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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 111-123
 Header Item Asylum Applications
 Header Item Immigration Status
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards Data
 Header Item Abortion Services Provision
 Header Item Home Care Packages Administration
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards Data
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Disease Incidence
 Header Item Departmental Reviews
 Header Item Voluntary Sector Funding
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 981 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 66 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 111-123

Asylum Applications

 111. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the status of an application for refugee status and asylum in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16012/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or his legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

  The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

  Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

  For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

  Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

 112. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the current and-or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16024/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State, on a stamp 4 basis, for one year on 19 July, 2017.  I understand that INIS received an application for renewal of this permission on 14 January, 2019.

I am also advised that INIS wrote to the person concerned seeking further information on 27 March, 2019 and the application will be given further consideration in light of a response from the individual concerned. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Appointments to State Boards Data

 113. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number and percentage of women on each State board under the remit of her Department on 8 March 2016 and 8 March 2019, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15701/19]

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The information requested by the Deputy regarding Gender Balance on the State Boards under the aegis of my Department is set out in the statistical table.

  Appointments to the State Boards under the remit of my Department are considered in relation to the gender balance targets set out in the Government Decision (S21590F). Appointments are also reviewed against other criteria, including the specific skills required for the role and for the Board in general, and the regional representation on the Board.

  My Department has achieved the Government Decision target of a minimum of 40% female board members in 5 of its 8 Boards.  Of these 5 Boards, 4 have exceeded the 45% target. My Department actively engages with the Public Appointments Service to ensure that advertisements are drafted to attract as wide a range of candidates as possible.

Statistical Table

  March 2016 March 2016 March 2016 March 2016 March 2019 March 2019 March 2019 March 2019 Notes
Name of Board No. on Board Male Female %

M/F
No. on Board Male Female %

M/F
 
Enterprise Ireland 12 7 5 58/42 12 7 5 58/42  
Health and Safety Authority 12 9 3 75/25 12 9 3 75/25  
Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority 10 3 5 30/50 9 4 5 44/56 2 vacancies in 2016. No. on Board now reduced to 9
IDA Ireland 12 9 3 75/25 12 7 4 64/36 1 current vacancy
National Standards Authority of Ireland 13 7 6 54/46 13 7 6 54/46  
Personal Injuries Assessment Board 11 7 4 63/37 11 5 5 50/50 1 current vacancy
Science Foundation Ireland 12 7 5 58/42 12 7 4 64/36 Chair position currently under consideration following PAS process
Workplace Relations Commission 9 4 5 44/56 9 4 5 44/56  

Abortion Services Provision

 114. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he has liaised with other Departments and bodies regarding the introduction of exclusion zones at facilities providing for the termination of pregnancy; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15768/19]

 124. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the work to introduce legislation to regulate for exclusion zones for facilities providing for the termination of pregnancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15767/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 124 together.

It is my intention to introduce legislation to ensure safe access to premises in which termination of pregnancy services may be provided. It was originally intended to provide for safe access in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, but a number of legal issues were identified during the drafting process. In order to allow full consideration of these issues, and so that the publication of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill would not be delayed, it was decided that the best option would be to provide for safe access to health services in a separate companion piece of legislation in 2019.

Government approval for this approach was received in September 2018.

Officials in my Department are working with the Office of the Attorney General on this legislation with a view to having a General Scheme drafted by the summer. Key stakeholders will be consulted as part of this process.

Home Care Packages Administration

 115. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the HSE reserves the right to terminate contracts it has with private agencies with respect to home support services in County Donegal in order to relinquish responsibility for the provision of such services; the consideration given to the continuity of care for service users in receipt of home supports when terminating contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15694/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

 116. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of occasions since the commencement of the new 2018 contract awarded by the HSE for the home delivery of incontinence wear to a private courier partner on which deliveries were either delayed, cancelled or orders were only partially delivered; the dates on which same occurred; the reason for the service disruption on each such occasion by CHO in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15695/19]

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 to the Deputy.

Appointments to State Boards Data

 117. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number and percentage of women on each State board under the remit of his Department on 8 March 2016 and 8 March 2019, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15710/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department in conjunction with the Public Appointments Service (PAS) currently seeks expressions of interest for membership of boards as vacancies arise, where I, as Minister for Health, have nominating rights under relevant legislation. In considering applications made through PAS due regard is given to Government policy on gender balance on State Boards.

  I also appoint members on the nomination of various bodies, again in accordance with the relevant legislation. The external body is requested, where practical, to nominate both a male and female nominee. In so far as possible when making appointments to State Boards, I endeavour to ensure an appropriate balance between men and women.

  The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available. It is currently being collated and will be provided no later than 10 days from today.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

Please see below in tabular format, the information outstanding in answer to PQ 15710/19 of 4 April 2019.

Department of Health State Board;
Number of women serving on 08 March 2016
Percentage of women serving on 08 March 2016
Number of women serving on 08 March 2019
Percentage of women serving on 08 March 2019
Beaumont Hospital Board
6
55%
3
30%
Children's Health Ireland
n/a
n/a
5
42%
Consultative Council on Hepatitis C
2
33%
5
63%
Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board
n/a
n/a
8
62%
Dental Council
5
26%
5
26%
Dietitians Registration Board
7
70%
8
67%
Dublin Dental Hospital Board
7
54%
7
50%
Food Safety Authority Of Ireland
2
33%
4
50%
Health and Social Care Professionals Council
12
50%
13
52%
Health Information and Quality Authority
8
67%
5
50%
Health Insurance Authority
1
33%
2
67%
Health Products Regulatory Authority
4
44%
3
38%
Health Research Board
2
22%
5
56%
Health Service Executive
n/a
n/a
4
44%
Irish Blood Transfusion Service
6
50%
8
67%
Leopardstown Park Hospital Board
4
57%
4
57%
Medical Council
12
48%
14
56%
Medical Scientists Registration Board
n/a
n/a
9
69%
Mental Health Commission
8
67%
5
38%
National Cancer Registry Board
4
57%
2
50%
National Haemophilia Council
5
45%
7
64%
National Paediatric Hospital Development Board
3
23%
2
17%
National Treatment Purchase Fund Board
3
33%
3
33%
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
13
57%
13
59%
Occupational Therapists Registration Board
5
71%
7
64%
Optical Registration Board
6
46%
3
30%
Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland Council
10
48%
11
52%
Physiotherapists Registration Board
7
54%
9
69%
Podiatrists Registration Board
n/a
n/a
7
54%
Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council
2
12%
3
18%
Psychologists Registration Board
n/a
n/a
9
69%
Radiographers Registration Board
7
70%
11
85%
Social Care Workers Registration Board
4
31%
4
31%
Social Worker's Registration Board
6
46%
5
45%
Speech and Language Therapists Registration Board
7
88%
8
80%
St. James's Hospital Board
2
18%
1
14%
Tallaght Hospital Board
4
36%
5
50%
Voluntary Health Insurance Board
3
27%
2
18%


It should be noted that the boards marked as not applicable on the table were not established on the 8 March 2016. The information provided relates to actual serving membership on the 8 March 2016 and 8 March 2019.

Hospital Appointments Status

 118. 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 expedited for a person (details supplied). [15726/19]

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.

Disease Incidence

 119. Deputy Eamon Scanlon Information on Eamon Scanlon Zoom on Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease here in each of the years 2013 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15727/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the information requested is not readily available, I have referred it to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Departmental Reviews

 120. 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. 700 of 26 March 2019, the terms of reference for the review of the HSE reimbursement and pricing decision making process; the specific instruction the relevant consultancy firm will follow; the estimated timeline for completion of the review; if the review will involve consultation with third party interested stakeholders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15731/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department has completed a tender process for a review of the HSE reimbursement and pricing decision-making process and is currently appointing a consultancy firm to complete this review.

  The terms of reference, which form the basis for the conduct of the review, are as follows. The review is expected to be completed within three months of commencement.

  Although not included in the terms of reference, consideration will be given to consultation with relevant stakeholders. 

  Terms of Reference

  Having regard to the introduction of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 and the 2016 Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines, the Department of Health considers it opportune to commission a review of the governance arrangement, and resources in place in the HSE supporting decisions on applications from drug companies for a medicine to be reimbursed pursuant to the community drug schemes or as a hospital medicine.

  In particular, the review will examine governance arrangements (including the systems, structures, processes) and the resources which support the decision-making process for the consideration of an application including:

  - the use of expert advice throughout the assessment process (including clinical, pharmacoeconomic, commercial, financial, procurement and legal expertise);

  - the approach to securing the best value and terms to the HSE through commercial negotiations and procurement policies and procedure;

  - the procedures for detailing agreements by means of written contracts;

  - the arrangements and supports in place to facilitate the HSE Directorate in making reimbursement decisions in line with the criteria set out in Schedule 3, Part 3 of the 2013 Act.

  This review should have regard to the policy, legal and institutional framework within which the HSE operates, in particular the requirements set out in the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the Health Act 2004 and the processes described in Schedule 1 of the 2016 Framework Agreement.

  The review will make recommendations as considered appropriate in respect of any required improvements to the HSE’s systems, structures, processes, governance arrangements or use of specialist resources in respect of the review.

  In making its recommendations, the review will have regard to best practice regarding the procurement of medicines, the conduct of high-value commercial negotiations, governance, organisational structures, skill-mix and oversight.

  The review will complete its work and report to the Department of Health within three months. 

Voluntary Sector Funding

 121. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason an organisation (details supplied) has been denied funding; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the lack of funding threatens the organisation with closure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15735/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne Responsibility for the provision of funding in relation to LGBTI services is a matter for the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the first instance. Accordingly, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 

Home Care Packages

 122. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on whether HSE care company carers should be trained in first aid; and his plans to make it compulsory in particular in circumstances in which the patient in their care is prone to having choking incidents. [15740/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

 123. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the drug Sativex is authorised here for sale; if so, if it is available by prescription; the number of persons prescribed same here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15743/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE 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 for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. As Minister for Health I have no role in this statutory process. 

  I am informed by the HSE that a new application for the reimbursement of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabidiol, THC/CBD (Sativex) was received in February 2018.

  A rapid review by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) was completed on 3 April 2018 and a full pharmacoeconomic assessment was recommended to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of this medicine compared with the current standard of care.

  The HSE commissioned a full pharmacoeconomic assessment on 20 April 2018 and requested that the manufacturer submit the required dossier to enable the application to be assessed.  

  The NCPE engaged in a pre-submission consultation with the applicant company in September 2018.

  The NCPE has not received a dossier from the applicant company to date. The submission of a dossier by the applicant company is the next required step to complete this assessment process.


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