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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 371-390
 Header Item Hospital Staff
 Header Item Mental Health Services Data
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Obesity Strategy
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Health Services Staff Data
 Header Item Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Occupational Therapy Staff
 Header Item Public Procurement Contracts

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 371-390

Hospital Staff

 371. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason for a vacant clinical nurse specialist post at Tallaght hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43877/17]

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

Mental Health Services Data

 372. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will provide a list of psychiatric units in the country; the number of residents in each of these units at the end of the most recent month for which information is available; the number suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia; his views on whether a psychiatric setting is the appropriate place in these situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43879/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Appointments Status

 373. 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 a dermatologist appointment for a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; if it can be brought forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43883/17]

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.

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

  Questions No. 374 to 376, inclusive, answered with Question No. 278.

Health Services

 377. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will examine and address the situation in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43888/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Obesity Strategy

 378. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the food reformulation working group will be established; when the membership will be determined; if public health organisations will be involved; when the draft terms of reference will be prepared for this technical group; when it will be convened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43889/17]

 379. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the way the reformulation efforts will be monitored in view of the introduction of the sugar sweetened drinks tax in April 2018; the role the FSAI will have in this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43890/17]

 380. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a report on validation of the sugar and fat reduction will be published; the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43891/17]

 381. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when data for 2013 onwards will be collected, verified and published in respect of reformulation information on reduction of sugar in still and carbonated drinks (details supplied); the way in which the FSAI is working with the food and drink industry on this currently; if this will be monitored officially aside from the ad hoc manner it is done currently in which an industry organisation (details supplied) meets with the FSAI periodically at the industry's request to seek its input into the industry's reformulation work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43892/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne I propose to take Questions Nos. 378 to 381, inclusive, together.

  The reformulation of foods, particularly those high in fat, sugar and salt is a priority area in the National Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025. Plans by the Department to establish an Obesity Policy Implementation Group for the National Policy and Action Plan are well advanced. The first meeting of this cross-sectoral group is expected to take place this month.

  A number of working groups will be established within this overall national oversight structure - including a technical one on food reformulation, which will also explore approaches to food portion sizes. The establishment of this working group and its attributes (membership, Terms of Reference, date of first meeting, etc) shall be a function of the decision making process of the national Obesity Policy Implementation Group.

  Ireland is actively involved in the EU Food Reformulation Project and is represented by my Department on the EU High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity. The EU High Level Group is agreeing EU targets for reformulation of foods and beverages with Member States across Europe.

  In relation to FSAI's work in this area, it continues to sample a range of foods testing for salt, independently of the food industry, and post the information on its website www.fsai.ie.

  It has analysed declared sugar and fat levels on labels of yogurt and breakfast cereal and presented these findings at the summer meeting of the Irish Nutrition Society. A full report on this is due for publication in the coming weeks. Independent testing of foods for fat and sugar content has not yet started as it requires the use of external laboratories and will be looked at in 2018 depending on resources.

  FSAI has had periodic meetings with the FDI regarding reformulation in 2017.

  In October 2016, the Department published a Health Rationale on the introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened drinks. This document explored options for measuring and evaluating the impact of such a tax.

  It specified that a high quality evaluation should seek to examine the impact of the tax on purchasing, consumption and associated health outcomes such as BMI; a review of sales data on all SSD classified products would inform how the tax would be shaped in future years; a review of ongoing population-based nutrition surveillance data, building on the Healthy Ireland survey, where additional data relating to SSD consumption and consumption of other food and beverage items would be included, along with other nutrition surveillance datasets; and a review and report on the levels and trends in the population would be important.

  Furthermore, the report added that further research tracking public reaction and acceptability would be helpful. This approach will be considered over the coming months to develop an effective methodology to monitor and evaluate the impact of the SSD tax, including its impact on reformulation.

Hospital Appointments Status

 382. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if an admission date for a person (details supplied) will be expedited.  [43895/17]

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 scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she should take the matter up with the consultant and the hospital involved.

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy..

Mental Health Services Funding

 383. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the funding spent by child and adolescent mental health services, CAMHS, in community healthcare organisation, CHO, area 9 in each of the years 2014 to 2016, and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43905/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Health Services Staff Data

 384. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of full-time community ophthalmologists in CHO area 9 in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; if this number will be increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43906/17]

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 direct reply to the Deputy.

Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation

 385. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the position regarding the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy professionals; when this process will be complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43919/17]

 395. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the outcome of the consultations that took place with an organisation (details supplied) on the designation, by regulation, of the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist under section 4(2) of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 to enable him to regulate designating the professions to be regulated and prescribing the titles to be protected.  [43948/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 385 and 395 together.

  Following consultation with the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, as required under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, I undertook a wider public consultation on my proposal to regulate counsellors and psychotherapists under the Act. The Council's submission and those of the respondents to the public consultation are available on my Department's website, www.health.gov.ie. On foot of these consultations, I decided to proceed with the designation of two distinct professions under the Act, that of counsellor and psychotherapist. Each will have its own register under one registration board. This decision was communicated to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, the relevant professional bodies and all the respondents to the public consultation process.

I expect that the draft regulations to designate the professions and establish the registration board will be ready for submission to the Houses of the Oireachtas in the coming weeks. Subject to the approval of the Houses, the next step will be the appointment of the 13 members of the registration board following the submission of suitable candidates for my consideration by the Public Appointments Service. I hope that the registration board will be in a position early next year to begin the task of drafting the various by-laws to allow it to establish its registers.

Hospital Appointments Status

 386. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43920/17]

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 directly to the Deputy.

Occupational Therapy Staff

 387. Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a replacement for the occupational therapist for the Finglas area, who is on maternity leave, will be put in place (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43921/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Public Procurement Contracts

 388. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the procurement process entered into by the HSE before the engagement of an organisation (details supplied); the requirements for qualification, duration of contract or engagement and qualifications required by applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43922/17]

 389. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the references that were sought and provided from applicants in the competition in which an organisation (details supplied) was selected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43923/17]

 390. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the payments made to an organisation (details supplied) in each year in respect of its engagement by the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43924/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 388 to 390, inclusive, together.

  As the issues raised are operational matters, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.


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