fees (such fee shall be payable in addition to the unpaid registration fee) Section 61(1)(b) of the Act
350
8
16
Application for restoration of a pharmaceutical assistant registration following cancellation for failing to pay fees (such fee shall be payable in addition to the unpaid registration fee) Section 61(1)(b) of the Act)
350
    Issue of Certificates of Registration    
9
19
Re-issue of certificate of

registration/continued registration as a pharmacist
Paragraph 20(1)(c) of Schedule 1 to the Act
85
10
19
Re-issue of certificate of

registration/continued registration as a retail pharmacy business
Paragraph 20(1)(c) of Schedule 1 to the Act
85
11
19
Re-issue of certificate of

registration/continued registration as a pharmaceutical assistant
Paragraph 20(1)(c) of Schedule 1 to the Act
85
    Function of Competent Authority    
12
20
Issue of Certificates of Professional Status in respect of Pharmacists Paragraph 20(1)(f) of Schedule 1 to the Act
85
13
21
Letters of Confirmation of Registration for pharmacists and pharmacies Paragraph 20(1)(f) of Schedule 1 to the Act
85
    In-service Practical Training Programme    
14
30
Application to present for the Professional Registration Examination Rule 20 of Education and Training Rules
315
15
31
Completion of Tutor Pharmacist Courses Rule 19 of Education & Training Rules
700
16
  Forensic Course  
315
    Continued Registration of Late Fees    
17
3
Application for continued registration of a pharmacist- late fee Rule 11(5) of the Registration Rules
90
18
5
Application for continued registration of a pharmaceutical assistant- late fee Rule 12(3) of the Registration Rules
50
    Retail Pharmacy Business Registration    
19
6
Application for first registration of a retail pharmacy business Rule 4(3)(b) of the RPB Registration Rules
3500
20
8
Application for first registration of a retail pharmacy business- late fee Rule 4(5) of the RPB Registration Rules
1000
21
7
Application for continued registration of a retail pharmacy business Rule 4(3)(b) of the RPB Registration Rules
2250
22
9
Application for continued registration of a retail pharmacy business- late fee Rule 4(5) of the RPB Registration Rules
500
23
10
Application for the registration of a retail pharmacy business following a change of ownership Rule 4(3)(b) of the RPB Registration Rules
3500
New
  Temporary Relocation Rule 7A Fees Rules (Amendment-Council Dec 2009)
1000
    Voluntary Cancellation of Registration    
24
11
Application for voluntary cancellation of a pharmacist registration Section 59(1) of the Act
0
25
11
Application for voluntary cancellation of a pharmaceutical assistant registration Section 59(1) of the Act
0
26
12
Application for voluntary cancellation of a retail pharmacy business registration Rule 7 of the RPB Registration Rules
500
    Restoration of Registration-Retail Pharmacy Businesses    
27
17
Application for restoration of a retail pharmacy business registration following voluntary cancellation Section 61(1)(a) of the Act
2500
28
18
Application for restoration of a retail pharmacy business registration following cancellation or failing to pay fees Section 61(1)(b) of the Act
3500
    Notification of Alterations to the Registers    
29
22
Notification of an alteration to the information contained in the Register of Pharmacists Section 22(2)(a) of the Act
0
30
22
Notification of an alteration to the information contained in the Register of Pharmaceutical Assistants Section 22(2)(a) of the Act
0
31
23
Notification of change in the superintendent pharmacist Rule 6(2)(a) of the RPB Registration Rules
85
32
24
Notification of change in the supervising pharmacist Rule 6(2)(a) of the RPB Registration Rules
85
33
25
Notification of material change in respect of a registered retail pharmacy business Rule 6(2)(b) of the RPB Registration Rules
200
34
26
Notification of other changes in respect of a registered retail pharmacy business Section 22(2)(a) of the Act
0
    Removal of Conditions on Registration    
35
37
Application for removal of a condition on a pharmacist's registration Section 62(1) of the Act
85
36
28
Application for removal of a condition on a retail pharmacy business registration Section 62(1) of the Act
200
    In-service Practical Training Programme    
37
29
Application to undertake the in-service practical training programme Rule 16(3) of the Education & Training Rules
2000
    Recognition of Pharmacist Qualifications    
38
32
Application for recognition of a third

country qualification
Rule 19(2) of the Registration Rules
1500
39
33
EU/EEA general system qualification evaluation In accordance with requirement of section 16(5) of the Act (to be inserted by the Professional Qualifications (No.2) Regulations)
250
40
34
EU/EEA general system adaptation period In accordance with requirement of section 16(5) of the Act (to be inserted by the Professional Qualifications (No.2 Regulations)
750
41
35
EU/EEA visiting pharmacist aptitude test In accordance with requirement of section 24A(5)(b) of the Act (to be inserted by the Professional Qualifications (No.2) Regulations)
550

Pharmacy Regulations

 565. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will indicate the current position on the rollout of the system of invigilation of the pharmacy sector by the Pharmaceutical Society and whether that system includes any early warning or mediation-type process for possible breaches of regulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53734/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is an independent statutory body, established by the Pharmacy Act 2007. It is charged with, and is accountable for, the effective regulation of pharmacists and pharmacies in Ireland, including responsibility for supervising compliance with the Act.

Part 6 of the Act sets out the fitness to practice functions of the PSI. Under this Part, a person may make a complaint against a pharmacist or pharmacy and the statutory process for dealing with such complaints is set out. Part 7 of the Act deals with the PSI's powers and duties in relation to inspection and enforcement. The PSI is responsible for inspecting pharmacies and taking enforcement action (such as prosecutions) for breach of relevant legislation. This part of the Act was commenced in late 2008. The PSI has been undertaking inspections from 2009 under the Act and has completed a total of 1091 inspections to date. Under the Act there is provision for mediation where a complaint is made against a pharmacist or pharmacy. The Act does not provide for mediation where there have been possible breaches of regulation by a pharmacy or pharmacists.

Home Care Packages

 566. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will review the provision of home care assistance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53736/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Departmental Funding

 567. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason the rehabilitation grant was cut in October and backdated to 1 January resulting in a 7% cut rather than the 3.7% suggested  [53743/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I understand that the Deputy is referring to funding provided to the Delta Centre in Carlow. The disability budget nationally was cut by 3.7% in 2012. The HSE National Service Plan states that at least 2% of this should not impact on services and needs to be generated from other savings and increased efficiencies. The HSE, through its National Consultative Forum on Disability, which includes representative organisations and agencies from the disability sector, is seeking to identify and agree a framework to address the savings required, with minimal impact on frontline services. As the Deputy’s question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.


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