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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 180-191
 Header Item Orthodontic Services Provision
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Respite Care Services Availability
 Header Item Long-Term Illness Scheme
 Header Item Departmental Correspondence
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Drugs Payment Scheme Threshold
 Header Item HSE Agency Staff

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 891 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 180-191

Orthodontic Services Provision

 180. Deputy Joanna Tuffy Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when emergency orthodontic treatment will be provided for a person (details supplied) in Lucan in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33745/15]

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 to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Departmental Funding

 181. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will support and facilitate the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in conducting a second sexual abuse and violence in Ireland study. [33761/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I am supportive, in principle, of follow up research into this important issue. However, I am not in a position to contribute to the funding of this study. My Department's policy role in relation to sexual abuse and violence has been much reduced since the original study was undertaken. The setting up of the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (COSC), under the auspices of the Department of Justice and Equality saw Government delegate explicit whole-of-government co-ordination to this Office. More recently, responsibility for child protection, rape crisis services and refugees transferred to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

In the circumstances, I consider that decision making, funding and oversight for the proposed study should be determined by the Department of Justice and Equality/COSC. In so far as wider input is justified, this might have regard to the responsibility of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for important matters formerly falling within this Department's remit.

  Question No. 182 answered with Question No. 157.

Services for People with Disabilities

 183. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar to support a matter (details supplied) regarding a child on the autism spectrum disorder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33779/15]

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 (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.

Respite Care Services Availability

 184. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the status of a proposal to provide a respite house for Tír na nÓg Carlow; the number of meetings attended by the Health Service Executive with regard to funding for this project; the obstacles, if any, in progressing this project and the solutions as envisaged by his Department or the Executive; if he will confirm the funding required by the project; if he will provide funding in 2015 or in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33794/15]

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 (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.

Long-Term Illness Scheme

 185. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the financial supports available to diabetics with a medical card, and on a limited social protection income, to cover the cost of dietary needs and medication; and his plans to introduce such supports [33798/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch All medical-card holders are provided free of charge with approved prescribed drugs and medicines, subject to the prescription fee of €2.50 per item or €25 per month.

  Patients suffering from diabetes insipidus or diabetes mellitus are also eligible to apply to the Long Term Illness Scheme, which provides free drugs, medicines, and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment of those conditions.

Departmental Correspondence

 186. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if correspondence dated 24 June 2015 sent to his Department concerning an organisation (details supplied) in County Waterford has been processed; if a reply will issue as soon as possible; his views on the issues raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33801/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The issues raised are of significant concern to both me and the Minister for Health. As the Deputy will be aware, there is an ongoing Garda investigation into related matters. However, in relation to two previous inquiries commissioned by the HSE, I can confirm that a Review by Conor Dignam S.C. has now commenced and an Interim Report is due to be presented to me within four weeks. Terms of Reference for the Review have been carefully prepared on the basis of legal advice to the Department of Health, and taking account of the Garda investigation.

I can confirm for the Deputy that a reply to the correspondence referred to has issued from my office and I have undertaken to keep the correspondent informed in relation to any developments arising from Mr. Dignam's Review.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 187. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be fitted with special shoes. [33802/15]

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 (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.

Hospital Appointments Status

 188. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if an urgent appointment will be arranged for a person (details supplied) in County Carlow. [33803/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she should take the matter up with the consultant and the hospital involved. In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Health Services Provision

 189. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the assistance that can be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33806/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The provision of services to prevent and treat addiction to alcohol is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive and as such, I have referred this question to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

Drugs Payment Scheme Threshold

 190. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the drugs refund scheme will be adjusted to lower the limit for single persons in relation to correspondence (details supplied). [33812/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, no individual or family has to pay more than €144 per month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by that person or his or her family in that month. The definition of a family for this Scheme is an adult, their spouse, and any children under 18 years. Dependants over 18 years and under 23 years who are in full-time education may also be included.

There are no plans at present to change the operation of the Scheme.

HSE Agency Staff

 191. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason workers in an agency (details supplied) in County Galway have yet to be issued with their twilight premium time payments; when this matter will be resolved; when these payments will issue to them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33814/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The issue of twilight payments for social care workers in these agencies has been the subject of discussions within the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) for the past number of months. The Department has been engaging with the HSE on this matter and I understand that industrial action taken by workers in these agencies has now been suspended.

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues, they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with the HSE.


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