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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 523-539
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Staff Issues
 Header Item Hospitals Patronage
 Header Item Mobility Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Cancer Screening Programmes
 Header Item Nursing Home Subventions
 Header Item Roads Maintenance
 Header Item Bus Éireann Services
 Header Item Taxi Regulations

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. 523-539

Medical Card Applications

 523. 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 a person (details supplied) in County Cork has been refused a medical card; if he will investigate the case with a view to an immediate reversal of the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55574/12]

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.

Hospital Services

 524. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he has had any contact with the Board of Tallaght Hospital, Dublin 24, regarding the challenging budgetary situation at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55595/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I can confirm that officials from my Department attended a meeting with Tallaght Hospital in June in the context of providing secretarial support for the Review of Financial Management Systems in the Irish Health Service, more commonly known as the Ogden review. At the meeting a presentation was made in relation to Tallaght's performance to date covering various topics including activity, waiting list and the financial position.

On 29 August, the CEO of Tallaght wrote to the Department outlining the financial position. Subsequently on 6 September, there was a meeting with the HSE and Tallaght, including the Chairman of the Board of Tallaght, at which the Department was represented. A presentation was made by the Director of Finance, Tallaght regarding the financial position.

Tallaght, like every other hospital is facing significant financial challenges. The HSE has had regular ongoing engagement with the hospital with a view to ensuring that the hospital continues to deliver its 2012 service plan commitments in addition to maximising the considerable financial resources at its disposal.

Tallaght hospital has achieved significant operational savings in 2012 and has reduced its year-on-year spending by 6%, despite a 5% increase in inpatient numbers, a 6% increase in Emergency Department admissions and a 9% reduction in its 2012 allocation. Tallaght has achieved HSE targets for reductions in agency and overtime costs and its absenteeism is consistently lower than the HSE national target. It has also considerably reduced the average length of stay times and ED, inpatient and day case waiting times as well as practically eliminating hospital trolleys.

The hospital’s staff has displayed great commitment to improving its performance and I am confident that this commitment will greatly assist in addressing Tallaght's current financial difficulties.

Medical Card Applications

 525. 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 a medical card will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55598/12]

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.

Health Services Provision

 526. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide details of the proposals his Department has made with regard to meeting the administrative and operational costs to a facility (details supplied) in County Kildare; if prior to the development of this facility the Health Service Executive had a clear understanding and agreement with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government providing the capital funding; the local authority and or the facility provider in relation to ongoing operational costs; his view on whether the funding on offer is adequate to allow the facility to be open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55603/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly In 2010 the National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence was published. It aims to provide a framework for sustainable intervention to prevent and effectively respond to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and is lead by Cosc which is the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

The HSE subsequently published its own Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence. The principal actions are in line with the National Strategy. The HSE’s policy states that a health-focused analysis of violence is crucial, not only because the consequences of such violence require a significant amount of health care system resources, but most importantly because the health care system is often the first route through which victims seek to access supports.

Services to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – including 20 crisis refuges, 27 domestic violence support services and 16 rape crisis centres received €19.182 Million in 2011.

In relation to the specific issue raised by the Deputy, as this is a service issue it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services Provision

 527. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when the findings of a report (details supplied) will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55604/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As the Deputy will be aware, the Disability Appeals Officer is an independent officer appointed by the Minister for Health whose purpose is to provide an appeals service to people who wish to appeal (i) against a finding or recommendation of a complaints officer of the Health Service Executive made under the Disability Act 2005; or (ii) against the failure of the HSE or an education service provider to implement a recommendation of a complaints officer. Following investigation, the Disability Appeals Officer issues a written determination outlining the findings of his/her investigation and any steps to be taken by the HSE or education service provider to address issues of concern. As Minister for Health I have no role in this process.

I understand that the HSE is in receipt of the written determination referred to in the Deputy's question. As this is a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

 528. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 1678 of 18 September 2012, when a full response will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55605/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Health Service Executive has advised that it issued a response to the Deputy in October on this matter which related to the preparation of an assessment report involving a number of professional disciplines. The Executive has indicated that it is working to finalise the assessment process with the input of the various professionals involved as soon as possible and that it will be responding further to the Deputy in the matter.

Medical Card Applications

 529. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if and when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55608/12]

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.

Mental Health Services Provision

 530. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly with regards to the Health Service Executive's fourth annual report of child and adolescent mental health services and the announcement in it that on 4 September 2012, the HSE management team approved the new access protocols for 16 and 17 year olds to mental health services, if he will provide details of these new access protocols; if he will confirm if the HSE and his Department have engaged in detailed consultation and full engagement with the Irish Medical Organisation and Irish Hospital Consultants Association as is required by the PSA; and if consultation has happened at a local level with CAMHS teams around the country  [55628/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The introduction of "Access protocols for 16 and 17 year olds" from 1 January 2013" will ensure the expansion of mental health services to all up to 18 years. The protocol provides that from 1 January 2013, all new cases of children up to their 17 birthday will be seen by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, in areas where previously the age limit for receipt of services had been 16 years; from 1 January 2014, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services will provide services for all children up to 18 years. My Department has not been involved in discussions regarding the development or implementation of the protocols; as the remainder of the Deputy's question relates to a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

  Question No. 531 answered with Question No. 512.

Health Services Staff Issues

 532. 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 the number of vacancies currently in mental health nursing positions; he location of these vacancies; and if those vacancies are currently covered by agency or other staff [55641/12]

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 this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospitals Patronage

 533. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the names of the hospitals in the greater Dublin area that are under the direct managerial control of the Health Service Executive; the managerial structures that are in place in other Dublin hospitals; the Dublin hospitals that are under the patronage of the Roman Catholic Church, Church of Ireland and any other Christian denomination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55648/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Acute and non-acute hospital services are provided in three different types of hospitals in the greater Dublin Area.  These comprise HSE hospitals, owned and funded by the Health Service Executive; voluntary public hospitals, most of whose funding comes directly from the Health Service Executive; private hospitals, which may deliver some services to the Health Service Executive; voluntary public hospitals are sometimes owned by private bodies, such as religious orders. Other voluntary public hospitals are incorporated by charter or statute.

  Issues in relation to the governance and management of individual hospitals, as well as interaction with hospitals, are service matters for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly, I have asked the Executive to reply directly to the Deputy regarding the information requested in relation to each of the relevant hospitals.

Mobility Allowance Appeals

 534. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite an appeal for mobility allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55662/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch 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.

Cancer Screening Programmes

 535. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plans to roll out bowel cancer screening throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55672/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the national colorectal screening programme commenced in November. The programme has been introduced on a phased basis to men and women between the ages of 60-69 years.

When fully implemented the programme will offer free screening to men and women aged 55-74 every two years. As 50% of cancers within this age group are found in people aged 60-69 the programme has begun with this latter age cohort (a population of approximately 500,000). It is anticipated that the first screening round will take up to three years to complete. Over time the phasing of the programme will allow development of colonoscopy capacity to cater for the full 55-74 year age population.

I regard the colorectal screening programme as a national priority and I am committed to supporting it as it develops.

Nursing Home Subventions

 536. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will receive their nursing home support funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55676/12]

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.

Roads Maintenance

 537. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the necessary funds to finish a road resurfacing project (details supplied) in County Kerry will be included in Budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55634/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993.  Works on such roads are a matter, in the first instance, for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.

Circulars, relating to regional and local roads, have been issued to all local authorities earlier this year inviting applications for consideration for funding in 2013 under the various Grant Schemes.  All applications are being considered currently and will be assessed having regard to the eligibility criteria, the need to prioritise projects, competing demands from other local authorities and the reduced funding available to my Department to assist local authorities in 2013.

I intend to announce the 2013 regional and local road grant allocations early in the new year.

Bus Éireann Services

 538. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the progress that has been made on the provision of a bus shelter for Killorglin town County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55057/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The issue of bus stop improvement is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with the relevant transport provider.  I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Taxi Regulations

 539. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the position in regarding the facilitation of local area hackney licences; when he anticipates that this scheme will be operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55060/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly): Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly The regulation of the taxi industry is a matter in the first instance for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003. The NTA is the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011, including implementation of Action 46 of the Report, which proposes a local area hackney licence.

The aim of the proposed local area hackney licence is to facilitate the low cost entry to the hackney market for transport provision in rural areas that, otherwise, would be unlikely to have such services. This proposal was  identified in the Review Report as a medium-term measure, whereby due to the nature, complexity or other requirements of the proposal, implementation would not be possible in 2012. I understand that the NTA is considering the best approach to this issue.


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