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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 932-953
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Review
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Care Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Expenditure
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Delays
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Delays
 Header Item Mental Health Services Staff
 Header Item Medical Products Supply
 Header Item Hospital Staff
 Header Item EU Sanctions
 Header Item Fishery Harbour Centres
 Header Item Herd Data
 Header Item Equine Passports
 Header Item Farm Sizes
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Appeals
 Header Item GLAS Administration
 Header Item Water Quality
 Header Item GLAS Payments
 Header Item GLAS Payments
 Header Item GLAS Payments

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. 932-953

Hospital Waiting Lists

 932. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive a consultant's appointment at University Hospital Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25602/18]

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..

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Review

 933. 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 proposed changes in the fair deal scheme outlined in the media in February 2018 will be implemented; the full extent of these changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25604/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly A review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS) was published in July 2015. Arising out of the review, a recommendation was made to examine the treatment of business and farm assets for the purposes of the financial assessment element of the scheme. The Programme for a Partnership Government also committed to reviewing the NHSS to remove any discrimination against small businesses and family farms.

At present, the capital value of an individual's principal private residence is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in care. This is known as the three year cap. This cap does not apply to productive assets such as farms and businesses except in cases of sudden illness or disability where specific conditions are met.

It is proposed to amend the scheme to treat farm and business assets in the same manner as the principal private residence where a family successor commits to working the farm or business, i.e. to cap contributions at three years.

The Department of Health has been examining the potential for changes to the treatment of business and farm assets under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme. Any changes to the scheme, if approved by Government, will require amendment of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009.

A Memorandum for Government setting out the details of the proposed policy change and seeking Government approval to draft the General Scheme of a bill to amend the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 has been circulated to other Government Departments for observations..

Hospital Appointments Status

 934. 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 to set out the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25616/18]

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..

Care Services Provision

 935. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris to outline his plans to expand a pilot course for family carers of those with life limiting illnesses; the expected timeline for this expansion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25621/18]

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.

Health Services Expenditure

 936. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 810 of 16 January 2018 if he will request the HSE to provide the information requested (details supplied). [25622/18]

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.

Hospital Appointments Delays

 937. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) who is awaiting assessment for surgery to remove excess skin following bariatric surgery; when they will be called for an assessment; and if necessary, when further surgery will be scheduled. [25624/18]

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..

Question No. 938 answered with Question No. 902.

Hospital Appointments Delays

 939. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment. [25659/18]

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..

Mental Health Services Staff

 940. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris to set out the number of employees in the mental health service by location and grade in counties Louth and Meath; the number of vacancies in both counties by grade and location; the efforts that have been made to recruit staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25660/18]

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.

Medical Products Supply

 941. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris to outline the position regarding the free supply of medicines by pharmaceutical companies to public hospitals; the extent to which this is happening; the guidelines which exist in respect of same; and his views on the appropriateness of such arrangements. [25711/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Hospital Staff

 942. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris to set out the status of the actions which have been taken following the serious issues raised in the media (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25712/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department is working closely with the HSE to ensure compliance by all consultants with the private practice provisions of Consultant Contract 2008.

  Senior officials representing the Department and the HSE met on 23 March to finalise measures to ensure that a comprehensive robust framework at national and local level be implemented.

  Actions agreed include:-

- the allocation of individual responsibilities for monitoring and managing the compliance of individual consultants within the framework at local, Hospital group and national levels,

- processes for monthly reporting from Hospital Group CEOs to the National Director for Acute Hospitals with quarterly reporting to the Deputy Director General and escalation if required,

- the inclusion of consultant contract compliance in the work programme of the HSE's Audit Committee, and

- the submission of reports to the Department of the position at the end of September 2018, the end of December 2018 and annually thereafter.

  I have emphasised to the HSE the need to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to ensure that compliance is achieved on an ongoing basis and corrective action taken where necessary.

EU Sanctions

 943. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris to set out in tabular form the EU fines paid in each of the years 2015 to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25734/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris  The Department of Health paid zero in fines in each of these 3 years.

Year 2015 2016 2017
Amount Fined €0 €0 €0

Fishery Harbour Centres

 944. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to outline the details of the commitment to develop Greencastle Harbour, County Donegal as outlined in Project Ireland 2040; if this commitment involves the completion of the breakwater beside the harbour; when these development works will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24973/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Greencastle Harbour is owned by Donegal County Council and responsibility for its maintenance and development rests with that Local Authority in the first instance and its parent Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government thereafter.

My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of specific piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the 1902 ex-congested Districts Board piers, lights and Beacons Act.

As indicated, my legislative remit does not extend to Greencastle Harbour, and given that the ownership of, and overall responsibility for Greencastle Harbour rests with the County Council, it is the Council who will decide if it wishes to carry out any further development, repair or maintenance of the Greencastle Harbour.

When Donegal County Council decides on the exact programme of works they wish to carry out and the costing and timescale for those works and notify their full intentions in this respect, the matter can be considered further in the context of Government priorities.

Independently, my Department provides limited funding to assist coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways under the annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, subject to available Exchequer funding and overall national priorities.

Donegal County Council successfully secured the maximum funding allocation allowable of €112,500 under the 2017 Programme for development works at Greencastle Harbour. An application for funding in respect of safety signage at Greencastle Harbour was made to my Department under the 2018 Programme and €9,000 has been approved for this purpose.

Any applications submitted by Donegal County Council in relation to Greencastle Harbour in the future will be given due consideration in the context of the criteria set out, available Exchequer funding and overall national priorities..

Herd Data

 945. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to outline the criteria for attaining a herd number; if these criteria differ in cases in which a new farmer is trying to reactivate a herd number; if there are circumstances in which the farmer can attain the herd number in the absence of a cattle crush; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24239/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed In order to obtain a herdnumber an ER1 application form should be completed. There are terms attaching to the provision of a herdnumber including that the applicant must be an individual over 18 years of age. Form ER1 and further details are available online on my Department’s website www.agriculture.gov.ie or directly from the relevant Regional Veterinary Office.

  In all cases, when a herd number is being reactivated the applicant should speak to my Department officials in the relevant Regional Veterinary Office.

  Any new applicant is required to abide by all of the regulations governing the issue of a herdnumber, animal health and welfare regulations and animal movement and identification regulations, details of which are set out in the ER1 application form.

  An on farm inspection is usually required to attain a herdnumber for the keeping of animals, adequate handling facilities among other areas form part of this inspection. My Department officials will discuss with any applicant the details of their application and these requirements.

Equine Passports

 946. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to set out in tabular form the number of checks carried out in compliance with SI 62 of 2016 and the requirement to possess a horse passport in each year since 2016; and the number of instances of non-compliance identified in each year. [24248/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed S.I. 62/2016 transposing Regulation EU 262/2015 lays down rules regarding the methods for the identification of horses within the EU. It also deals with the issuance of equine identification documents, as well as the movement and transport of equines. The DAFM website carries extensive information to assist horse owners and keepers in achieving compliance with the requirements of the legislation. Checks on horse passports are undertaken through my Department's Regional Office network. My officials attend gatherings of horses such as fairs where large numbers of horses are shown or traded. The checks are generally carried out as part of a multi-agency task force e.g in liaison with the Local Authorities and An Garda Síochána.

Consolidated records are not collated in regard to these checks, and any matters arising are dealt with as appropriate at Regional Office level.

Where suspected cases of unidentified equines arise, my officials will liaise closely with the Local Authorities and An Garda Síochána as appropriate..

Farm Sizes

 947. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to outline his views on supports for farmers that are purchasing land to consolidate their farm holdings and incentives that can be introduced; when these would have effect with regard to the cost of such consolidation and the position on State levies that may apply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24258/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Capital Gains Tax Relief for Farm Restructuring provides for a rollover relief for farm restructuring and parcel swaps, with certain conditions, to ensure more efficient farm holdings. Initially introduced in 2013 only for individual land parcels, a subsequent change sought by my Department now allows for whole-farm replacement and an extended timeframe for the first transaction to occur. To be eligible for the relief, the sale and purchase of qualifying land(s) must occur within 24 months of each other. Relief is only available to claimants who are issued with a Farm Restructuring Certificate by Teagasc.

As part of Budget 2018, I introduced a Stamp Duty Relief for Farm Consolidation. This relief is part of a package of measures I agreed with the Minister for Finance following the increase of the general stamp duty rate in the last Budget.

Both reliefs are important environmentally and economically for farmers seeking to consolidate fragmented holdings..

Basic Payment Scheme Appeals

 948. Deputy James Lawless Information on James Lawless Zoom on James Lawless asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if a basic farm payment will be awarded to a farmer (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24275/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named applied under the Scottish Derogation Scheme in 2015 for an allocation of entitlements. This application was initially deemed as unsuccessful. This unsuccessful status has not changed following an internal appeal and also an appeal to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office.

As previously advised by the Agriculture Appeal's Office, the person named may further raise the matter with the Office of the Ombudsman if they feel they have been unfairly treated in the matter of the most recent appeal..

GLAS Administration

 949. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to outline his plans to reopen the GLAS scheme; if not, the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24294/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The target set out in the Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020 to approve 50,000 GLAS participants before the end of 2018 has already been achieved. The fact that the RDP target has been achieved almost two years ahead of schedule is a significant achievement on the part of both farmers and my Department and is evidence of the commitment of Irish farmers to the sustainable growth of the Irish agri-food sector into the future.

The GLAS scheme is one of a suite of many RDP schemes and the re-opening of any scheme can only be considered within the overall RDP budget which is currently fully committed. There are no plans to re-open the scheme. My focus now is on managing the participation of those approved into the Scheme..

Water Quality

 950. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to set out the 2018 funding allocation to the sustainability support and advisory programme by project costs and staff costs; and if the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government's €1 million annual allocation as per Parliamentary Question No. 496 of 8 May 2018 constitutes a separate allocation to the programme. [24330/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The ‘Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme’ is an innovative Government/ industry collaborative initiative and a new approach to achieving improvements in water quality and wider sustainability. It involves the establishment and joint funding between my Department, the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government (DHPLG) and the Dairy Industry of a resource of 30 Agricultural Sustainability Advisors.

  20 of these advisors are being jointly funded by my Department and the DHPLG.

  The total projected pro rata costs for 2018 for the Government funded advisors is €817,000; this is being jointly financed by my Department and DHPLG.

GLAS Payments

 951. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to set out the status of a farm payment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24346/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1 October 2015 and has received all payments in respect of scheme years 2015 and 2016 including GLAS plus.

This applicant has not yet submitted the required Commonage Management Plan and is therefore ineligible for further payments. Both the participant and their advisor have been advised of the requirement to submit the Plan immediately to ensure further payments and indeed participation in the scheme..

GLAS Payments

 952. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed to set out the status of a GLAS payment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24393/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named was approved into GLAS 2 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016 and has received all payments in respect of scheme year 2016 including GLAS plus.

This applicant has not yet submitted the required Commonage Management Plan and is therefore ineligible for payments. Both the participant and their advisor have been advised of the requirement to submit the Plan immediately to ensure further payments and indeed participation in the scheme..

GLAS Payments

 953. Deputy Martin Kenny Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if he will address a matter regarding an ongoing information technology issue in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24404/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The above named was approved into GLAS 3 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2017.

  This Commonage Management Plan has now been submitted. Validation checks will continue on the application and payment will issue as soon as these are successfully completed. GLAS payments are currently issuing on a weekly basis.


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