Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 359-382
 Header Item Dental Services Waiting Lists
 Header Item Health Insurance
 Header Item Protected Disclosures
 Header Item National Children's Hospital Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Ministerial Responsibilities
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision
 Header Item Home Care Packages Provision
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Health Care Infrastructure Provision
 Header Item Community Care Provision
 Header Item Mental Health Services Staff
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item National Treatment Purchase Fund Data
 Header Item Home Help Service Data
 Header Item Hospital Staff
 Header Item Hospital Staff
 Header Item Redundancy Payments
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Food Safety Standards
 Header Item Vaccination Programme Data

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 944 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 84 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 359-382

Dental Services Waiting Lists

 359. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the length of time by three month periods, for example, zero to three months, three to six months and so on, persons are waiting for dental surgery in each county, broken down by categories (details supplied); the total number on a waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15058/17]

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 HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Health Insurance

 360. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on a matter regarding private health insurance (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15061/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Deputy raises two separate issues in the question. The first concerns the community rating levy on health insurance contracts and the second matter raised concerns charges for private patients in public hospitals.

With regard to the first matter, risk equalisation is a mechanism designed to support the objective of a community-rated health insurance market, whereby all customers pay the same net premium (adjusted to reflect any loadings applicable under lifetime community rating) for the same health insurance product, irrespective of age, gender or health status. Under the risk equalisation scheme, credits are paid to insurers for their older and sicker members. These credits are funded directly by stamp duty levies on all health insurance contracts written. The scheme redistributes funds between insurers to meet some of the additional costs of insuring older and sicker members. The scheme is self-funding and exchequer neutral, neither a cost nor a benefit to the State.

From 1 April 2017 the age-related credits paid to insurers in respect of older people will increase, to help to maintain the existing level of support for community rating. Increasing the amount of age-based credits provided under the scheme requires changes in the stamp duty levy. The levy will therefore increase by approximately 10% on all products written from 1 April onwards. It is important to note that increasing the levy does not automatically increase costs across the market. All of the monies collected are paid back to insurers in the form of credits. The amount of any increase or decrease individual insurers pass on to consumers is a commercial decision for each of them. Insurance companies operate as commercial providers and as Minister for Health, I have no legal power to intervene in relation to any insurer’s pricing strategies.

Regarding the second issue, the Health (Amendment) Act 2013 provides for the charging of all private inpatients. This Act addressed a situation identified by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his 2008 report whereby when a private inpatient was accommodated in a public or non-designated bed, no private inpatient charge applied. The report noted that 45% of all private inpatient throughput was not the subject of a maintenance charge because the patient was accommodated in a designated public bed. A further 5% was not charged for because the patient was accommodated in a non-designated bed, with the result that only 50% of private inpatient throughput gave rise to any maintenance charge at all. This was despite the fact that due to treatment costs, the type of room in which a patient is accommodated is by no means the major contributor to the overall costs of a hospital stay.

The absence of a maintenance charge in such instances represented a significant loss of income to the public hospital system, to taxpayers and was an indirect subsidy to private insurance companies, which cover most private patients. The charging regime set out in the Health (Amendment) Act 2013 was intended to decrease but not eliminate any gap in the cost of providing services to private in-patients. The additional income generated as a result of the enactment of this legislation is a key element of the funding to the public hospital system and any curtailment of this funding stream would put pressure on the taxpayer to maintain services.

Protected Disclosures

 361. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the process in his Department for dealing with protected disclosures under the 2014 Act; if the examinations of such disclosures are carried out by an independent authority or persons other than those in the organisation to which the disclosure refers; the number of disclosures received by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15077/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In keeping with the requirements of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and also in accordance with the Guidance provided by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, my Department has developed Protected Disclosure Policy and Procedures for staff, to advise them on the approach to take when seeking to make a protected disclosure under the Act, or on how to respond on receipt of a protected disclosure from a body under my aegis.

Protected disclosures received are always reported to the Secretary General in the first instance and assessed or investigated by a person at Principal Officer grade or above - none of the disclosures received related to the persons who investigated them.

Under Section 22 of the 2014 Act each Department must publish an annual report by 30 June each year on the number of disclosures received in the preceding year. My Department's first report, which is published on its website, was for the period 1 July 2014 - 31 December 2015 and it stated that 3 protected disclosures were made to my Department in that period.

National Children's Hospital Expenditure

 362. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans on the entire cost of facilitating the new children's hospital at St. James's Hospital, Dublin, and to include all pre-construction costs, together with other costs that are required to facilitate this facility and any cost to be incurred outside of the site which will be necessary in the interest of services and transport requirements that may be necessary; if the overall project costs have been considered, including the cost of equipping the new hospital together with the cost of any issues it would be more appropriate to deal with at this stage in terms of plans to move the Coombe maternity hospital onto the site and the implications that this may have for the national children's hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15092/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) was appointed in 2013 to plan, design, build and equip the new children’s hospital. An internationally recognised design team supported by an experienced Board and Project Team are in place, have followed best international design, planning and procurement process at each stage of the project.

  The recently concluded tendering process for the main construction works determined the actual market cost of the construction elements of the project. The updated capital costs have been incorporated into the Final Project Brief, which sets out the costs and funding proposals for the construction of the core hospital and satellite centres, including equipment, VAT provision, risk provision, all fees, decant, external works, enabling costs, project management costs, commercial spaces (underground carpark and retail space), higher education facilities, and the Children’s Research and Innovation Centre. It also provides details on two options for the procurement of equipment for the hospital. While I am not in a position to comment on updated costs at this stage, I intend to bring a Memorandum to Government shortly on the new children’s hospital. Full details of the costs will be set out in the Memorandum for Government.

  Since the formation of the current NPHDB Board in 2013, costs incurred on the new children’s hospital project on a shared campus with St. James’s as at 31st December 2015 are €36 million. Accounts for 2016 will be available once validated by the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General. Details of all costs relating to the new children's hospital project have been included in the total costs as set out in the Definitive Business Case which forms part of the Final Project Brief.

  The NPHDB is also fully compliant with Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 which states that "A planning authority may, when granting a permission under section 34, include conditions for requiring the payment of a contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the planning authority and that is provided, or that it is intended will be provided, by or on behalf of a local authority (regardless of other sources of funding for the infrastructure and facilities)".

  In relation to the relocation of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital to the St James's campus, thus achieving tri-location of adult, paediatric and maternity services, a site for the proposed maternity hospital is identified in the Site Master Plan for the St James's campus, and the new children's hospital design has incorporated the required operational links with both maternity and adult hospitals. A planning application has not yet been submitted in relation to the relocation of the Coombe Maternity Hospital to the St James's Hospital Campus. While the construction of the new maternity hospital on the campus will not commence until the new children’s hospital is completed, consideration will be given to the work required to advance the new maternity hospital design, which must be done before a planning application is prepared.

Departmental Properties

 363. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the future plans for a property (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15099/17]

 364. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if, prior to a decision being made about a property (details supplied), the Department of Education and Skills can be contacted to determine whether it would use it for a primary school service in the Milltown area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15100/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 363 and 364 together.

  Your question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply as the management of the healthcare property estate is a service matter.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 365. Deputy Mary Butler Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason a ceiling track hoist cannot be supplied by the HSE for a person (details supplied) with severe brain damage, to assist the family with the person's needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15130/17]

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 HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Ministerial Responsibilities

 366. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will ensure more regulation in the beauty industry (details supplied). [15144/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As Minister for Health I would have no direct policy function for many of the matters mentioned by the Deputy in details supplied. I would have some responsibility in areas such as sunbeds and cosmetics. I understand officials from my Department have been in contact with the Deputy's office seeking further clarification on the Deputy's question.

Mental Health Services Provision

 367. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to extend the limited number of places in the Central Mental Hospital which are currently available to the Irish Prison Service for persons in custody who require residential mental health treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15165/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Home Care Packages Provision

 368. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will provide sufficient funds to ensure that adequate home care package hours will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15166/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Departmental Expenditure

 369. 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 cost of insurance under various insurance headings, such as public liability, buildings cover, employer liability and so on, for his Department and each body under its aegis; the name of the insurance provider for each year since 2010, in tabular form; the number of outstanding insurance claims against his Department or the body under its aegis; the estimated cost of those claims if available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15182/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In response to the Deputy's question, my Department operates under State Indemnity, a self-insurance model whereby the State bears the financial risk associated with the cost of claims. This approach is set out in the Public Financial Procedures at C8 Section 11 whereby the general rule is that no insurance should be effected against the risk of any loss which, if it arose would fall wholly and directly on public funds. This is based on the understanding that the risks for which the Government is liable are innumerable and widely distributed and that losses maturing in any one year are never so large as to materially disturb the financial position of the year, so that it is cheaper in the long term for the Exchequer to "carry its own insurance".

The National Treasury Management Agency is designated as the State Claims Agency (SCA) when performing the claims and risk management functions delegated to it under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000. Since the establishment of the SCA, the management of claims functions has been delegated to the Agency. It currently manages claims and risks on behalf of 139 delegated State Authorities.

I have also forwarded your question to the HSE for direct reply. Details for other bodies under the aegis of the Department are operational matters for the bodies concerned and the Deputy should contact the relevant Director/CEO/Registrar directly.

Health Care Infrastructure Provision

 370. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the details of the budget for a project (detail supplied) in County Mayo; the changes that have been made to the budget since project sanction; the amount that has been allocated within the budget for fit-out costs; the extra staffing that will be required to operate the refurbished facility; if sanction has been given for these appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15233/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As the HSE is responsible for the delivery of health care infrastructure projects, including project costings and staffing, I have requested the Executive to reply directly to you.

Community Care Provision

 371. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 567 of 21 March 2017 if he will assess the feasibility and costs for the provision of a nationwide database that would co-ordinate service providers, namely, public bodies and community organisations that provide community services, most especially to the care of the old and vulnerable, in order to properly identify and provide information on persons who need help, the help that is required and the body which can and will provide that help; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15238/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee The website of the Health Service Executive is a useful information tool and provides a list of the wide range of health and social care services it provides across a range of areas. In particular, in relation to services for older people, information is available regarding:

  - Home Care/Home Help;

  - The Nursing Homes Support Scheme A Fair Deal, and nursing homes in Ireland;

  - Community Services;

  - Information on protecting older people;

  - Tips for Health Living;

  - Information for Carers;

  - Useful contact information for various organisations who provide assistance and advice on issues relevant to older people.

  However, issues affecting older people are not purely health-related. The National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS), published on 24 April 2013, highlights that ageing is not just a health issue, but rather requires a whole of Government approach to address a range of social, economic and environmental factors that affect the health and well-being of our ageing citizens. The NPAS provides a framework for cooperation to address age-related policy and service delivery across Government and society in the years ahead. The Strategy is intended to promote older people’s health and well being so that older people can continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and family life in their own communities for as long as possible, thereby representing a vision for an age-friendly society.

  At the launch of the Strategy, a commitment was made to publish an Implementation Plan to facilitate the translation of the Goals and Objectives of the Strategy into action on the ground. The approach to implementation originally included in the Strategy would have worked where a finite number of discrete and concrete steps could be taken after which the implementation could be deemed complete. However, many of the objectives included in this Strategy are quite broad, and can be viewed as a set of principles to which Government has committed, and which will inform policies that affect older people on an indefinite basis into the future, rather than concrete objectives that can be delivered in the short term.

  The Department has therefore formulated new arrangements to implement and monitor the implementation of the National Positive Ageing Strategy. The revised arrangements were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy and Public Service Reform on 27 October, 2016. The new proposals will see mechanisms established that will give stakeholder groups effective and on-going access to Government Departments and State Agencies relevant to older people. An Annual Forum for stakeholders is being established which will seek to identify what stakeholders consider to be their key priorities for Government for the coming year and the next three years. Issues will be considered on a thematic basis and will include Health, Social Protection, Transport, Security, Community Housing and Local Government etc. Clear channels of communications will be established with relevant Government Departments assigning a named senior official to engage with stakeholder representatives on issues relevant to their remit.

  The inaugural Stakeholder Forum will take place on 30 March 2017.

  As part of the NPAS implementation process, a Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative has been established in collaboration with the HSE’s Health and Wellbeing Programme and the Atlantic Philanthropies to measure the impact of the Strategy and establish an ongoing system for measuring and reporting on Positive Ageing. The Initiative will monitor changes in older people’s health and well-being linked to the Goals and Objectives of the National Positive Ageing Strategy. This will be done primarily through the development of Positive Ageing indicators to be published every two years. The Initiative is intended to provide evidence of the factors contributing to positive ageing, including at local level and ultimately inform policy responses to population ageing in Ireland. The first national Positive Ageing Indicators report was published in 2016 and highlights many of the positive and negative aspects of growing old in Ireland.

  The National Positive Ageing Strategy and the activities of the HaPAI are strongly embedded within the vision and actions set out for Healthy Ireland, the Government-led initiative which aims to create an Irish society where people of all ages can enjoy good physical and mental health, and where well-being is supported at every level of society. The Healthy Ireland Framework was launched in 2013 and seeks to provide people and communities with accurate information on how to improve their health and well-being and to make the healthy choices easier choices. Healthy Ireland takes a whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approach to improving health and well-being and the quality of people’s lives and a number of new structures have been put in place to ensure that all sectors of society are given opportunities to participate.

  The Department of Health has no plans at present to develop a nationwide database that would coordinate service providers both public bodies and community organisations that provide community services, as suggested by the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Staff

 372. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will consider extending the contract of nurses due to retire if they are willing to continue working; if he will consider re-engaging any nurse who has already retired if he or she is willing to be re-employed, particularly in the context of current staff shortages in the nursing profession; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15240/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Last year this Department issued a Circular to the HSE National Director of HR to allow a derogation from public pay policy for mental health nurse retirees to return to work for the HSE beyond the first point of the mental health nurse salary scale and typically at the LSI point of the scales for those who would have retired.

In recent discussions with the INMO and SIPTU nursing unions at the WRC, proposals were agreed whereby other nurses and midwives who return to work, following retirement, would be entitled to return at the incremental point they were on when they left the system. With regard to nursing and midwifery personnel who retired at a higher grade (CNM2, ADON etc), if they return to work at the grade occupied at the time of retirement, they would be paid at the incremental point of the scale they were on at time of retirement. However, if returning at a lower grade (e.g. Staff Nurse), they would be remunerated at the maximum point of this lower grade. The INMO is currently balloting on these proposals.

Hospital Services

 373. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of persons on the waiting lists for services, procedures and operations at Letterkenny University Hospital; the number of services, procedures and operations cancelled over the period from 1 January 2016 to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15241/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In response to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Hospital Services

 374. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the full review of the three community hospitals (details supplied) in County Donegal has been completed; if funding has been put in place for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15242/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Data

 375. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of persons in County Donegal who have benefited from the National Treatment Purchase Fund over the period from 2016 to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15243/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government's key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018.

In December 2016, I granted approval to the NTPF to dedicate €5m to a daycase waiting list initiative with the aim of ensuring that no patient will be waiting more than 18 months for a daycase procedure by 30 June 2017. In excess of 2000 daycases will be managed through this process and outsourcing of treatment will commence shortly. The focus of this initiative will be those lists with large numbers of long waiting patients.

In addition to this Daycase Initiative, the NTPF has been working closely with my Department and the HSE to agree an approach to the remaining 2017 allocation. The HSE is currently developing a 2017 Waiting List Action Plans for Inpatient/Daycase procedures and Outpatient appointments to reduce the number of patients waiting more than 15 months by the end of October. The Inpatient/Day case Plan is being developed in conjunction with the NTPF's approach to the utilisation of its remaining €10m funding for patient treatment in 2017.

The HSE has now submitted Draft Waiting List Action Plans for Inpatient Daycases and Scoliosis. My Department is currently reviewing and evaluating these plans and engagement is ongoing with the HSE and the NTPF towards the finalisation of the former. The Outpatients Plan has been significantly progressed and I expect that it will be submitted shortly.

In 2016 the only Initiative delivered by the NTPF was the Endoscopy Waiting List Initiative which targeted the longest waiters. The NTPF has indicated to me that none of the patients that were facilitated under this Initiative were on public waiting lists in Donegal.

In 2016, I requested, the HSE to submit an Action Plan to reduce by 50% the number of patients waiting over 18 months or over for an inpatient or daycase procedure. Funding was made available to the HSE under the Winter Initiative to support the delivery of the Action Plan. With regard to the patients in County Donegal who were treated under the Action Plan, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Home Help Service Data

 376. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of home help hours being provided at present in County Donegal directly through the HSE and by private contractors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15244/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Hospital Staff

 377. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will confirm that a second breast cancer surgeon has been appointed on a permanent basis at Letterkenny University Hospital; if all necessary medical staff are in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15245/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Breast Cancer Service at Letterkenny University Hospital operates as a satellite centre of University Hospital Galway. The service is run by a single consultant who also undertakes general surgery at the hospital, and it is augmented by locum consultants and by Galway-based Saolta consultants who travel to carry out clinics in Letterkenny to meet needs arising.

A second breast surgeon has not been appointed on a permanent basis at Letterkenny University Hospital. At present, efforts are being made to recruit a full-time locum consultant surgeon to deal with current demands on the service. Consideration continues to be given to longer-term measures to meet the future requirements of the service and staffing at consultant and other levels will be among the issues to be considered.

I recently met with cancer support groups from the area and I can confirm that the HSE's National Cancer Control Programme, my Department and the Saolta Group are actively engaged in ensuring that a quality breast cancer service will be available in Letterkenny. A further meeting of the involved parties will be held shortly in Letterkenny.

Hospital Staff

 378. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a second endocrinologist, an additional diabetic nurse specialist and a dietician have been appointed at Letterkenny University Hospital; if all necessary medical staff are in place in that service to deal with patient demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15246/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In response to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Redundancy Payments

 379. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the redundancy payments to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15278/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Cheshire Home is funded under Section 39 of the Health Act 2004. with services based throughout the country including, Tullow, Co. Carlow.

  The Health Service Executive (HSE) has in place Service Level Agreements with these providers funded under Section 39 of the Health Act 2004 that set out the level of service to be provided for the grant to the individual organisation and requirements in relation to standards of care.

  In 2017, as part of the overall service arrangement which Community Health Organisation 5 has with Cheshire Ireland, a funding allocation of €1.965m will be provided to Carlow/Kilkenny Community Services.

  I understand that at the Service Level Agreement meeting in 2016, Cheshire Home indicated that they were going to undertake staff redundancies. However, the HSE did not receive any request for funding from Cheshire Ireland for these costs.

  As the individuals employed by Section 39 organisations are not HSE employees, the HSE has no role in determining the salaries or other terms and conditions applying to these staff, including any pension arrangements. Accordingly, such arrangements offered by individual providers will vary.

  The pay and superannuation terms and conditions of the staff concerned are not subject to the control of the Department of Health and they are not classified as public servants.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 380. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15293/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

 The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

  In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Food Safety Standards

 381. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to a planning application (details supplied) whereby it is proposed that dog waste, comprising urine and faeces, be spread on tillage lands; his views on the public safety and health implications of such a plan; and if he will clarify with the Food Safety Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency whether such a plan poses a risk to public and animal health as well as to the environment. [15294/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Policy responsibility relating to planning applications, waste management, primary food production, animal health, and the environment reside with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment respectively.

  The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has informed me that in 2008 the Scientific Committee of the FSAI published a report entitled "Food Safety Implications of Land-spreading Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Organic Materials on Agricultural Land used for Food Production in Ireland".

  This report highlighted the issues surrounding the land-spreading of organic agricultural (OA) and organic municipal and industrial materials (OMI) on agricultural land used for food production and made a number of recommendations (see page 67 of the link: https://www.google.ie/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Food+Safety+Implications+of+Land-spreading+Agricultural,+Municipal+and+Industrial+Organic+Materials+on+Agricultural+Land+used+for+Food+Production+in+Ireland&*). The 2008 report did not specifically consider dog faeces from dog-breeding establishments as part of the risk assessment. The spreading of dog faeces from dog breeding establishments was not part of practices at that time and therefore did not feature in the report. Nevertheless the report did state that ready-to-eat produce (i.e. food not cooked before consumption) poses a particular food safety risk when land on which they are grown is spread with OA or OMI materials.

Vaccination Programme Data

 382. Deputy Tony McLoughlin Information on Tony McLoughlin Zoom on Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of girls who were refused the HPV vaccine in each of the years from 2010 to 2016 on medical grounds or for other related issues (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15295/17]

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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.


Last Updated: 03/03/2020 15:23:29 First Page Previous Page Page of 84 Next Page Last Page