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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 581-601
 Header Item Hospital Acquired Infections
 Header Item Ambulance Service Provision
 Header Item Disability Support Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Hospital Overcrowding
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospitals Building Programme
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Health Care Policy
 Header Item Health Care Policy
 Header Item Health Care Policy
 Header Item Cancer Screening Programmes
 Header Item Health Care Policy
 Header Item Orthodontic Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Medicinal Products Availability
 Header Item Departmental Management Structures
 Header Item National Maternity Strategy Expenditure
 Header Item Health Care Policy

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 970 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 581-601

Hospital Acquired Infections

 581. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 132 of 24 May 2018, the exact quantum of funding allocated in 2018 to provide for the full implementation of national policies and guidelines in regard to antimicrobial resistance and healthcare acquired infections. [24236/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Following on from the answer to Parliamentary Question No. 132 of 24 May 2018, the Department in recognising the challenges of CPE for the health system held back dedicated funding for 2018. The HSE is prioritising work programmes for this funding in line with CPE risk.

The funding held back provides for a full year cost of €2 million for healthcare associated infection and antimicrobial resistance.

The need for on-going assessment of additional resources to address the challenges of drug resistant organisms for the next number of years is recognised by both the Department and the HSE. This will form part of the estimates process and service planning for 2019 and beyond.

Ambulance Service Provision

 582. Deputy Pat Buckley Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a report has been carried out regarding the impact of the loss of the ambulance base in east County Cork; if not, the reason therefore; and if he will institute a report on the impact of same.  [24247/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly. 

Disability Support Services Provision

 583. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason a person (details supplied) cannot access a bus service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24250/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.  

The provision of transport to adults with a disability attending HSE-funded day services is not a core health service, and the HSE endeavours to ensure that all service users access public transport, including rural transport services, if possible. This is in keeping with the principle of mainstreaming with a clear focus on ensuring persons with a disability have access to the normal range of services and participate in community life as far as possible. In general, day service users are in receipt of disability allowance and are automatically entitled to the Free Travel Pass.

However when all other options are exhausted, and a person cannot avail of a day service because they do not have transport to attend, some transport is provided by disability service providers on a case by case basis as resources allow. Service providers are continuously reviewing their transport arrangements to ensure that they are used as effectively and equitably as possible within available resources. This may result in the provision of a reduced quantum of service to the service user, and the HSE does its best to provide transport in certain cases without reducing services. 

The HSE is liaising with the National Transport Authority and disability service providers to explore ways in which the Authority’s services could assist people with disabilities. The National Transport Authority has a total of 17 Transport co-ordinating units called Local Link which provide safe secure and reliable Public Transport services in local and rural areas of Ireland through a combination of scheduled Public Transport services and door to door services. The HSE plans to explore the opportunities these units may provide to people with disabilities to access day services and participate in the social, educational and economic life of their local communities.

However, 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.

Hospital Appointments Status

 584. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24251/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Overcrowding

 585. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of times the full capacity protocol has been used in University Hospital Limerick to date in 2018. [24253/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 586. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of patients who have had to wait on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick to date in 2018. [24254/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris University Hospital Limerick (UHL) recorded a year-to-date total of 2408 patients waiting on trolleys in the first four months of 2018.  This represents an increase of 13.7% or 290 more patients waiting on trolleys in the first four months of 2018 as compared to the same period last year.

Contributing to this increase is the fact that UHL recorded the second highest number of Emergency Department attendances in the first four months of 2018, up 11% , and a 7.9% rise in admissions in UHL in the same period.

A new Emergency Department was opened at UHL in May 2017.  This €24 million development aimed to provide UHL with increased capacity for emergency medicine to meet the demands of population growth, changing service models and to improve efficiency targets.

In addition UHL has put in place a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) setting out specific mitigating actions to improve patient flow and improve processes in the ED and UHL is now fully engaged with the National Patient Flow Improvement Project, as a pilot site, to further improve processes within the hospital.  

As Minister for Health, I am committed to continuing the effort to address overcrowding in our Emergency Departments, and, in this context, I have asked my Department to work with the HSE to identify the location and mix of beds across the hospital system, which can be opened and staffed this year and into 2019 in order to improve preparedness for Winter 2018/2019.    I understand this will include proposals in relation to UHL.

Hospitals Building Programme

 587. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the provision of a 96-bed extension to University Hospital Limerick. [24255/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department has asked the Health Service Executive to provide the Deputy with the current position on the extension to University Hospital Limerick. 

Hospital Waiting Lists

 588. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when an operation will be provided for a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in issuing a date for the procedure in view of the significant length of time that the person has spent on the waiting list to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24257/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

 589. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of a MRI appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24268/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Health Care Policy

 590. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to roll out a national scheme to allow children who do not need medical or surgical management to be examined in the community by optometrists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24271/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Care Policy

 591. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to roll out the Sligo cataract scheme nationally with optometrists and hospital eye departments working together; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24272/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Care Policy

 592. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the development of a national women’s health action plan as committed to in the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020; the funding allocated to the development of the plan for 2018, 2019 and 2020; the projected timeline for its completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24277/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne The National Strategy for Women and Girls, 2017-2020 (NSWG) was published in April, 2017, and is the framework through which the Government is pursuing actions to advance the rights of women and girls, and to enable their full participation in Irish society.

Implementation is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality. The Department of Health was represented on the Strategy Committee that developed the NSWG, and is also represented on the Committee overseeing its implementation. which has met on three occasions since the NSWG launch, on 13th July and 26th September, 2017 and 25th January, 2018. A further meeting is scheduled for 13th June, 2018.

The Department of Health is principally involved with implementation of Objective Two of the NSWG; "Advance the Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing of Women and Girls".

Action 2.1 of the NSWG commits to "Strengthen partnership work with the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) in identifying and implementing  key actions to address the particular physical and mental health needs of women and girls in order to advance the integration of their needs into existing and emerging health strategies, policies and programmes through an action plan for women's health".

Under this Action, the Department and the HSE are working with the NWCI, and, potentially, additional relevant organisations, including others in receipt of funding from the HSE, such that an advanced partnership approach can be developed to support the implementation of existing actions and needs outlined in the NSWG.

The Healthy Ireland Framework provides the over-arching context for progressing actions with regard to the health and wellbeing of women and girls. Healthy Ireland takes a whole of Government and whole of society approach to improving health and wellbeing, with a focus on prevention, reducing health inequalities and keeping people healthier for longer.

Within the context of Healthy Ireland, there are currently a number of issues where  improvements in the health and wellbeing of women and girls could have significant impacts; these are set out in the NSWG.

These include improving awareness and supporting healthier choices in terms of smoking cessation, safer alcohol consumption, improving uptake of the HPV vaccine, increasing physical activity participation rates in younger women and improving rates of folic acid consumption and breast-feeding.

The Healthy Ireland approach is that many organisations have a role to play in achieving the goals of Healthy Ireland and in implementing the various strategies and plans under the Healthy Ireland aegis. Hence, the Department of Health and the HSE will continue to work in partnership with the NWCI and other relevant organisations, to support women and girls in improving their health and wellbeing.

The NWCI have been funded for work in the area of gender and health since 2011. This work has evolved to scope the development of the Women's Health Action Plan in partnership with the HSE in 2018. A number of engagement meetings have taken place in 2018 between representatives of the NWCI and the HSE in order to advance this work. 

While the work is at an early stage of scoping, it is clear that there are a number of key programmes across the HSE which currently target and engage successfully on women's health; these include the Early Childhood Programme and the Tobacco Programme, the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme, the Perinatal and Mental Health Programme and the Maternity and Infant Health Programme as well as significant work under the Primary Care and Social Inclusion areas.

The scoping work will include gathering existing data on women's health and commitments in existing policies that support women's health and wellbeing. This work is underway but is at an early stage.

The Department of Health will continue to support the HSE and NWCI in furthering their aims regarding women's health and in developing the Women's Health Action Plan.

Cancer Screening Programmes

 593. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when it is likely that there will be a change in regard to which labs are used to analyse smear tests for the CervicalCheck programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24325/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to introduce HPV testing as the primary screening method for the prevention of cervical cancer as soon as possible. The HPV test is more accurate testing mechanism than liquid-based cytology, which is the current testing mechanism, and its use would result in fewer false negative results. Its introduction is in line with developments in cervical screening internationally.

Switching to HPV testing as the primary screening mechanism will require a reconfiguration of laboratory services. While the extent to which the HPV testing can be done in Ireland is being assessed, it is likely that a tendering process will be needed to meet at least some of the HPV testing requirement.

Health Care Policy

 594. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the re-evaluation of the national eye care plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24328/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Orthodontic Services Provision

 595. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the steps being taken to reduce the waiting time for access to orthodontic care for minors in the CHO 4 area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24331/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 596. Deputy Seán Barrett Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to introduce a community-based children’s optometrists scheme in order to address the waiting lists that exist for children to receive eye examinations; his further plans to roll out the Sligo cataract scheme (details supplied) across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24348/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Availability

 597. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will engage with an organisation (details supplied) and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that all new life-changing medicines are made available to persons with MS in a timely manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24349/18]

 689. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the position on the approval of new medicines for persons with multiple sclerosis; his plans for reforms to address delays in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24696/18]

 765. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the medicines not available to persons suffering from multiple sclerosis that are available in other EU member states; the reason for this; the engagement he plans to have with an organisation (details supplied), other EU states and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that the drugs are available and licensed here and covered by the GMS scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25040/18]

 781. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the way in which he plans to address the wait time for drugs to be approved for persons with MS; if he will engage with an organisation (details supplied) and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure new medicines are available to persons with the condition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25118/18]

 814. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his Department will engage with an organisation (details supplied) and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that new medicines are available to persons with multiple sclerosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25231/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 597, 689, 765, 781 and 814 together.

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.   As Minister for Health, I do not have any statutory power or function in relation to the reimbursement of medicines. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.

In line with the 2013 Act, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE pursuant to the Community Drugs scheme, the company must first submit an application to the HSE to have the new medicine added to the Reimbursement List.

As outlined in the IPHA agreement, and in line with the 2013 Act, the HSE will decide, within 180 days of receiving the application (or a longer period if further information is sought from the company), to either add the medicine to the reimbursement list or agree to reimburse it as a hospital medicine, or refuse to reimburse the medicine.

HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE).

The NCPE conducts health technology assessments (HTAs) for the HSE, and makes recommendations on reimbursement to assist HSE decisions. The NCPE uses a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention.

The HSE strives to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible. However, because of the significant monies involved, it must ensure that the best price is achieved, as these commitments are often multi-million euro investments on an on-going basis. This can lead to a protracted deliberation process.

I am keen to engage with Industry and to explore ways in which new medicines might be more easily introduced in Ireland.  However, any innovative approaches that may be tabled must be compatible with the statutory provisions which are in place and must also recognise the fundamental pricing/funding issues in the context of finite Exchequer resources.

I have indicated willingness to meet with MS Ireland and my office is in contact with the organisation to arrange a mutually convenient date.

Departmental Management Structures

 598. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 13 of 2 June 2016, if policy issues in respect of abortion are still subsumed into the tobacco and alcohol control unit of his Department; if so, the reason it has not been changed; if a new unit will be established within his Department to oversee abortion and other related matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24357/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the Deputy is aware, overall responsibility for abortion policy lies under the remit of the Chief Medical Officer. Within the division of the Chief Medical Officer, the issue of abortion is dealt with by the Bioethics Unit, which has responsibility for, inter alia, abortion policy and legislation and related matters.

National Maternity Strategy Expenditure

 599. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the funding allocated to the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy for 2018, 2019 and 2020; the way in which this funding allocation is broken down; the specific funding allocated to the roll-out of a national perinatal mental health service for the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24363/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Implementation of Ireland's first National Maternity Strategy - Creating a Better Future Together 2016-2026 - is being led by the National Women and Infants Health Programme.  To that end, the Programme has developed a detailed Implementation Plan and estimated that full implementation will cost in the region of an additional €80 million revenue funding over the lifetime of the Strategy. Work to identify the precise capital funding requirement is ongoing.  The Strategy will be implemented on a phased basis and therefore the funding requirement will vary from year to year. In that context, the Implementation Plan will inform the annual Estimates process each year. 

In 2018, €4.15m has been allocated for the Strategy, and in that regard, the Programme has prioritised; improving quality and safety, establishing community midwifery teams and increasing access to anomaly scans. This follows previous investment of €3m development funding provided for maternity services in 2016 and increased funding of €6.8m provided in 2017. That money was allocated in line with the Strategy and included funding for additional staff, including 100 midwives, the development of specialist bereavement teams and for the implementation of the Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System. 

Regarding perinatal mental health, €1 million was allocated in 2017 to start three specialist perinatal hubs in Galway University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital and University Maternity Hospital Limerick and to expand the small existing teams in the three Dublin based maternity hospitals. I understand that a further €2 million will be provided to complete each of these six hub teams; €0.2m of which is being allocated this year while the remaining €1.8m will be allocated in 2019. 

I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly to provide further detail on the relevant allocations.

Health Care Policy

 600. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a revised HSE national consent policy will be published which omits paragraph 7.7.1’s exceptions to the principle of consent [24380/18]

 601. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the measures he is taking to inform all medical practitioners and persons in associated professions that the exception contained in paragraph 7.7.1 of the HSE's national consent policy no longer applies. [24381/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 and 601 together.

As the Deputy's query relates to a HSE publication, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

However, as the Deputy will be aware, until the result of the recent referendum has been confirmed and the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill has been signed by the President, termination of pregnancy  is regulated by constitutional and statute law.  When the referendum result is confirmed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 will remain the law on the issue until such time as new legislation regulating termination of pregnancy has been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.


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