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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 248-267
 Header Item Work Permits Data
 Header Item EU Agreements
 Header Item Health and Safety Authority Expenditure
 Header Item Job Creation
 Header Item Enterprise Support Schemes
 Header Item Labour Court Recommendations
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Administration
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Administration
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Hospital Car Parks
 Header Item Medicinal Products Reimbursement
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Research Funding
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Medicinal Products Reimbursement
 Header Item Pension Provisions
 Header Item Ambulance Service
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Administration
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 91 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 248-267

Work Permits Data

 248. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of employment permits issued for chefs in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10247/19]

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The information requested by the Deputy regarding the number of employment permits issued for chefs in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019 is set out below.

  The employment permits system is managed through the operation of the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL) and the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL). These lists are reviewed twice yearly to keep pace with rapid labour market changes and to be proactively identifying and addressing shortages as they arise.

  In March 2018, following a review of the Highly Skilled and Ineligible lists of Employment earlier in 2018, which included a public consultation, I announced the removal of certain chef grades from the ineligible occupation list subject to a quota of 610 Employment Permits, with a maximum of two new Employment Permits per establishment within this quota.  This quota relates to new chefs only, renewal Employment Permits do not count towards this quota.

  As at 27th February 2019, 263 permits have issued out of the total quota of 610 (this figure is included in the statistics in the following table).

  A review of the Q4 2018 occupation lists is being currently being finalised and my officials, in consultation with officials from a number of lead policy Government Departments, are actively considering the submissions received. I expect, in the very short term, to receive proposals, based on the evidence presented and extensive consultation with the Interdepartmental Group on Economic Migration, for changes to both the ineligible and highly skilled occupational lists.

  The number of Employment Permits issued for chefs from 2015 - to date are as follows:

  Employment Permits Issued for Chefs

Year Number
2015 144
2016 287
2017 282
2018 409
Jan - 27th Feb 2019 93

EU Agreements

 249. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the EU has a free trade agreement with South Korea; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10380/19]

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in October 2010 and has been provisionally applied since July 2011. The FTA was approved by Dáil Éireann on 21st July 2011 and was formally ratified by the EU in December 2015. At the time it was the most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU and the first with an Asian country.

The majority of import duties were removed in 2011 on provisional application. With the exception of a limited number of agricultural products, the remaining tariffs were phased out over a 5-year period which concluded on 1st July 2016. The phasing out of tariffs on the remaining agricultural products is being carried out over a longer period of up to 18 years except for a small number of sensitive products which are addressed by quotas.

Ireland’s trade with Korea has increased significantly since the FTA was first applied. Irish exports of goods to Korea have more than doubled from €289m in 2010 to €590m in 2018. Ireland’s exports of services to Korea have more than quadrupled during the same time from €209m to €846m The FTA has been mutually beneficial with Korea’s exports to Ireland also increasing.

The EU-Korea FTA is overseen by the EU-Korea FTA Trade Committee co-chaired at ministerial level where the EU is represented by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. The main committee is supported by seven specialised committees, seven Working Groups and an Intellectual Property (IP) Dialogue.

EU Agreements such as the EU-Korea FTA are very important for Ireland.  With a small domestic market, further expansion in other markets is essential to our continued economic growth.  In this regard Ireland will continue to support the EU’s ambitious programme of negotiating new FTA’s, opening new markets for Irish companies and increasing export and investment opportunities.

My Department will publish a study later this year which examines the economic opportunities and impacts for Ireland arising from FTAs, both currently in place and in negotiation, including the EU-Korea FTA.  The objective is to deepen our understanding of how Ireland can best take advantage of these opportunities, and ensure that our businesses are prepared to access new markets.

Health and Safety Authority Expenditure

 250. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the estimated full year cost of hiring an additional 60 full-time health and safety inspectors for the Health and Safety Authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10491/19]

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Health and Safety Authority has 104 FTE staff in the inspector grades who work across all sectors in the economy.

In 2018, the HSA was allocated additional funding of €1.1m, including €400,000 for Brexit related posts and €300,000 for the operation of the Irish National Accreditation Board, which is part of the HSA. For 2019 it has been allocated additional funding of €508,000, including €412,000 to fund extra Brexit related posts. I am satisfied that the Health and Safety Authority is adequately resourced to deliver on its current mandate.

The estimated full year cost of hiring an additional 60 full-time inspectors (based on a mix of technical skills and grades) for the Health and Safety Authority would be in the region of €3,951,000.  It should be noted that, the hiring of this number of additional inspectors would lead to an additional requirement for operational supports in terms of ICT, HR, Legal and other administrative services.  It is estimated that 7 staff would also be needed to cover this operational resource requirement at a further cost of €292,000.

Job Creation

 251. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys when the future jobs strategy will be published. [9518/19]

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys In response to the challenges we face, the Government agreed to the development of Future Jobs Ireland, the composition and implementation of which is being led jointly by my Department and the Department of the Taoiseach. The development has included extensive consultation to help shape the ambitions for 2019 and thereafter. Future Jobs Ireland is a whole of Government, multi-annual framework designed with the aim of integrating innovation and resilience into our economy. It will ensure our enterprises and workers are well positioned to adapt to the technological and other transformational changes our economy and society will face in the years ahead.

  Future Jobs Ireland focuses on five pillars namely:

  1. Embracing Innovation and Technological Change

  2. Improving SME Productivity

  3. Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent

  4. Increasing Participation in the Labour Force

  5. Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

  The launch and publication of Future Jobs Ireland 2019 will be on 10th March next.

Enterprise Support Schemes

 252. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the funding streams available in a case (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10727/19]

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports for entrepreneurs and businesses that intend to start or grow.

  The LEOs can offer direct grant aid to microenterprises (10 employees or fewer) in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors which, over time, have the potential to develop into strong export entities. Subject to certain eligibility criteria, the LEOs can provide financial assistance within three main categories: Feasibility Grants (investigating the potential of a business idea); Priming Grants (to part-fund a start-up); and Business Development Grants for existing businesses that want to expand.

  For anyone interested in starting or growing a business, the LEOs may be able to offer ‘soft’ support in the form of training (e.g. a Start Your Own Business course); a mentor to work with the business proposer; or targeted programmes such as Lean for Micro (to help boost business productivity and competitiveness).

  Micro-enterprises may also avail of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme (TOVS) from the LEOs. The Scheme offers the opportunity for businesses to develop their website or digital marketing strategy by availing of vouchers of up to €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure.

  Anyone with a viable business proposal can also use the LEO to make an application to MicroFinance Ireland, which offers support in the form of loans of up to €25,000 to start-ups with viable business propositions that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by the banks. Successful applicants can avail of a more favourable interest rate from MFI if they make their application through the LEO.

  I should also draw your attention to the ‘Supporting SMEs’ Online Tool, which is a cross-governmental initiative to help start-ups navigate the range of Government business supports for which they could be eligible. The tool is available at www.supportingsmes.ie By answering the eight questions in the Online Tool, a small business will, in one location, be able to:

  - find out which of the over 170 Government business supports from 27 different Government Departments, Agencies and Initiatives are available to them;

  - obtain information on the range of Government supports for accessing credit;

  - identify their nearest Local Enterprise Office where they can discuss the outcomes of the guide further;

  - download all these filtered results into a document for their further use.

  InterTradeIreland (ITI) – which is jointly funded by my Department and its Northern Ireland counterpart – offers a range of business supports to SMEs designed to encourage enterprise development on an all-island basis. ITI helps businesses explore new cross border markets, develop new products, processes and services and become investor ready. Through its suite of programmes and supports, ITI provides funding, advice and contacts which help SMEs across the island that are looking to grow their business. Given its mandate to develop North South Trade, ITI is also particularly well-placed to assist businesses in preparing for the challenges associated with Brexit. ITI provides a range of Brexit supports through its Brexit Advisory Service, including a “Start to Plan” voucher which enables companies to access professional advice to help them plan for Brexit. Further information on ITI’s supports and programmes is available on their website https://intertradeireland.com/

Labour Court Recommendations

 253. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice Information on Michael Fitzmaurice Zoom on Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if retired nurses are included in the pay deal offered to nurses recently; if they will be impacted by the proposed deal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10298/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The recent Labour Court Recommendations issued on foot of industrial action taken by members of the nursing organisations are still being considered by the parties.  It would be inaccurate to describe these recommendations as a 'pay deal'.  Management has met with representatives of the INMO, SIPTU and the PNA to consider the recommendations and their implications in detail.  As this engagement is still ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment on how a particular cohort of nurses such as retired nurses, may be impacted at this time.

Hospital Appointments Administration

 254. 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 an appointment will be scheduled for an angiogram for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10216/19]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

 255. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive cataract surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10217/19]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Administration

 256. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10229/19]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

 257. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil 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. [10242/19]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Hospital Car Parks

 258. 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 the Regional Hospital Mullingar will be directed to provide disabled parking spots for the warfarin clinic (details supplied). [10246/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

 259. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when Spinraza will be made available for children with spinal muscular atrophy. [10257/19]

 292. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the position regarding the application for the approval of the orphan drug Spinraza; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10411/19]

 314. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the delays associated with the supply of Spinraza will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10489/19]

 324. Deputy Gino Kenny Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason Spinraza has yet to be approved here in view of the fact it has been approved for reimbursement in 25 other European countries (details supplied); if he will request the HSE to re-enter discussions with a company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10606/19]

 372. 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 position with regard to Spinraza; if there will be a review of the latest decision by the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10852/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 259, 292, 314, 324 and 372 together.

  The Health Service Executive has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

  The Act specifies the criteria to be applied in the making of reimbursement decisions which include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the product, the opportunity cost and the impact on resources that are available to the HSE.

  I am advised by the HSE that an application for the reimbursement of Nusinersen (Spinraza) was considered by HSE Leadership at its meeting on 12 February 2019.

  Following detailed consideration of the application, the HSE Leadership made the decision that it was unable to recommend reimbursement of Spinraza and concluded that the evidence for clinical effectiveness is still quite limited and that the current price proposed by the manufacturer was not a cost-effective use of resources.

  The HSE has written to the company involved and informed them of the proposal to refuse reimbursement at the current price offering. Under the requirements of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 the company now has 28 days to respond or make representations to the HSE’s proposed decision.

  The HSE remains open to considering any new evidence or information which emerges regarding the clinical effectiveness or price of this medicine.

Health Services

 260. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is proposed to merge services (details supplied) with the offices being relocated in Tallaght. [10258/19]

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.

Research Funding

 261. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if funding will be allocated for research (details supplied); the status of the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10272/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Health Research Board (HRB) is a statutory body under the aegis of the Department of Health and is the lead agency in Ireland supporting and funding health research.  My Department provides funding in the region of €40 million annually to the HRB.

Decisions on funding allocation for specific applications made to the HRB are reached through a rigorous international peer review process.  Only those applications that are deemed of high scientific quality through that independent process receive funding.

As Minister for Health it would be inappropriate for me or indeed the HRB to interfere in the decision making process and allocation of funding for research project applications.

The Deputy may wish to note that the HRB does not ring-fence funding for specific diseases or health areas, and welcomes applications in any area, including rare diseases, through all of their funding schemes.

In addition, the HRB supports research in rare diseases via their Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG) Co-fund scheme. Again, only projects that are deemed scientifically robust and of high quality by an independent international peer review panel are funded through this scheme.

Hospital Appointments Status

 262. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [10279/19]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

 263. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 547 of 6 November 2018, the status of the reimbursement of Translarna from a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10291/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Health Service Executive has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

  The Act specifies the criteria to be applied in the making of reimbursement decisions which include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the product, the opportunity cost and the impact on resources that are available to the HSE.

  I am advised by the HSE that the application for Translarna (Ataluren) was approved at the January HSE Leadership Team meeting. The company is being contacted to finalise the implementation arrangements for reimbursement.

Pension Provisions

 264. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 143 of 19 January 2011 if a person (details supplied) is on a pension; the reason there is a difference of €10,000 in the period 17 September 1996 to 31 March 1998 in the amount they were actually paid and the amount the Health Service Executive says they were paid; if the irregularities of that time will be investigated and resolved; if payments due to this person from that time will be paid; if copies of the pension documents signed by the person will be made available to them; if their pension entitlements will be outlined to them; if payment to them will continue under pension group 038; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10303/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris It is an operational matter for the HSE to provide the answer sought by the Deputy. However, the HSE are unable to provide a response as insufficient information has been provided regarding the individual in question.

  Efforts have been made by my Department to contact Deputy McGuinness's office for the necessary information and on receipt of further details the HSE will provide the information requested.

Ambulance Service

 265. 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 when the 2018 health sector national staff survey carried out by a company (details supplied) in relation to the National Ambulance Service will be released to all staff; if he has received a copy of the survey results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10309/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the first part of this question concerns the release of results to HSE staff, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter. In relation to the survey results, I understand that my Department has not yet received a copy.

Hospital Appointments Administration

 266. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if an appointment in the case of a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10310/19]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Services for People with Disabilities

 267. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to provide adult intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder speech and language therapist posts to cover an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10313/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives.

This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.


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