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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 506-522
 Header Item Ministerial Appointments
 Header Item Ministerial Appointments
 Header Item Ministerial Appointments
 Header Item Ambulance Service Provision
 Header Item Public Services Provision
 Header Item Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Provision
 Header Item Health Screening Programmes
 Header Item Hospital Staff Issues
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item General Medical Services Scheme Administration
 Header Item Employment Rights Issues
 Header Item Health Services Provision

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 506-522

Ministerial Appointments

 506. 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 it is his intention to fill the two seats on the Health and Social Care Professionals Board; if so, if he will outline the process that is being undertaken to fill these posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55384/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Health and Social Care Professionals Council, established in 2007, and the 12 registration boards being established under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (the Act), will be responsible for protecting the public by regulating health and social care professionals in Ireland. The object of the Council is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among the registrants of the 12 health and social care professions designated under the Act.

Under the Act, membership of the Council consists of a Chairperson, who is not eligible to be a registrant, and 24 ordinary members, 12 each from a professional and lay background.

Expressions of interest in being appointed by me to two lay vacancies on the Council have been invited on my Department's website and by the Public Appointments Service. The appointees will represent the views of the general public and will be appointed with the consent of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

I hope to be in a position to fill these vacancies shortly.

Ministerial Appointments

 507. 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 reason the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council has not had its seventeen members replaced since June; if he will outline his plans for the council and if he intends to replace the members, the process that is being undertaken to fill these posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55385/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The current term of the Council of PHECC expired at the end of June 2012.

  The Council may have up to 17 members. Nine members are nominated by designated bodies and seven more must be clinicians or others with specific interest and expertise in the area. The remaining member is a public interest representative.

  I have made the appointments as recommended.

Ministerial Appointments

 508. 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 position regarding the intake of the twenty two new members that were due to be introduced to the Nursing and Midwifery Board; if he intends to fill these posts, if he will outline the process that is being undertaken to fill them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55386/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Section 22 of the Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011 provides for the appointment of 23 members to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. 14 of the appointees are on the nomination of specified bodies with 3 more appointed in consultation with the HSE, Irish Universities Association and the Institutes of Technology Ireland. Following on from Government Decision S180/20/10/1424 of 2011 in relation to appointments to State boards, my Department advertised for expressions of interest for the remaining 6 posts in conjunction with the Public Appointments Service.

To date, 18 positions have been filled, with the remaining 5 under consideration.

Ambulance Service Provision

 509. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the timetable for the refurbishment of Loughglynn Ambulance Base, County Roscommon; the total capital cost of the project; if he will confirm that the base will be operated on a 24/7 basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55420/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Delivery of health care infrastructure is a service issue. Therefore your query has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Public Services Provision

 510. 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 further to Parliamentary Question No. 237 of 4 December 2012, if he will provide a list of all new services across his Department that have been tested for external service delivery since March 2011. [55433/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly One of the key commitments in the Public Service Reform Plan is to identify and evaluate new business models and opportunities to support the delivery of non-core processes and services. External Service Delivery is an area that can potentially deliver a range of benefits for the provision of health services. These include both cost and efficiency savings stemming from better work and management practices.

An External Services Delivery Plan which outlines possible areas which may benefit from External Delivery is currently being drawn up by my Department in conjunction with the HSE.

External Service Delivery has very limited applicability within my Department itself as the Department generally does not provide any services direct to the public. However, the provision of a central Human Resources function for the entire Civil Service is already well advanced and my Department is scheduled to join that system from about mid 2013. The provision of centralised Accounts functions is also being considered at a central level and I await the outcome of that process.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility

 511. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a decision will be made as a matter of urgency in relation to the inclusion or otherwise of a condition (details supplied) under the long term illness scheme in the Health Service Executive West in view of the fact that the delay in this decision is causing undue financial hardship to a family [55498/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive is responsible for the administration of the Long Term Illness Scheme. The HSE has therefore been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Mental Health Services Funding

 512. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the cost of each project that was completed from the allocation of €35 million for mental health services in budget 2012 to progress the implementation of the recommendations as outlined in a Vision for Change.  [55503/12]

 531. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the €35 million for mental health services is in addition to the €35 million for mental health announced last year; the amount of the €35 million allocated for mental health in 2012 that was spent on mental health services [55640/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I propose to take Questions Nos. 512 and 531 together.

  Funding from the €35 million special provision for mental health in 2012 was allocated for measures primarily to further strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services, to advance activities in the area of suicide prevention, to initiate the provision of psychological and counselling services in primary care, specifically for people with mental health problems, and to facilitate the re-location of mental health service users from institutional care to more independent living arrangements in their communities, in line with A Vision for Change.

  414 posts were approved to implement the €35 million package of special measures for mental health. To date 17 posts have been filled and over 270 offers of employment have already been accepted and the appointments are proceeding. Most start dates are expected to commence this month.

  The provisional outturn for mental health services has, like many other areas, been running ahead of budget and the end of year excess in this area will be met from the unexpended portion of the €35 million. It is not possible to say yet exactly how much of the €35 million will be spent on mental health services by the end of this financial year. The announcement in Budget 2013 of a further €35 million for the continued development of our mental health services is additional to the €35 million provided in Budget 2012. I will be engaging fully with the Health Service Executive to ensure that the developments to be put in place for this additional funding are reflected in the National Service Plan for 2013.

Primary Care Centres Provision

 513. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide an update on the proposed primary care centre at Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, including if the Health Service Executive has completed the local consultation and site assessment ; the target timeframes for completion and operation; if he will give details of the discussions and agreements with local general practitioners to date; site identification; services to be provided at site and any other matter considered relevant [55530/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Carrickmacross Co Monaghan is one of the 35 potential locations for primary care centres for development by way of PPP as announced in July in the Government's Infrastructure Stimulus Package. Of the 35, approximately 20 will be offered to the market subject to a) agreement between the local GPs and the HSE on active local GP involvement in the centres and b) site suitability and availability. The HSE is currently analysing the available sites in each location and engaging with the GPs in each location to determine their interest in participating in the primary care centre development. The HSE has also commenced the procurement of design teams and technical advisors to progress the design and planning submissions for the primary care centre sites and to prepare the PPP procurement documents.

Health Screening Programmes

 514. 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 he will provide an update in the roll-out of the national retinopathy screening programme which was due to commence screening in the last quarter of 2012; if he will announce the results of the programme's tendering process; if he will indicate when patients may now expect to receive notice of screening appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55531/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Hospital Staff Issues

 515. Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will confirm that a replacement physiotherapist covering cystic fibrosis has been provided in a hospital (details supplied) in Dublin 1; if he will confirm that there has been no gap in physiotherapist services for children with cystic fibrosis attending the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55534/12]

 516. Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the dedicated dietician for cystic fibrosis patients will be provided in a hospital (details supplied) in Dublin 1; his views on whether such a service is important to cystic fibrosis patients in view of the fact that increased weight can result in better lung function for patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55536/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 515 and 516 together.

A new dedicated Respiratory and CF unit was opened in Temple Street in June 2010 providing state of the art facilities for children with respiratory disorders, their families and staff. It includes a lung function laboratory with the most up to date equipment, spacious patient treatment rooms and outpatient clinic rooms. The National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Laboratory is also located in Temple Street. The new unit facilitates care of the children diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis under the newborn CF screening programme.

In relation to the particular issues raised by the Deputy, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to him.

Medical Card Applications

 517. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason for the delay in renewing a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55539/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

General Medical Services Scheme Administration

 518. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his attention has been drawn to the further delay that has arisen in the primary care reimbursement service medical officer's department the reasons for same; the steps he will take to alleviate the problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55540/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White I have asked the Health Service Executive for a report on the issue raised by the Deputy. I will revert to the Deputy on the matter as soon as possible.

Employment Rights Issues

 519. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when agency workers employed by the Health Service Executive in Navan, County Meath, will receive their full entitlement under the Agency Workers Directive; and when back payments will be made [55548/12]

 520. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the Health Service Executive in Navan, County Meath, has fully implemented the Protection of Employee (Temporary Agency Work) Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55549/12]

 521. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the Health Service Executive has fully implemented the Protection of Employee (Temporary Agency Work) Act; if he will provide a progress report on same based on Health Service Executive region, staff grade and work location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55552/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 519 to 521, inclusive, together.

Following the enactment of the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act this year, the HSE provided guidance to public service employers on the Act, including the fact that the equal pay provisions of the Act have retrospective effect to 5th December 2011. All agency staff employed through agencies contracted by the HSE have now had their basic pay adjusted in accordance with the Act. The majority of Agency Nurses engaged in the HSE by Nurse on Call have been paid their retrospection. In relation to the other contracted agencies, the verification process is ongoing, however it is now expected that this will complete early in the new year, at which the remainder of Agency Staff will be paid their retrospection.

Details on agency workers employed in Navan, County Meath is a matter for the Health Service Executive, and as such, the Deputy's enquiry has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services Provision

 522. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 656 of 13 November 2012, when a response will issue from the Health Service Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55557/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Health Service Executive have advised me that they are compiling an answer at the moment to the Deputy's original question, and as soon as it is available they will respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.


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