Written Answers. - Computerisation Programme.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

75 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Health and Children if he had complied an inventory of all life support and other critical machines in the country's hospitals in order to ensure year 2000 compliance; the funding, if any, provided for this purpose; and if he will assure the public that no problems will arise in this regard. [1960/99]

Theresa Ahearn

Question:

89 Ms Ahearn asked the Minister for Health and Children the health agencies with which his Department has communicated to ensure year 2000 compliance; the extent to which each agency is compliant; the areas in respect of which year 2000 compliance works are required during 1999; the extent to which each health board has communicated the position to his Department; and if he has satisfied himself that all health agencies will be compliant before the end of 1999. [1629/99]

Alan Shatter

Question:

614 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the health agencies with whom his Department has communicated to ensure year 2000 compliance; the extent to which each agency is compliant; the areas in respect of which year 2000 compliance works are required during 1999; the extent to which each health board has communicated its position to his Department; and if has satisfied himself that all health agencies will be compliant before the end of 1999. [1996/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75, 89 and 614 together.

My Department has issued comprehensive guidelines to health agencies setting out a recom mended phased approach to achieving year 2000 compliance of systems and equipment. A tabulated list of these agencies will be circulated in the Official Report. In the guidelines it is suggested that the agency, as an early project phase, should compile an inventory of all their systems and equipment which may have implications for the year 2000.
My Department has also issued recommended deadlines for achieving year 2000 compliance. For information technology systems and non-IT equipment the recommended deadline is 31 August 1999. While for the supply chain, the deadline, which encompasses contingency planning, is 31 July 1999.
My Department in its role of ensuring year 2000 compliance in the health service has and continues to take action to create awareness, facilitate the co-ordination and sharing of resources and information, providing on the ground assistance to agencies and monitors progress. In the latter area the following measures have been put in place: monthly progress reports to the Department by major agencies as part of the integrated management reporting process; reports every two months from smaller health agencies and health corporate bodies; a number of special interest groups have been established to allow agencies share information and provide feedback. The Department takes an active role in these groups and monitors the attendance of agencies. Groups have been set up as follow IT, medical devices and equipment, estates, laboratories, small agencies and the supply chain, and at present officials of my Department are meeting with individual agencies to review progress and to identify areas where assistance is required.
In 1998 my Department allocated £5 million specifically for achieving year 2000 compliance of IT systems. In addition, £1 million was allocated as a contribution to agencies to assist with the non-IT costs associated with year 2000 projects.
In 1999 it is intended that a significant proportion of the health service equipment allocation will be used to ensure year 2000 compliance. Similarly, with the year's capital IT investment programme it is intended that the greater part of the £14 million allocated will be used to achieve compliance.
In recognition of the possible cost implications of the year 2000 problem, particularly in relation to embedded systems which are common in the health area, the Government in this year's budget have established a contingency fund totalling £40 million. I intend to call upon this fund if it proves that normal allocations do not cover the cost.
While a considerable amount of work has yet to be done by agencies, our objective is that the safety of clients and staff will be secured and that services will be maintained with minimal disruption.
Adelaide and Meath Hospitals incorporating the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght
An Bord Altranais
Beaumont Hospital
Blood Transfusion Service Board
Board for the Employment of the Blind
Brothers of Charity
Orthopaedic Hospital, Cappagh
Central Remedial Clinic, Clontarf
Children's Hospital, Temple Street
Children's Sunshine Home
City of Dublin Skin & Cancer Hospital, Hume St.
Comhairle na nOispidéal
Coombe Women's Hospital
Cope Foundation
Daughters of Charity
Dental Council
Drug Treatment Centre
Dublin Dental Hospital
Eastern Health Board
Federation of Voluntary Bodies
Food Safety Authority of Ireland
General Medical Services Payments Board
Health Research Board
Health Service Employers Agency
Hospital Bodies Administration Bureau
Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital, Clontarf
Independent Hospitals Association of Ireland
Irish Medicines Board
Irish Sisters of Charity
Leopardstown Park Hospital
Mater Misericordiae Hospital
Medical Council
Mercy Hospital, Cork
Mid-Western Health Board
Midland Health Board
National Cancer Registry Board
National Council on Ageing
National Maternity Hospital
National Rehabilitation Board
National Rehabilitation Hospital
North-Eastern Health Board
North-Western Health Board
National Social Work Qualifications Board
Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross
Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin
Portiuncula Hospital
Post Graduate Medical and Dental Board
Rotunda Hospital
Royal Victoria, Eye & Ear Hospital
Sisters of Bon Sauveur
Sisters of Charity
Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary
Sisters of La Sagesse
South Eastern Health Board
South Infirmary/Victoria Hospital, Cork
Southern Health Board
St. Annes, Roscrea
St. James' Hospital
St. John of God Brothers
St. John's Hospital, Limerick
St. Luke's and St. Anne's Hospital
St. Mary of the Angels, Beaufort
St. Mary's Hospital, Baldoyle
St. Michael's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire
St. Patrick's Innishannon
St. Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park
St. Vincent's Hospital, Fairview
Stewarts Hospital
University Dental School and Hospital, Cork
Voluntary Health Insurance Board
Western Health Board
Women's Health Council