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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 264 - 278
 Header Item Hospitals Building Programme
 Header Item Nursing Staff Provision
 Header Item Health Services Staff
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Consultant Contracts
 Header Item Medical Card Data
 Header Item Parliamentary Questions
 Header Item Dental Services Waiting Lists
 Header Item Grocery Industry Regulation
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Beef Data and Genomics Programme
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Applications
 Header Item Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme Eligibility

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 911 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 60 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 264 - 278

Hospitals Building Programme

 264. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of proposals to extensd Naas General Hospital, County Kildare, including when the various works will commence and conclude; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14212/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Nursing Staff Provision

 265. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he can provided an adequate number of nurses to the public health sector; if the recent recruitment campaigns are on target; if competition from the private sector or overseas locations is evident; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14213/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Health Services Staff

 266. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the number of various categories of staff in the public health sector are adequate to meet requirements; if he will examine and identify the most understaffed sectors to resolve this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14214/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department has committed, in its Statement of Strategy 2015-2017, to developing a national integrated strategic framework for health workforce planning, in collaboration with Government Departments and agencies. Workforce Planning models in other countries will be assessed and analysed as part of this development process. This will provide an overarching framework for strategic, discipline specific workforce planning and development including the work of the Taskforce on Staffing and Skill Mix for Nursing and work currently underway in the HSE's National Doctors Training and Planning Unit on medical workforce planning. The framework is intended to support the stability and sustainability of the health workforce in Ireland into the future.

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on the matter with regard to current requirements. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 267. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if hospital waiting lists indicate a requirement for specific procedures; his plans to address the causes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14215/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Hospital Consultant Contracts

 268. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the hospitals at which consultants are in breach of their 80:20 public private mix, the maximum breach; the number of breaches, by hospital, in tabular form; if this is impacting on waiting lists; the actions he is taking to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14217/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Medical Card Data

 269. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of medical cards which were withdrawn on income grounds from persons over 70 years of age in each of the years 2011 to 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14220/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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 recently issued to Oireachtas members.

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

Parliamentary Questions

 270. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when he will issue a final reply to an interim reply (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14243/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I regret the delay in replying to the Deputy's representations earlier this year. I have asked the HSE to respond to the various issues raised. I will revert to the Deputy when I receive the information and would hope to be in a position to respond shortly.

Dental Services Waiting Lists

 271. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive a dental appointment. [14244/16]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Grocery Industry Regulation

 272. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed when he will issue a licence to a person (details supplied) who applied for a licence to transport and export greyhounds; the reason for the delay, given that the veterinary inspection was carried out and passed over six weeks ago. [14016/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed I wish to confirm that an application to transport animals was received from the individual concerned. Processing of the application has been delayed pending the resolution of issues surrounding the transfer of the vehicle into the applicant’s name. The applicant will be informed of the outcome shortly.

Basic Payment Scheme Payments

 273. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if a payment is due to a person (details supplied) or if the person owes money to his Department for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14040/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named has established 16.44 entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme with a total value in 2015 of €4,686.13, including Greening. To date a payment of €3,284.60 representing the 70% advance Basic Payment Scheme payment has issued on 19th October 2015. A supplementary payment in respect of the 27% Basic Payment Scheme balancing payment will issue within the next week and the final balance of 3% due will issue later in the coming weeks.

Beef Data and Genomics Programme

 274. Deputy Joe Carey Information on Joe Carey Zoom on Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the changes to the qualification criteria in cow numbers for a person (details supplied) under the beef data and genomics programme scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14086/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named submitted an application to participate in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme on 21 May 2015. Payment is made on the basis of a Maximum Payable Area which is established by dividing the number of cows that calved in 2014 by a stocking rate of 1.5. In this case 25 cows calved in 2014 giving a reference area of 16.6 6 hectares. There has not been any change in the scheme cow numbers qualification criteria.

Payment of €1,787.75 issued to the person named on 16 December 2015 following deductions for the cost of genotyping of animals which is a requirement under the BDGP. A further minor deduction of €32 was also applied to the payment as the person named had not submitted all the required data at the time. As the person named has now submitted additional data a supplementary payment will be made in the coming weeks in respect of this submission.

Proposed Legislation

 275. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed his plans to introduce legislation to amend the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 to allow for decriminalising of fishermen who inadvertently commit minor offences under the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14096/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed In November 2014, the Department published as a public consultation document in the form of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) a proposal for a Bill to amend the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 to provide for inter alia a system of fixed penalty notices (“on the spot” fines) for minor fisheries offences. This provided the possibility of creating a subset of minor offences which are legally suitable to be dealt with by way of fixed penalty notices.

In summary, the process suggested in the RIA involved giving a person who was alleged to have committed a minor offence an option to pay a fixed payment which would mean that a prosecution would not be taken in the Courts. If the payment was not received within 28 days, the prosecution would be initiated in the courts and on conviction it was expected that a higher fine would be applied.

A number of industry submissions received under the RIA on the implementation of fixed penalty notices raised concerns that these would be used in place of verbal or written warnings. Other comments raised concerns regarding potential inequalities in the application of the system between different Sea Fisheries Protection Authority Port Officers and Naval Service personnel. There were also comments regarding the constitutionality of applying sanctions in the absence of a Court decision and others seeking a fully administrative system.

In light of the comments submitted in respect of the above proposal on a fixed penalty system, it was decided not to proceed with the introduction such a system.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

 276. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the status of an application by a person (details supplied) under the agri-environment options scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14140/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named commenced their AEOS contract on 1 November 2010. Payment issued for the 2010 and 2011 Scheme years in the amount of €5,833.28.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue.  The application of the person named was also selected for an on-farm inspection which took place on the 4 October 2012.  During this inspection non-compliances with the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme were noted in relation to the Tree Planting and Species Rich Grassland actions which resulted in penalties being incurred. Due to the severity of the breaches of the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme the penalties incurred were far greater than the total payable amount of the AEOS contract. Therefore, the contract was terminated and the Department is recouping all monies paid under the Scheme.

AEOS is a voluntary scheme where applicants agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions on joining the Scheme. There are no circumstances where an applicant can receive payment for a contract where the Terms and Conditions are not adhered to. Any contractual issues between a herdowner and their professional adviser are totally a matter between both of those parties.

Basic Payment Scheme Applications

 277. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the status of the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14144/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed An application under the 2015 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) was received from the person named on 5 May 2015. The person named has received the advance and balancing payments due to date under the BPS. A final balancing payment will issue to eligible applicants over the coming weeks.

Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme Eligibility

 278. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the status of an application by a person (details supplied) for grant assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14158/16]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The applicant in question applied on 24 March 2016 under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme in TAMS II. A response was received last week following a query raised during the administrative checks. All applications received in a given tranche have to be examined and then ranked and selected before approvals issue. This process is underway for the applications received in Tranche 2 of the Scheme.


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