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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 101-120
 Header Item Garda Data
 Header Item Legislative Programme
 Header Item Criminal Law
 Header Item Road Traffic Legislation
 Header Item Legal Aid Applications Data
 Header Item Capitation Grants
 Header Item Child Care Services Data
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Staff
 Header Item Child Safety
 Header Item Medical Card Eligibility
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Primary Care Reimbursement Service Payments
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Data
 Header Item Medical Card Administration
 Header Item Tattooing and Body Piercing Regulation

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 900 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 67 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 101-120

Garda Data

 101. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of Garda Síochána stations and the number of gardaí in each station in each of the Dublin metropolitan divisions on 1 November 2010 and on 1 November 2015 in tabular form. [44376/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel, among the Garda Regions, Divisions, and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continuing review taking into account crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of these resources.

  In 2014, this Government ended the moratorium on Garda recruitment introduced by the last Government in 2009. To date, there have been six intakes of Garda Trainees to the Garda College, giving a total intake of 550. So far, 295 of the new Garda Trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána. On attestation, new probationer Gardaí are assigned to stations throughout the country by the Garda Commissioner, where they are assigned to mainstream uniform policing duties. The Deputy will be aware that I announced the opening of a recruitment campaign for new members of An Garda Síochána on 27 November last. This new campaign is necessary to fulfil the Government’s commitment to recruit 600 Gardaí in 2016.

  I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of stations and the number of Gardaí assigned to those stations in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) on the 31 October 2010, and on 31 October 2015 the latest date for which figures are readily available, is as set out in the following tables.

DMR Total strength 31 October 2010
DivisionDistrictStationTotal
D.M.R. EASTBLACKROCKBLACKROCK  98
  DUNDRUM79
  STEPASIDE  31
 Total 208
 DÚN LAOGHAIRECABINTEELY39
  DALKEY31
  DÚN LAOGHAIRE112
  KILL-O-GRANGE28
  SHANKILL60
 Total 270
Total  478
D.M.R. NORTHBALBRIGGANBALBRIGGAN67
  GARRISTOWN3
  LUSK7
  RUSH6
  SKERRIES11
 Total 94
 BALLYMUNBALLYMUN129
  DUBLIN AIRPORT22
  SANTRY83
  WHITEHALL  49
 Total 283
 COOLOCKCOOLOCK120
  MALAHIDE38
  SWORDS84
 Total 242
 RAHENYCLONTARF80
  HOWTH41
  RAHENY74
 Total 195
Total  814
D.M.R. NORTH CENTRALBRIDEWELLBRIDEWELL  180
 Total 180
 FITZGIBBON STREETFITZGIBBON STREET117
  MOUNTJOY102
 Total 219
 STORE STREETSTORE STREET303
 Total 303
Total  702
D.M.R. SOUTHCRUMLINCRUMLIN107
  SUNDRIVE ROAD77
 Total 184
 RATHMINESRATHMINES  68
  TERENURE105
 Total 173
 TALLAGHTRATHFARNHAM76
  TALLAGHT200
 Total 276
Total  633
D.M.R. SOUTH CENTRALDONNYBROOKDONNYBROOK133
  IRISHTOWN  57
 Total 190
 KEVIN STREETKEVIN STREET157
  KILMAINHAM83
 Total 240
 PEARSE STREETHARCOURT TERRACE81
  PEARSE STREET269
 Total 350
Total  780
D.M.R. WESTBLANCHARDSTOWNBLANCHARDSTOWN197
  CABRA70
  FINGLAS124
 Total 391
 CLONDALKINBALLYFERMOT100
  CLONDALKIN97
  RATHCOOLE  29
 Total 226
 LUCANLUCAN82
  RONANSTOWN95
 Total 177
Total 47 Stations794
DMR total strength 31 October 2015
DivisionDistrictStationTotal
D.M.R. EASTBLACKROCKBLACKROCK  88
  DUNDRUM85
 Total 173
 DÚN LAOGHAIRECABINTEELY38
  DÚN LAOGHAIRE105
  SHANKILL64
 Total 207
Total  380
D.M.R. NORTHBALBRIGGANBALBRIGGAN64
  GARRISTOWN2
  LUSK10
  SKERRIES9
 Total 85
 BALLYMUNBALLYMUN121
  DUBLIN AIRPORT21
  SANTRY87
 Total 229
 COOLOCKCOOLOCK104
  MALAHIDE29
  SWORDS64
 Total 197
 RAHENYCLONTARF66
  HOWTH28
  RAHENY65
 Total 159
Total  670
D.M.R. NORTH CENTRALBRIDEWELLBRIDEWELL  161
 FITZGIBBON STREETMOUNTJOY189
 STORE STREETSTORE STREET246
    
TotalTotal 596
D.M.R. SOUTHCRUMLINCRUMLIN93
  SUNDRIVE ROAD64
 Total 157
 TALLAGHTRATHFARNHAM69
  TALLAGHT176
 Total 245
 TERENURERATHMINES  55
  TERENURE85
 Total 140
Total  542
D.M.R. SOUTH CENTRALDONNYBROOKDONNYBROOK108
  IRISHTOWN  48
 Total 156
 KEVIN STREETKEVIN STREET118
  KILMAINHAM75
 Total 193
 PEARSE STREETPEARSE STREET279
Total  628
D.M.R. WESTBLANCHARDSTOWNBLANCHARDSTOWN154
  CABRA68
  FINGLAS106
 Total 328
 CLONDALKINBALLYFERMOT86
  CLONDALKIN89
  RATHCOOLE  21
 Total 196
 LUCANLUCAN74
  RONANSTOWN94
 Total 168
Total 40 Stations692

Legislative Programme

 102. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will support reform (details supplied) to the Coroners Bill 2007; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44381/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will know, the Coroners Bill 2007 provides for a comprehensive reform of the Coroners Act 1962 and of the existing coroner system, including the establishment of a new Coroner Service. It incorporates many of the recommendations made by the Coroners Review Group in 2000, and by the Coroners Rules Committee in 2003, as well as a detailed review of reforms to coronial systems in other common-law jurisdictions (particularly New Zealand and Northern Ireland).

  The 2007 Bill is out of date and needs review in the light of:

- the changed public finances;

- the increased emphasis on delivering leaner, better integrated and more customer-focused public services; and

- developing coroner practice and case law, particularly on the application to coroners’ inquests of Art. 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  I can confirm to the Deputy that I support reform of the Coroners Bill 2007, and a review of the Bill has commenced, at my request, with a view to developing a plan for its progression.

  As finalising the review is dependent on competing legislative priorities, I am not in a position, at present, to give a definitive indication on a timeframe for this project.

Criminal Law

 103. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the steps she is taking to address the serious issues relating to prostitution and trafficking, as highlighted in the RTE "Prime Time" programme on 30 November 2015. [44429/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In September, I published the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015. The Bill provides for two new offences of purchasing sexual services in the context of prostitution. The purpose of these offences is to target the demand for prostitution. These proposals have been developed following extensive consultation, and implement the recommendation of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence which called for the introduction of an offence criminalising the purchase of sexual services. This Bill builds on already strong legislative, administrative and operational measures that have been put in place in Ireland to combat and prevent trafficking in human beings, in particular, the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008, with penalties of up to life imprisonment for human trafficking.

  A key focus of Garda actions in this area is the link that exists between the organisation of prostitution and organised crime, including the trafficking of persons for the purpose of prostitution. An Garda Síochána has a dedicated unit established to target individuals engaged in organised prostitution. This unit works directly with the Human Trafficking Investigation and Coordination Unit in coordinating a response to tackle trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation. Gardai have had considerable success with these operations, disrupting criminal networks, including where prostitution was being organised. Gardai have also worked in partnership with police forces in other jurisdictions to target those involved in the sexual exploitation of women and girls, including the international trafficking of persons for the purpose of prostitution. There are a number of operations ongoing in the area of organised prostitution.

  An Garda Síochána works with both Government and Non-Government agencies in tackling crimes of this nature, through a strategy of prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership. A coordinated and holistic approach is taken to training and joint training takes place twice yearly, between An Garda Síochána and Ruhama, for frontline members of An Garda Síochána and the PSNI. This training provides members with an insight into the complex needs of individuals engaged in prostitution. The Human Trafficking and Co-Ordination Unit also run a course ‘Tackling Trafficking in Human Beings, Prevention, Protection and Prosecution"  twice a year, for members of An Garda Síochána.

  A draft Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking of Persons was issued for public consultation during the summer of this year; this consultation process was recently completed and it is anticipated that the new National Action Plan will be published in the coming months. The new National Action Plan will outline both the Government’s strategic approach to this issue as well as setting out a clear work programme for the relevant state authorities to collaborate with civil society and agencies in other jurisdictions in advancing the fight against trafficking and enhancing the protection of victims.

Road Traffic Legislation

 104. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the options open to An Garda Síochána in policing the use of quad bikes on public roads and in public parks, given the ongoing public safety issues associated with their widespread use, especially by minors, and if she will issue a warning to parents who are considering buying these bikes for Christmas 2015 on the dangers and illegality associated with them. [44430/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the Garda authorities that members of An Garda Síochána have the power to require a vehicle in a public place to stop under Section 109 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, and that failure by the driver to do so is an offence. I am further advised that mechanically propelled vehicles used in a public place must comply with the Road Traffic Acts, including in relation to motor tax, insurance and possession of a valid driver licence or learner permit, and that non-compliance is also offence. In addition, a vehicle may be seized where the driver has no driving licence or learners permit, where the driver has no insurance, or where there is no motor tax paid for a period of over three months after the expiry of the road tax payable on the vehicle.

I share the Deputy's concerns in relation to the public safety issues associated with the misuse of such vehicles, and will raise her suggestion concerning warnings in relation to such vehicles with the Road Safety Authority and with the Garda authorities.

Legal Aid Applications Data

 105. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of persons waiting on civil legal aid by geographical area. [44431/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Deputy will be aware that the Legal Aid Board is independent in the exercise of its functions, in accordance with Section 3 (3) of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1994. As a result, I am not responsible or accountable to the Dáil for the manner in which the Board carries out its functions.

  However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I can inform her that the information sought is published monthly by the Legal Aid Board on its website. The data for October 2015 can be accessed via the following link.

  http://www.legalaidboard.ie/lab/publishing.nsf/650f3eec0dfb990fca25692100069854/6b3224ddb74a480e80257f09005569d8/$FILE/October%202015.pdf

Capitation Grants

 106. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly why a person (details supplied) in County Carlow is not in receipt of the higher level of capitation, E73. [44334/15]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Pre-school services qualify for the higher rate of capitation under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme when they satisfy the qualification requirements under the Programme. In services seeking the higher rate of capitation, the pre-school leader must hold a Level 7 Qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications (or equivalent) and all pre-school assistants must hold, as minimum, a Level 5 Qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications (or equivalent).

I understand that an application has been made to my Department for sanction for the higher rate of capitation and that a query was raised with the pre-school provider on 25 November 2015 in relation to the pre-school assistant qualification. The matter will be considered further when a response to the query has been received.

Child Care Services Data

 107. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of children waiting to be allocated a social worker by length of time waiting, geographical area, and whether the children are deemed to be high priority. [44416/15]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly In September 2015 Tusla reported there were 19,466 children (open cases) who had an allocated social worker dealing with issues of assessment, child protection, and children in care. There were a further 7,013 children (open cases) who had been assessed as needing a dedicated social worker, and were waiting for one to be allocated. Some of these cases may have had an allocated social worker, but due to a social worker leaving, they are reclassified as awaiting a social worker. I wish to assure the Deputy that all urgent and emergency cases are dealt with immediately. This could involve cases of abandonment, allegations of physical and sexual abuse, parental ill health and the need to find an immediate placement, or threat to the safety or life of a child by a third party.

  The priority (or category) of high, medium or low given to the case after a preliminary enquiry, is based on the information known at that time. It is important to note that "high priority" should not simply be equated with risk. Social work duty teams keep high priority cases under review with regular checks to ascertain risk to the child, and where necessary, will reprioritise the case. Duty teams manage the cases awaiting allocation on a risk management basis by checking on the circumstances, and observing any changes that would increase or decrease risk. An example could be the presence or absence of a stable grandparent where a parent has a mental health problem which could impact on the priority associated with the case.   

  This Department continues to monitor the number of cases that are reported as awaiting the allocation of a social worker. The additional funding of €38 million which has been secured for Tusla in 2016 will provide increased resources to meet identified risks and service demands. The additional resources are intended to alleviate service pressures in child welfare and protection services, in particular pressures being faced in the areas of unallocated cases, private residential and foster care and domestic, sexual and gender based violence services. The information requested by the Deputy relating to geographical area and priority level is detailed in Table 1.

  Table 1: Number of Cases Awaiting Allocation by Priority Level and Area

AreaLowMediumHighTotal
Dublin North709494101,213
Cork429324160913
Dublin South Central143365266774
Dublin South West/ Kildare/ West Wicklow260236136632
Midlands17130536512
Dublin North Central2771842463
Waterford/Wexford7028256408
Louth/Meath40108176324
Carlow/ Kilkenny/ South Tipperary2099191310
Galway/Roscommon4018861289
Sligo/Leitrim/Roscommon1119468273
Donegal5814455257
Midwest1384066244
Cavan/Monaghan101837200
Dublin South East/Wicklow898115185
Kerry63-9
Mayo61-7
Cases awaiting allocation by priority level, Q3 20152,4773,231 1,305 7,013


  The information requested by the Deputy relating to waiting time and priority level is outlined in Table 2.

  Table 2: Length of Waiting Times for Cases Awaiting Allocation by Priority Level
High Priority/Time WaitingQ2 2015Q3 2015
1 week13194
1 -2 weeks119145
2 - 3 weeks65144
3 - 4 weeks10382
1 - 2 months241148
2 - 3 months240165
>3 months606527
Total1,505 1,305
Medium Priority/Time WaitingQ2 2015 Q3 2015
1 week17094
1 -2 weeks193165
2 - 3 weeks193152
3 - 4 weeks195185
1 - 2 months505378
2 - 3 months528451
>3 months1,591 1,806
Total3,3753,231
Low Priority/Time WaitingQ2 2015Q3 2015
1 week3251
1 -2 weeks9874
2 - 3 weeks10886
3 - 4 weeks13987
1 - 2 months238290
2 - 3 months329320
>3 months1,3071,569
Total2,2512,477

Child and Family Agency Staff

 108. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of staff and the number of social workers in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency in whole-time equivalent terms at 31 December in each year of its existence. [44417/15]

 109. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of staff vacancies and of social worker vacancies in whole-time equivalent terms in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, by geographical area. [44418/15]

 110. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the cost to the Exchequer of recruiting each additional ten social workers. [44419/15]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 to 110, inclusive, together.

  The Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) was established in January 2014. Tusla has advised that there were 3453 whole time equivalent staff employed as at 31 December 2014. Of these, 1396 were social workers.

  Tusla has further advised that at 31 October 2015 there are 343 posts under recruitment and of these 239 relate to social worker posts. The following table shows a breakdown by geographical area of the current posts being recruited .

REGION/AREASOCIAL WORKEROTHERTOTAL
Dublin Mid Leinster801898
Dublin North East72880
South34943
West53760
Residential 3939
Educational Welfare 77
Early Years 33
Domestic 88
Corporate 55
OVERALL TOTAL239104343


  The cost for every additional ten social workers is estimated at €0.4000m per annum. This includes both pay and non pay costs.

Child Safety

 111. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if school medical examinations continue to identify children with issues requiring urgent attention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44415/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar School Health services remain an important component of child health services. All children, for example, have their vision and hearing checked as part of the service with referrals onwards to specialist services occurring as required. Like any service, there is a continual need to examine the evidence for effectiveness of what we do. There are variations across the country in how services are currently configured, variations which have often not arisen not out a consideration of the evidence of effectiveness.

With that in mind, the HSE is currently involved in reviewing the evidence for improving outcomes in child health, and will be making recommendations about the best way to deliver services when the review is completed next year. Parents and teachers continue to engage with child health services including those delivered in schools.

Medical Card Eligibility

 112. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of children in receipt of domiciliary care allowance who also have medical cards in each of the years 2013 to date, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44260/15]

 113. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will provide automatic access to a medical card to all children who are in receipt of a domiciliary care allowance, the estimated cost; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44261/15]

 128. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar his views on extending the eligibility for medical cards to all children in receipt of a domiciliary care allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44346/15]

 137. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he is aware that 9,000 of the 26,000 children who qualify for the domiciliary care allowance are without medical cards, if he will end this injustice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44379/15]

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. 112, 113, 128 and 137 together.

Under the provisions of the Health Acts, medical cards are provided to persons who are, in the opinion of the HSE, unable without undue hardship to arrange GP services for themselves and their dependants. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. Where deemed appropriate in particular circumstances, the HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card even though an applicant's means exceed the prescribed threshold. Where a person does not qualify for a medical card, they may be provided with a GP Visit Card, appropriate therapy or other community supports or drugs.

The Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) payment is made by the Minister for Social Protection to carers in respect of a child at home under 16 years of age with a severe disability, where it has been determined that the child requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. Eligibility for the DCA is not based primarily on the medical or psychological condition, but on the resulting lack of function of body or mind necessitating the degree of extra care and attention required. As such it is not possible to say if a particular child or any particular medical condition or disability will qualify for a payment under the DCA scheme.

The Deputies will be aware that the report of the Expert Panel on Medical Need for Medical Card Eligibility, known as the Keane Report, recommended that a person’s means should remain the main qualifier for a medical card and that it was not feasible, desirable, nor ethically justifiable to list medical conditions for medical card eligibility. Nonetheless, it is clear that there are people – including children - with medical needs and it is important that they should be able to access necessary assistance in a straight forward manner.

Consequently, the Clinical Advisory Group on medical card eligibility was established by the HSE to develop a framework for assessment and measurement of the burden of disease and appropriate operational guidelines for the medical card scheme. However, the Clinical Advisory Group has not recommended that children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance should automatically qualify for a medical card. In advance of the Group completing its work, there are no proposals to issue automatic medical cards to one particular group.

The Government is committed to making the medical card system as responsive as possible to the circumstances of people with significant medical needs. As a result of a range of improvements, the HSE is exercising greater discretion. Consequently, the number of discretionary medical cards has increased by about 84% - from about 52,000 in mid-2014 to nearly 96,000 at the beginning of November this year.

As the DCA payment is not an element of the assessment for a medical card, data on the payment is not routinely collated by the HSE. However, analysis undertaken in 2015 shows that out of an approximate population of 1 million people under the age of 16 years, almost 450,000 held a medical card or a GP visit card. Approximately 29,000 children qualified for the DCA payment in 2014. It is estimated that about two-thirds of children qualifying for a DCA payment also hold a medical card. In addition, from 1 July 2015, all children under the age of 6 years are entitled to access a GP service free of charge, as part of the first phase of introducing a universal GP service in Ireland. It has been estimated that the average expenditure per medical card was €973 in 2013. However, it is not possible to provide the actual cost of extending a medical card to all children in receipt of DCA as it would depend on the variable nature of the individuals’ requirements as well as the number of individuals and the quantum and cost of health services that would be used.

Ultimately, the proper way to address this issue is to develop a system of universal health care, which is at the centre of Government health policy. Otherwise, whenever there are qualifying rules, there will always be a person who is above the means test, does not have the selected disease, or is not in receipt of the specific social welfare payment.

Health Services Provision

 114. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason for service disruptions to an outpatient clinic (details supplied) at Dungloe Community Hospital in County Donegal; when this clinic will be fully re-instated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44276/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service issue this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If the Deputy has not received a reply within the next 15 days, he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 115. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of persons on waiting lists for outpatient appointments at Letterkenny University Hospital in County Donegal per outpatient clinic, who have been waiting up to six months, from six months to 12 months and more than 12 months, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44277/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service matters, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly. If he has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and my officials will follow up the matter.

Health Services Provision

 116. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the Health Service Executive in Cork will provide accommodation for a person (details supplied) while the person is undergoing treatment. [44296/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The Deputy's question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.

  If he has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Primary Care Reimbursement Service Payments

 117. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar what information is sufficient for self-employed persons to provide to the primary care reimbursement service concerning their tax affairs; and if a self-assessment notice of assessment without the calculations is sufficient if a person's net income is below a certain amount. [44303/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he should contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

Primary Care Centres Data

 118. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the names, status and expected opening dates of the primary care centre projects announced in 2012, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44306/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch While the Government's objective is to deliver a high quality, integrated and cost effective health care service the mechanism and timescale for delivery of primary care infrastructure is dependent on a number of factors. Regardless of the delivery mechanism, all potential primary care infrastructure is subject to suitable locations being offered/provided/available, to successful planning processes and GP commitment to sharing accommodation and delivering health care services with HSE staff. In addition the operational lease mechanism is subject to market pressures such as the developers' access to adequate financing. Delivery of primary care infrastructure is a dynamic process, constantly evolving to take account of changing circumstances including the feasibility of implementation. Some of these factors are outside the control of the Health Service Executive. It is not possible to accurately predict completion dates in advance of the award of planning permission and start of construction. However expected operational dates are given for the PPP locations and Kells. Supporting infrastructure, procured through a combination of public and private investment, will facilitate the delivery of multi-disciplinary primary health care.

Primary Care InfrastructurePrimary Care InfrastructurePrimary Care InfrastructureJuly 2012 - 35 locationsPQ 44306/15answer - 08/12/2015
CountHSE RegionCountyLocation/PCT NameDelivery MechanismStatus at 30 September 2015
1DMLDublin Rowlagh/North ClondalkinDirect/own buildFinalising site purchase.  Purchase will be subject to planning permission.
2DMLDublin Crumlin/Drimnagh Planning not completed in timeframe for PPP
3DMLDublin Knocklyon/Rathfarnham Planning not completed in timeframe for PPP
4DMLWicklowRathdrum Operational LeaseConstruction scheduled 2016 Q1
5DMLKildareKilcockPPP2017 Q1
6DNEDublin Coolock/DarndalePPP2017 Q2
7DNEDublin Summerhill, north inner city DublinPPP2017 Q2
8DNEDublin BalbrigganOperational LeaseIn construction
9DNEDublin SwordsOperational LeaseIn discussions with a potential developer
10DNELouthDrogheda northOperational LeaseHSE has issued an LoI.  Please see ** at table end.
11DNEMeathLaytown and BettystownOperational LeaseIdentified property has new owners. Discussion underway with new owners.
12DNEMeathKellsOperational LeaseExpected to be operational late 2015
13DNEMonaghanCarrickmacrossNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery Progress challenging. No expressions of interest received following the 2014 advertisement.
14SouthCarlowTullow/Rathvilly/HacketstownDirect/own buildProject brief approved.  Discussions underway on purchase of adjoining strip of land.
15SouthKilkennyKilkenny cityNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
16SouthWexfordWexford townPPP2017 Q2
17SouthWaterfordDungarvanPPP2017 Q1
18SouthWaterfordWaterford cityPPP2017 Q2
19SouthCorkCork city - TogherNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
20SouthKerryTraleeOperational LeaseLoI withdrawn. Review required. Please see ** at table end
21SouthTipperaryCarrick-on-SuirPPP2017 Q1
22SouthTipperaryClonmelNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
23WestTipperaryThurlesNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
24WestLimerickLimerick city (Ballinacurra/Weston)PPP2017 Q1
25WestClareEnnisNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
26WestGalway TuamPPP2017 Q1
27WestGalway GortNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
28WestRoscommonBoylePPP2017 Q1
29WestRoscommonBallaghadereenNov 2014 advertisement for operational lease mechanism delivery - suitable for further considerationPlease see * at table end
30WestMayoWestportPPP2017 Q1
31WestMayoClaremorrisPPP2017 Q2
32WestSligoBallymotePPP2017 Q1
33WestDonegalDungloeDirect/own buildProgress challenging: absence of GP interest.
34WestDonegalDonegal town Progress challenging: absence of GP interest.


  Coolock and Darndale were announced as two separate locations in July 2012

*    The HSE is engaged in evaluating the submissions received, following the November 2014 advertisement, to determine which are eligible to be progressed to the next stage of the process. The HSE expects to complete this part of the process in late 2015.

** The term letter of intent (LoI) is used in the context of primary care infrastructure being delivered using the operational lease mechanism. The HSE issues a letter of intent when it has selected a preferred bidder based on submissions received. On receipt of this LoI the preferred bidder must, inter alia, obtain planning permission and provide evidence that finance for the development is in place. Legal discussions commence after the LoI is issued.

Medical Card Administration

 119. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the estimated cost of adjusting medical card thresholds to take account of the minimum wage increase on 1 January 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44307/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As the HSE does not record whether medical card holders are earning the minimum wage, it would not be possible to provide an estimate.

Tattooing and Body Piercing Regulation

 120. Deputy John Paul Phelan Information on John Paul Phelan Zoom on John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will introduce registration, inspection or operational standards for tattoo parlours with particular emphasis on parental consent for those under 18 years of age using these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44308/15]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar On 7 December, my Department published a draft document "Tattooing and Body Piercing Infection Control Guidance". The consultation document is available on the Department's website and will remain open until 15 January 2016.

  Tattooing and body piercing is performed without incident in the vast majority of cases, but it is important that customers understand the nature of procedures, and that practitioners brief clients in advance of the potential risks involved.

  Specific issues covered in the draft Guidelines are

- Good practice for infection control and preventing contamination, including personal hygiene and clean premises

- The use of template consent forms, and aftercare advice leaflets to clients;

-   The need to provide information, instruction, training and supervision to employees on health and safety.

  The draft guidelines were developed by public health practitioners and environmental health experts in conjunction with the Department of Health. I look forward to receiving views on the draft guidelines during the consultation process.

  There is no specific regulation or legislation in this area but it is hoped that this guidance document will help drive high standards of infection control and prevention in this sector.


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