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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 282-291
 Header Item Legislative Measures
 Header Item European Health Insurance Card
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Open Disclosures Policy
 Header Item Penalty Points System Offences
 Header Item Public Service Obligation Services

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 830 No. 3

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Written Answers Nos. 282-291

Legislative Measures

 282. 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 position regarding the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013; if he has been notified of terminations taking place under this Act; the discussions and number of meetings between his Department, the Health Service Executive and the medical professional bodies concerned regarding guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7418/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As the Deputy might be aware, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 commenced on 1st January 2014. The Act provides that I, as the Minister for Health, must publish a report covering the operation of the Act in the preceding year by 30th June each year and lay it before the Houses of the Oireachtas. As the Act was commenced on 1st January 2014, the first annual report covering its operation will be published in June 2015.

   Last September a committee was established to develop a Guidance Document to assist health professionals in the implementation of the Act. This is a multi-disciplinary committee of experts in medicine, nursing and midwifery, and law, including representatives from my Department, the Health Service Executive and the relevant medical professional bodies (the full membership is detailed in the table). The Committee has now met six times.

  The Guidance Document is at an advanced stage and it is expected to be signed off shortly. The Document will include identifying referral pathways to fulfil the requirement of the Act and other relevant operational matters.

Membership

S/N Field Name Title Organisation
1 Independent Chair Dr. Declan Bedford Specialist in Public Health Medicine Independent
2 Obstetrics Dr. Geraldine Gaffney Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist Galway University Hospital Nominee: Institute of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists
3 Obstetrics Prof. Michael Turner National Clinical Lead in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Nominee: HSE Clinical Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
4 Mental Health Dr. Joanne Fenton Consultant Psychiatrist - Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital Nominee: HSE Clinical Programme in Mental Health
5 General Practice Dr. Miriam Daly Director Women’s Health Programme Nominee: The Irish College of General Practitioners
6 General Practice Dr. Joe Clarke National Clinical Lead in Primary Care Nominee: HSE Clinical Programme in Primary Care
7 Nursing and Midwifery Ms. Sheila Sugrue National Lead Midwife/Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems UCD Nominee: HSE Nursing and Midwifery Services
8 Medical Ethics Dr. Deirdre Madden Senior Lecturer in Law, University College Cork Independent
9 Psychiatry Dr. Anthony McCarthy President College of Psychiatrists in Ireland Nominee: College of Psychiatrists in Ireland
10 Physical Health Dr. Kathleen McGarry Consultant Physician, Our Lady’s Hospital Navan Nominee: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
11 Senior Executive Dr. Cate Hartigan Head of Health Promotion and Improvement Nominee: HSE Corporate
12 Policy Ms. Geraldine Luddy Principal Officer, Social Inclusion Unit Department of Health

European Health Insurance Card

 283. 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 cost of providing European health insurance cards for the past five years; the number that have been issued over the past five years; the consequence of travelling abroad without one; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7421/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Under EU Regulations an insured person who becomes ill or injured while on a temporary stay in any EU/EEA member state or Switzerland may avail of emergency health care in the public health system of that state under the terms of that state’s public health system, at the cost of the state in which they are insured. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is issued to facilitate this process. If an insured person does not hold a current EHIC, it is possible to request a Temporary Replacement Certificate from the HSE whilst on a visit to another state. Travelling abroad without an EHIC may result in a person experiencing difficulties in accessing the services/level of care in the public health system that would have been afforded to them on production of an EHIC. It is also likely that the person would be required to pay for treatment at the time and claim for reimbursement at a later stage.

There are approximately 1.4 million persons covered by European Health Insurance Cards issued by Ireland. These cards are issued on a four year cycle. The cost of claims against Ireland arising from the application of the EHIC is in the region of €5 million per annum.

Services for People with Disabilities

 284. 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 total number of vacancies in all early intervention teams in Dublin North East and Dublin North Central; the length of time each position has been vacant; his plan to fill vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7422/14]

 285. 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 on waiting lists looking to see all members of intervention teams in Dublin North Central and Dublin North East; the average waiting time on lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7423/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 284 and 285 together.

The Government is committed to the provision and development of services for children with a disability, including early intervention services, within available resources. While these services are in the process of being reconfigured under the HSE’s National Programme on Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People (0-18 years), it is important to note that all HSE areas have significant early intervention services in place for children with disabilities aged zero to eighteen years. These are provided directly by the HSE or by voluntary service providers funded by the HSE.

The aim of the Programme on Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People is to achieve a national, unified approach to delivering disability health services so that there is a clear pathway to services for all children, regardless of where they live, what school they go to or the nature of their disability. An additional €4m has been specifically allocated in 2014 to drive implementation of the Programme. This equates to approximately 80 therapy posts.

My Department has asked the HSE to provide the Deputy with the detailed operational information that he has requested.

  Question No. 286 answered with Question No. 280.

Open Disclosures Policy

 287. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 250 of 6 February 2014, if the upcoming health information Bill which will enshrine the principles of open disclosure in legislation that the Minister for Justice and Equality referred to in his speech of 8 February 2014 to the Family Lawyers Association of Ireland; if additional legislation is now being framed; when such additional legislation will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7449/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I expect to bring updated heads of a Health Information Bill to Government later on this year which will include detailed provisions on open disclosure. Legislative proposals being prepared by my Department on open disclosure will be an important part of the measures designed to foster and support a culture of open disclosure in the health service and I am working closely with the Minister for Justice and Equality towards ensuring a complementary approach in regard to the work we are undertaking.

Penalty Points System Offences

 288. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of drivers who have obtained the maximum 12 penalty points in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 who are now disqualified from driving; and the number of drivers who have obtained the maximum number of penalty points but their disqualification from driving is pending. [7292/14]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The number of drivers who have obtained 12 penalty points in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 and  consequently were disqualified from driving for a period of six months under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act, 2002 are 255, 263 and 242 respectively. As regards drivers who have obtained the maximum number of penalty points but their disqualification from driving is pending, there were 22 in 2011, 20 in 2012 and 36 in 2013. Of the 22 drivers in 2011, 19 drivers are serving non-penalty points related disqualifications under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1961 while the equivalent figures for 2012 and 2013 are 17 and 27 respectively. The remainder do not have current driving licences and accordingly, the disqualifications are still pending. It is important to note that this later group, as they do not have current driving licences are therefore not eligible to drive on our roads.

Public Service Obligation Services

 289. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will confirm that the Dublin Bus routes that will be publicly tendered under the PSO contract will be obliged to offer full ticketing integration with both Dublin Bus and the Leap card; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7221/14]

 290. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will confirm that the Dublin Bus routes that will be publicly tendered under the PSO contract will be obliged to offer full wheelchair accessibility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7222/14]

 291. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will confirm that the Dublin Bus routes that will be publicly tendered under the PSO contract will be obliged to accept bus passes as per the present arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7223/14]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 to 291, inclusive, together.

  The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have referred the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.


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