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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 714-733
 Header Item Health Services Reports
 Header Item Disability Services Funding
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Review
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Provision
 Header Item Medical Card Drugs Availability
 Header Item Disabilities Assessments
 Header Item Orthodontic Services Provision
 Header Item Disability Services Funding
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Disabilities Assessments
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Home Help Service
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Health Promotion
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Provision
 Header Item Abortion Legislation

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. 714-733

Health Services Reports

 714. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when he plans to publish a Sláintecare implementation plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24807/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the Deputy is aware, I supported the work of the All-Party Committee on the Future of Healthcare and I welcomed the publication of the Sláintecare Report. The Report represents a significant milestone in the history of health services development in Ireland, and I intend to harness the consensus generated by the Report to move forward with a programme of health reform. The Government is committed to making tangible improvements in our health service and the Sláintecare Report provides the direction of travel for this.

To that end, work is at an advanced stage in my Department in developing a Sláintecare Implementation Plan. This Plan will translate the Sláintecare Report into a detailed programme of reform over the next 10 years, with a focus on the immediate years ahead. I expect to bring these proposals to Government in the next few weeks and to publish the Implementation Plan shortly thereafter.

Disability Services Funding

 715. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a task force was set up by the HSE or his Department to examine individualised funding for persons with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities; if so, if it was completed; the decision made in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24808/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government I established a Task Force on Personalised Budgets for People with Disabilities on 20 September 2016.

The Task Force consisted of a Strategy Group and an Advisory & Consultative Group.  It included officials from the relevant Government Departments and agencies, HSE, academic and policy experts, stakeholder organisations and a wide range of people with lived experience of disability and disability services (both intellectual and physical).  Its remit was to make recommendations on personalised budgets models which will give people with disabilities more control in accessing health funded personal social services, giving them greater independence and choice in accessing services which best meet their individual needs. A Reference Group comprising people with lived experience of disability and disability services was also established, and the views of this group informed the Task Force deliberations. A public consultation was also held and the outcome contributed to the work of the Task Force.

I received the Report of the Task Force in May 2018 and I am currently considering its recommendations.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Review

 716. Deputy James Lawless Information on James Lawless Zoom on James Lawless asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if an appeal by a person (details supplied) will be examined following a nursing homes support scheme review; if the supporting documentation will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24813/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Services for People with Disabilities

 717. Deputy Pat Buckley Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the services available to assist young adults with a disability such as a person (details supplied) who had been availing of school transport accessing their continuing education as before; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24817/18]

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 intends to liaise 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.

Primary Care Centres Provision

 718. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a new state-of-the-art primary care centre will be provided in Maynooth, County Kildare (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24833/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Medical Card Drugs Availability

 719. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if EpiPens are covered on the medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24841/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Disabilities Assessments

 720. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason a person (details supplied) has not yet received an assessment. [24842/18]

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.

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.

Orthodontic Services Provision

 721. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive orthodontic treatment which was identified when they were in primary school and was not delivered at that time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24844/18]

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.

Disability Services Funding

 722. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if funding will be made available to an organisation (details supplied) in County Donegal, in view of a recent meeting that took place between the organisation and the Minister of State with responsibility for disability issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24845/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I met with a delegation from the Bluestack Foundation on Thursday 26 April 2018 and undertook to liaise with the HSE regarding possible core funding for this organisation.  On the 7 of June 2018, I was advised by the HSE that funding for the Bluestack Foundation is not available presently. The HSE propose to include an estimates bid for the Bluestack Foundation for 2019 and the HSE Management locally will continue to keep in discussions with the organisation accordingly.

Hospital Appointments Status

 723. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will be facilitated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24846/18]

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.

Disabilities Assessments

 724. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a child (details supplied) in County Cork will have an assessment of need carried out; the number they are on the waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24861/18]

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.

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 725. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will be facilitated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24862/18]

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.

Home Help Service

 726. Deputy Frank O'Rourke Information on Frank O'Rourke Zoom on Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the home help supports a person (details supplied) might be entitled to; if an assessment of need will be conducted as a priority to determine the level of supports required; if these supports will be delivered within the recommended timeframe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24865/18]

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.

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

 727. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the HSE will arrange a meeting with its officials, an organisation and the family representatives of a person (details supplied) to discuss the person's care plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24868/18]

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.

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.

Health Promotion

 728. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the penalties applying to breaches of the codes of practice for non-broadcast media advertising and marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages, including sponsorship and retail product placement; the reason the codes are voluntary and not compulsory; the proportion of the food industry and relevant media that is signed up to them; the basis on which the broadcast media are excluded from the provisions of the codes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24894/18]

 729. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the codes of practice in place specifically to ensure that foods high in fat, sugar and salt are marketed and advertised in a responsible way in broadcast media; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24895/18]

 731. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the companies that have signed up to the codes of practice for non-broadcast media advertising and marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages, including sponsorship and retail product placement; and the companies that have withdrawn from the codes. [24898/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne I propose to take Questions Nos. 728, 729 and 731 together.

The national Obesity Policy and Action Plan (OPAP) was approved by the Government in 2016. The OPAP recommended that a code of practice for food and beverages promotion, marketing and sponsorship be developed, implemented and evaluated in conjunction with the food industry, HSE, Dept of Children and Youth Affairs, safefood, Food Safety Authority of Ireland and advertiser organisations. The OPAP premised this recommendation by providing that 'already there are many examples of the food industry making positive contributions to the prevention of obesity and it is essential to capitalise and expand on such initiatives'.

On this basis, the group that developed and agreed the Codes involved representatives from the food industry (IBEC, Food Drink Ireland, Retail Ireland), advertising sector (Association of Advertisers in Ireland, Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland), statutory agencies, and various Government Departments. It was chaired by the former CEO of the statutory Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

I launched the Codes in February. Their overall objective is to reduce exposure of the Irish population to marketing initiatives relating to foods that are high in fat, sugar and/or salt.

The Codes of Practice are one of the suite of actions set out in the OPAP in the knowledge that no single sector or agency, or no single action, is able to solve this issue on its own. Everyone and every sector have a role to play in those solutions. They apply to non-broadcast media given that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is the regulator of broadcasting in Ireland with its own Children's Commercial Communications Code.

Section 10 of the Codes of Practice provides for a governance framework for these codes. It stipulates that the Codes will be monitored for compliance and effectiveness by a Monitoring Body designated by the Minister for Health. Work on this designation is underway.

The Monitoring Body will maintain and publish a register of signatories of companies and partner organisations that will sign up to the Codes. Section 10 adds that complaint procedures will be an integral part of the agreed Codes of Practice and that it will have the responsibility to investigate any complaint submitted and seek remedial action if necessary. The Monitoring Body shall produce an annual report for the Minister which shall cover effectiveness and complaints. All complaints upheld will be published.

Primary Care Centres Provision

 730. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the timeframe for the provision of a primary care centre in Kinlough (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24897/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

  Question No. 731 answered with Question No. 728.

Abortion Legislation

 732. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to include a protest exclusion zone as part of the legislation to be enacted following the recent referendum in the interests of the mental health and personal safety of both patients and healthcare providers as well as on data protection grounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24901/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris A Bill to Regulate Termination of Pregnancy is currently being drafted. The issue of exclusion zones will be examined in the context of this legislation.

  Question No. 733 answered with Question No. 663.


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