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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 336-343
 Header Item Public Procurement Contracts
 Header Item Paediatric Services
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Vaccination Programme
 Header Item Vaccination Programme

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1005 No. 6
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 78 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 336-343

Public Procurement Contracts

 336. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly when the available spaces on the panel for the provision of hand sanitiser to her Department and the HSE will go out to tender; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17826/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly All facilities management consumables for my Department are provided by our service contractor as part of a comprehensive facilities management service contract.

  This contract was established in conjunction with the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) through a public procurement competition. It was conducted in accordance with the open procurement procedure as required under the European Union Award of Public Authority Contracts.

  The contract that resulted from this competition was awarded in respect of the provision of all cleaning and hygiene related consumables, including hand sanitiser.

  With regard to the HSE, I have forwarded your query to them and asked that they respond directly to you on this.

Paediatric Services

 337. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly when an appointment will be made to the paediatric diabetic clinic in Mullingar Hospital to allow services to continue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17834/21]

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

Health Services Provision

 338. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if the business case submitted by a person (details supplied) regarding the funding required to provide long-term residential care will be approved; and if the matter will be expedited. [17843/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly 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.

   As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 339. Deputy Michael McNamara Information on Michael McNamara Zoom on Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the list of states from which arrivals at ports and airports in the State are required to quarantine clarifying in each case whether the quarantine is required due to the prevalence Covid-19, the prevalence of variants of the disease or both, respectively; and the rate of Covid-19 prevalence or variants’ prevalence, respectively that resulted in each state’s designation.  [17846/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly Persons arriving to Ireland from overseas are required to quarantine, subject to a number of exemptions. Those arriving from higher risk states or who have not complied with pre-departure test requirements are required to complete quarantine in a designated facility. Other passengers are subject to home quarantine requirements. Limited exemptions from these requirements are set out in the Act and in SI No.135/2021.

Prior to the passing of the Health (Amendment) 2021, states had been specified as Category 2, within the meaning of SI 44/2021, following recommendations made by the CMO to the Minister for Health. 33 territories were specified as Category 2 states following consultation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

An Expert Advisory Group on Travel was established on 1 March and has taken a risk-based approach to inform recommendations to the Chief Medical Officer, who in turn makes recommendations to the Minister for Health on countries to be made designated states under the amended Health Act 1947 Health Amendment Act 2021. This approach considers factors including the risk of sustained human transmission of COVID-19, as measured by the 14-day incidence in that country relative to that in Ireland, in addition to the risk of importation of a variant of concern and/or variant of interest based on the actual or potential prevalence of such variants.

The designation of states will be subject to ongoing review in line with the provisions of Section 38E of the Health Act 1947, which was inserted by the Health (Amendment) Act 2021. The Government and public health advice is to avoid all non-essential international travel.

Proposed Legislation

 340. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly when it is planned to publish the nursing home support scheme (amendment) Bill; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17854/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, commonly referred to as the Fair Deal Scheme, has been in operation for over 10 years and there is broad agreement that the Scheme operates well and continues to provide appropriate financial assistance where it is required.

  However, it is recognised that the Act, in its current form, does not place caps on the financial assessment of family owned and operated farms or businesses when calculating the means to pay for nursing home care. This places a potentially onerous burden on family successors and could challenge the future viability of these productive assets.

   Therefore, the Department of Health has proposed a policy change to the Scheme, to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at three years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset. The stated policy objective of the legislation is to introduce additional safeguards in the Scheme to further protect the viability and sustainability of family farms and businesses that will be passed down to the next generation of the family to continue to work them as productive assets to provide for their livelihood.

  This change was approved by Government and underwent pre-legislative scrutiny in the last Dáil. Progress on the development of the Bill was negatively impacted by the dissolution of the last Dáil and by the COVID-19 pandemic. The response to the pandemic has been and continues to be a national and public health priority. However, work on this legislation has continued to progress. I requested a waiver to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny from the Business Committee, given this was already undertaken in the previous Dáil, and this waiver was granted on 4th February 2021. I have met with the Attorney General to discuss this legislation, and there has been an ongoing and active engagement between the Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General on the development of the legislation, which will be brought to the Houses of the Oireachtas at the earliest possible opportunity. It is on the priority list for publication in the Spring legislative session. The Bill will be enacted upon completion of all stages in the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President.

Home Care Packages

 341. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly further to previous Parliamentary Questions and representations to the HSE if weekend home care will be provided for a person (details supplied); and if a review of their care plan will be expedited with a view to providing complete seven-day care. [17856/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler As this is an operational matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Vaccination Programme

 342. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if the Covid-19 vaccine will be administered to the remaining islanders under 70 years of age who are permanently resident on offshore islands, on the islands as happened in the case of the older cohort; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17858/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination. The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and my Department, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

  On the 23rd of February, I announced an update to Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy. In comprising the initial Vaccine Allocation Strategy, the NIAC listed several conditions associated with increased risk of severe disease and death. In the intervening period, national and international evidence has become available which has enabled a more detailed analysis of underlying conditions that may increase the risk of developing severe disease or death. The NIAC has now been able to more comprehensively identify those medical conditions and to distinguish between those which place a person at very high or high risk of severe disease if they contract the virus. Medical conditions and the magnitude of the risk they pose will continue to be monitored and periodically reviewed.

  On the 30th of March, the Government approved a further update to the COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Strategy. Based on clinical, scientific and ethical frameworks produced by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and my Department, following the vaccination of those most at risk, future groups will be vaccinated by age, in cohorts of 10 years (i.e., 64-55; 54-45, etc.).

  The move to an age-based model better supports the programme objectives by:

  - protecting those at highest risk of severe disease first, which benefits everyone most;

  - facilitating planning and execution of the programme across the entire country;

  - improving transparency and fairness.

  Further details are available here:

  https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/93f8f-minister-donnelly-announces-update-to-irelands-vaccination-prioritisation-list/

Vaccination Programme

 343. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the reason students who do not avail of Covid-19 vaccination will not be facilitated with clinical placements within HSE hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17861/21]

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


Last Updated: 19/04/2021 16:08:26 First Page Previous Page Page of 78 Next Page Last Page