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 Header Item Sunbed Usage
 Header Item Price of Medicines
 Header Item Hospital Car Parks
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Organ Donation

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 809 No. 3

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Sunbed Usage

 205. 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 if he has any proposals to bring in regulations with regard to persons who operate sun beds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32708/13]

 206. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will introduce legislation to protect young persons from sunbed use as a result of the huge incidents of skin cancer resulting from same [32306/13]

 221. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when he expects legislation on the regulation of sunbeds to be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32416/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly   I propose to take Questions Nos. 205, 206 and 221 together.

  I can confirm that legislation will be implemented to regulate the use of sunbeds. This Bill has priority drafting and officials of my Department are working closely with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to complete the drafting of this legislation.

  This legislation will prohibit the use of sunbeds on a sunbed premises by persons under 18 years of age and will also set out a comprehensive range of measures to promote a greater public awareness across all age groups of the dangers of developing skin cancer, premature ageing and eye damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Key provisions in the Bill will include:-

  (i) a prohibition on anyone under 18 years of age using a sunbed on a sunbed premises;

  (ii) a prohibition on the sale to or hire of sunbeds to anyone under 18 years of age;

  (iii) a prohibition on the unsupervised use of sunbeds in a sunbed premises;

  (iv) an exemption for medical purposes;

  (v) control on the remote sale or hire of sunbeds (internet transactions);

  (vi) sunbed operators, sellers and hirers will be required to notify the HSE;

  (vii) a requirement that sunbed operators provide training for staff;

  (viii) an enforcement regime and the imposition of penalties for non-compliance;

  (ix) an obligation on all sunbed operators to provide protective eyewear to users;

  (x) a requirement that warning signs be displayed in all sunbed premises;

  (xi) a prohibition on certain promotional marketing practices;

  (xii) a requirement on operators to ensure that sunbed users are made fully aware of the potential dangers of sunbed use; and a related provision whereby sunbed users are required to sign to confirm that they have been made so aware.

  The drafting of the Bill will be finalised within the next 6-8 weeks. Thereafter, it must be notified to the EU Commission under the EU Transparency Directive prior to its publication and initiation of the Bill in the Oireachtas. This EU notification requirement will necessitate a minimum of three months to complete.

Price of Medicines

 207. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 901, 902 and 941 for 11 June 2013, if the Health Service Executive concluded its consideration of the Intermune offer in relation to the pricing of Pirfenidone; and if not, by what date will a decision be reached. [32314/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The HSE has completed the consideration of the pricing and reimbursement application for Pirfenidone (Esbriet). The pricing and reimbursement application and associated commercially confidential offer made by Intermune has been accepted.

The HSE has been in contact with Intermune (the market authorisation holder) and has confirmed that it will be in a position to commence reimbursement from 1st of August 2013, subject to Intermune being in a position to launch the product. The HSE expects that Intermune will be in a position to launch on the 1st of August. The administrative processes to allow reimbursement to happen are ongoing and will be completed over the next few weeks.

Hospital Car Parks

 208. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide a list of all private companies who operate car parking facilities at publically funded hospitals here; the location and terms of the contract in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32320/13]

 209. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will confirm the ownership of the multi-storey car park at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin; if he will outline the terms and duration of the contract between the Health Service Executive and the private operators of this car park; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32321/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly   I propose to take Questions Nos. 208 and 209 together.

  In relation to the particular queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in these matters.

Medical Card Applications

 210. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason persons who are in their seventieth year cannot apply for a medical card for over seventies, in the months leading up to their seventieth birthday, which would ensure that they had the card received by their seventieth birthday, as opposed to the present practice whereby persons cannot apply for a medical card for over seventies, until they are actually seventy years of age, ensuring that persons do not get the over seventies medical card, until they are some months over this age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32324/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White I am advised by the HSE that people can apply for a medical card in the months leading up to their seventieth birthday. The application will be assessed under the National Income Guidelines for Over 70’s and will be put on hold until the day of their seventieth birthday. On this day the client will be notified of the outcome of this assessment.

The length of time that it takes for a client to receive a decision on their medical card application depends on (1) whether the client submitted a complete application or not, and (2) if not how quickly the applicant responds to the subsequent request for additional information. The Primary Care Reimbursement Services aims to process all medical cards within 15 days of receipt of the application.

Organ Donation

 211. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Information on Aodhán Ó Ríordán Zoom on Aodhán Ó Ríordán asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide an update on the programme for Government commitment to allow for an opt out system for organ donation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32326/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Programme for Government envisages the introduction of an opt-out system of organ donation, with a view to improving the availability of organs for patients in need of transplantation. This will require detailed consideration and further consultation and I am developing proposals for Government on this matter. The public consultation process in relation to how such an opt-out system should operate, will generate greater public awareness of the need for organ donation.

In addition to consent systems, there is evidence from other countries that good co-ordination at hospital level and counselling arrangements for relatives are significant factors in achieving high organ donation rates. In conjunction with the HSE's National Organ Donation and Transplantation Office my Department is also examining what practices and organisational changes could further improve donation rates.


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