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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 226-234
 Header Item Missing Children
 Header Item Blind Welfare Allowance Applications
 Header Item Prescription Charges
 Header Item Substance Misuse
 Header Item Orthodontic Service Provision
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Cochlear Implants
 Header Item Cochlear Implants
 Header Item Medical Card Withdrawals

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 800 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 226-234

Missing Children

 226. Deputy John Halligan Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald in relation to the European Wide Missing Children's Hotline 116000, if the proposed move of the missing children's hotline from a pilot basis to a full time 24/7 operational basis will take place as planned in May 2013; if her Department has any plans to make funding available for the national promotion and advertisement of this hotline; if she will make a commitment to have this hotline fully operational here before the end of our Presidency of the European Union; and if she will call on all other Member States to follow our example. [19476/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The 116000 Missing Children Hotline is operated by the ISPCC in liaison with a cross-sectoral Project Team, chaired by my Department.

  I am delighted to confirm that the phased implementation of the service, which commenced in December 2012, operating on a reduced hours pilot basis, has now become a full-time 24/7 service since Monday the 22nd of April 2013.

  In addition I can confirm that:

  - The 116000 Missing Children Hotline service will be officially launched in Ireland on the 5th of June 2013.

  - Memoranda of understanding between the ISPCC and the HSE, my Department and the Gardaí, respectively were finalised in advance of the commencement of the pilot in December 2012.

  - The funding received from both the EU Daphne fund and from my Department includes, in the establishment costs, the national promotion and advertisement of this Hotline service.

  I am also pleased to inform the Deputy that, Ireland is co-hosting an EU conference on Missing Children, in Brussels on the 4th of June 2013, at which all EU countries will be encouraged to fully roll out a 24/7 Missing Children Hotline service. A senior official from my Department will be in attendance.

  I welcome the fact that the 116000 Missing Children Hotline is already operating in 22 EU Member States and is also available in Serbia.

Blind Welfare Allowance Applications

 227. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when an application for blind welfare allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Waterford will be awarded;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19410/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Prescription Charges

 228. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if prescription charges apply to persons with long term illness cards; if prescription charges apply to persons with medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19167/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Medical card holders are required to pay a €1.50 charge (per item) for medicines and other prescription items supplied to them by community pharmacists, subject to a cap of €19.50 per month for each person or family. Charges are not payable in respect of items supplied under the Long Term Illness Scheme. Prescription charges do not apply to children in the care of the HSE or to methadone supplied to patients participating in the Methadone Treatment Scheme.

Substance Misuse

 229. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of alcohol related deaths that occurred here over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19174/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group reported that between 2004 and 2008 there were 4,321 alcohol-related deaths due to either alcohol poisoning or deaths in people who were alcohol-dependent. The Health Research Board report 'Drug Related Deaths and Deaths among Drug Users in Ireland, 2010 Figures from the National Drug-Related Deaths Index'  published in January 2013, reports that 142 and 147 people died from alcohol poisoning in 2009 and 2010 respectively; it also reported that alcohol accounted for 41% of all deaths from drug poisoning from 2004-2010.

Orthodontic Service Provision

 230. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when funding will be made available through the Health Service Executive to the Orthodontic unit of Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, County Meath, to allow them to treat grade four orthodontic cases and below; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19180/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to patients based on their level of clinical need. An individual's access to orthodontic treatment is determined against a set of clinical guidelines and priority is given to patients with greatest needs. The HSE has been asked to examine the specific query raised by the Deputy and to reply to him as soon as possible.

Health Services

 231. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the frequency of contact between the Health Service Executive and a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim: if he will instruct the HSE to reduce the level of contact it has with this person in view of the fact that it is affecting their health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19193/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The particular issue raised by the Deputy is a service matter for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Cochlear Implants

 232. 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 the progress made on the introduction of a bilateral cochlear implant programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19198/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Since the national cochlear implant programme commenced seventeen years ago, over 700 patients have received cochlear implants. I am advised that, in 2012, ninety cochlear implants were carried out with 42 children receiving implants and 48 adults. In addition to providing the surgical services, the programme provides a comprehensive assessment service to potential candidates and a rehabilitative service to those actually implanted.

In 2009 a National Review of Audiology Services was carried out by the HSE, to examine the services provided to children and adults nationwide, and to formulate a national plan for the services. The report of the National Audiology Review Group, published by the HSE in 2011, provides the blueprint for the planning, development and delivery of HSE audiology services, from new-born screening to assessment and management of adults and children with hearing problems, including cochlear implantation. Two of the main recommendations in the report include the national rollout of a universal new-born hearing screening programme and the establishment of a bone anchored hearing aid programme. The report also included a recommendation that continued ring-fenced financial support be provided for the cochlear implant programme but at levels which allow for simultaneous bilateral implantation for children.

The HSE is working closely with Beaumont Hospital to progress plans for both simultaneous and sequential bilateral implantation. The development of the service will require additional resources for Beaumont and these plans will be progressed through the HSE 2014 Estimates process.

Cochlear Implants

 233. 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 scheduled a meeting with representatives of the Happy New Ear campaign; when this meeting will take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19199/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Unfortunately due to a very busy schedule of Government and Departmental business, I regret that I was not in a position to accede to this organisation's recent request for a meeting. However the Minister of State, Ms Kathleen Lynch TD, has indicated that she will meet with Happy New Ear and the group will be contacted shortly in this regard.

Medical Card Withdrawals

 234. Deputy David Stanton Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his attention has been drawn to any incident where a medical card was withdrawn without any notice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19200/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White I have asked the Health Service Executive for a report on the issue raised by the Deputy. I will revert to the Deputy on the matter as soon as possible.


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