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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 389-404
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Staffing
 Header Item Water Fluoridation
 Header Item Medical Card Eligibility
 Header Item Mental Health Services Report
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Applications
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Medicinal Products Supply
 Header Item Health Services Expenditure
 Header Item Hospital Staff Issues
 Header Item Health Services Provision

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 775 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 389-404

Special Educational Needs Staffing

 389. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be supplied with a special needs assistant for pre-school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40358/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Water Fluoridation

 390. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding water fluoridation here; if his attention has been drawn to the growing body of evidence that links fluoridation to cancer; his plans to end water fluoridation in line with other European countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40731/12]

 391. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will outline the current position in relation to water fluoridation in Ireland; if his attention has been drawn to the growing body of evidence that links fluoridation to cancer, if there are plans to end water fluoridation in line with other European countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40745/12]

 441. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his views on the need to continue with the fluoridation of the water supply in view of the fact that this is putting peoples health at risk and that scientific studies have proven that putting fluoride in drinking water acts as a development of eurotoxin in children similar to mercury and lead ultimately reducing their IQ, and thereby produces more intellectual challenged and fewer gifted individuals, as well as a myriad of other health concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40346/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall I propose to take Questions Nos. 390, 391 and 441 together.

Water fluoridation and the use of appropriate fluorides is a major plank of public health policy in Ireland in the prevention and management of tooth decay. The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, which was established in 2004, monitors new and emerging issues on fluoride and its effects on health and related matters. The Expert Body is satisfied, having studied current peer reviewed scientific evidence worldwide, that water fluoridation causes no ill effects to the health of adults or children. There are no plans to discontinue the policy of fluoridation of public water supplies, which continues to make an effective contribution to oral health in Ireland.

Medical Card Eligibility

 392. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason persons who have suffered from cancer have had there medical card renewals refused; the reason for same when they have a long term illness. [40064/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Report

 393. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly following recent reports (details supplied) that the bulk of the €35 million promised in Budget 2012 for the development of community mental health services was going to be used to offset the Health Service Executive deficit, the way this will effect the implementation of A Vision for Change; the position regarding the implementation of a A Vision for Change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40069/12]

 412. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding the recruitment of the approved creation of an additional 414 posts for healthcare professionals as recommended in A Vision for Change to support the the delivery of modern secondary mental health care in the community [40167/12]

 413. Deputy John Paul Phelan Information on John Paul Phelan Zoom on John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding the 2012 funding for the mental health services with particular reference to the 414 additional staff that were announced for the provision of the service; if as per recent information from his Department it is still hoped that 353 of these positions will be filled before the end of 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40171/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I propose to take Questions Nos. 393, 412 and 413 together.

  Since taking office, this Government has prioritised the reform of our mental health services in line with A Vision for Change and is committed in particular to the delivery of more and better quality care in the community. The special allocation of €35m for mental health which was announced in Budget 2012 in line with the Programme for Government commitments will be used primarily to further strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services, to initiate the provision of psychological and counselling services in primary care, specifically for people with mental health problems and to advance activities in the area of suicide prevention.

  Of the 414 posts approved to implement the €35 million package of special measures for mental health introduced in Budget 2012, 353 are with the National Recruitment Service of the HSE at various stages in the recruitment process, 321 have been put to candidates to express an interest and others are awaiting competitions or the completion of essential paperwork. Most start dates are expected to be in December to allow for the process of checking references, Garda clearance etc.   

  This Government remains committed to engaging these professionals as soon as is feasible and the work of completing the process remains a priority. These posts will not generate a full year cost in 2012. However, overall expenditure in mental health for 2012 is not available yet but the provisional outturn to mid-year was, like many other areas, running ahead of budget. It is not possible at this stage to say what the net end year position will be in mental health.

Medical Card Appeals

 394. Deputy Brian Walsh Information on Brian Walsh Zoom on Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a decision in respect of an appeal regarding a medical card application will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40083/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications

 395. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the unit cost for a pair of crutches purchased by the Health Service Executive; the cost to sanitise same for reuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40090/12]

 396. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the total cost of purchasing crutches and other walking aides for the Health Service Executive in 2011; the number of crutches and walking aides purchased for the same period; the number that were returned to the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40091/12]

 455. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he has received any complaints about inaction from the Health Service Executive from a company (details supplied) in County Mayo that recycles medical equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40406/12]

 474. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the total cost of providing crutches and walking aids to the Health Service Executive patients in County Kerry in each of the past ten years and in view of the fact that these appliances are non returnable, if he will consider this policy to be an area of financial waste; if he will change this policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40621/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 395, 396, 455 and 474 together.

  As these are service matters, they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services Provision

 397. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his views regarding a submission (details supplied); his plans to address the concerns raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40105/12]

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

Medical Card Applications

 398. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a medical card application review in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40118/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

 399. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40120/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

 400. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reasons community paediatric occupational therapy will no longer be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40122/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Supply

 401. Deputy Paschal Donohoe Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties that pharmacists are having in the procurement of cymbalta capsules which help stabilise individuals suffering from depressive illnesses; the actions he or the Health Service Executive will take to alleviate this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40123/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall The Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) have engaged regarding the availability of Cymbalta with the principal wholesaler responsible for placing it on the Irish market on behalf of the marketing authorisation holder. The HSE and IMB have been advised that there is sufficient availability of the product to meet the needs of patients within the State.

In order to ensure that stocks of this product are continuously maintained, it has been necessary for the principal wholesaler to introduce measures to manage the supply of this product to other wholesalers and pharmacies. These measures have been necessary to address the depletion of stocks on the Irish market for Irish patients because of export of the product from Ireland to other EU markets. is known as parallel distribution and is permitted under EU law. Parallel export has the potential to result in product shortages on the Irish market.

The measures introduced by the principal wholesaler to maintain a necessary stock of this product on the Irish market include limitations on the quantity of the product that can be ordered, in one transaction, by other wholesalers. The allocations from the principal wholesaler have been determined based on historical demand and, therefore should reflect current patient needs. There have been a small number of temporary shortages which have been quickly resolved. The HSE and the IMB will keep the situation under review.

My Department has been engaging with the IMB, the HSE and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) to identify ways in which the Irish system can manage medicines shortages as effectively as possible in order to minimise the impact on patients. The IMB and HSE work closely with each other to operationally manage medicines shortages when they arise. The PSI has recently published guidance to registered pharmacists on managing medicines shortages. International efforts to effectively manage medicines shortages are also being considered.

Health Services Expenditure

 402. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the Health Service Executive has made a payment to a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if so, the amount granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40126/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I referred this matter to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Hospital Staff Issues

 403. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the ten new midwife positions approved by him for St. Luke's Hospital, County Kilkenny, have now been filled; the number of applicants for the ten positions and the date each one was appointed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40128/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

 404. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the options available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40142/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I wish to inform the Deputy that where the issue of a Primary Medical Certificate is refused, the applicant may appeal this refusal to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Rochestown Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. This is an independent Board whose decision is final. Appeals should normally be made within 28 days of refusal. Where the Board considers that the person concerned meets the criteria it will issue the required certificate. It is of course open to a person to re-apply for a Primary Medical Certificate should a change occur in his/her medical condition to the extent that the medical criteria might now be met.


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