Business of Seanad

I have received notice from Senator Kevin Humphreys that, on the motion for the Commencement of the House today, he proposes to raise the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to reinstate the grant for the baby-friendly hospital initiative to ensure that our maternity hospitals meet international standards.

I have also received notice from Senator Victor Boyhan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to outline the total number of persons on the current cataract waiting list and the waiting times involved; and when he intends to publish the primary eye care report.

I have also received notice from Senator Martin Conway of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to outline the current position on the review of management structures and other matters in the ambulance service.

I have also received notice from Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to outline the Government's position on the implementation of a rights-based, stand-alone Irish language Act in the North, as agreed at St. Andrews.

I have also received notice from Senator Maria Byrne of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to give consideration to providing medical cards to people aged over 66 who are caring for loved ones at home.

I have also received notice from Senator Frank Feighan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister of State responsible for mental health and older people to outline the plans under way to progress the planned new 90-bed unit at St. Patrick's hospital in Carrick-on-Shannon and the new 50-bed unit at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon town following the announcement of capital funding for both projects in January 2016.

I have also received notice from Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Foreign Affairs to provide an update on the progress being made in regard to plans to hold a referendum to allow Irish citizens abroad the right to vote in Irish presidential elections.

I have also received notice from Senator Keith Swanick of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to explain the current delay in the reimbursement applications for new medicines.

I have also received notice from Senator Tim Lombard of the following matter:

The need to ask the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, in light of the report on the cost of motor insurance, to initiate a review of the increasingly high cost of insurance for the agriculture and business sectors as to ensure insurance premiums remain affordable.

I regard the matters raised by the Senators as suitable for discussion. I have selected Senators Humphreys, Boyhan, Conway and Ó Donnghaile and they will be taken now. The other Senators may give notice on another day of the matters that they wish to raise.