Healthy Eating Guidelines

Questions (484)

Robert Troy

Question:

484. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health his plans to publish revised nutrition guidelines. [11132/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Healthy Eating Guidelines were reviewed recently by a Working Group of my Department and HSE dietitians and published last June 2012. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute and the Special Action Group on Obesity, which I established in 2011, were also involved in the review.

Food Labelling

Questions (485)

Robert Troy

Question:

485. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce legislation to ensure that calorie counts are advertised on food; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11133/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Last year I called on all food service businesses to display calories on food and drinks served in Ireland. Calories on menus help people make healthier choices. My Department requested the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to carry out a national consultation on this issue, which found that over 95% of consumers in Ireland want calories on menus. Following the national consultation, the FSAI have published a step-by-step guide on how to do this: Putting Calories on Menus in Ireland - Technical Guidance for food.

I also wrote personally to a range of fast food restaurants requesting that they display calories on menus on a voluntary basis. Recent monitoring information from the FSAI, found that almost half of the 19 fast food restaurants, coffee shops and catering companies are currently displaying calories on menus. The FSAI are currently conducting a large telephone survey and quality assessment evaluating the uptake of calorie menu labelling by Food Service Businesses in Ireland. The final survey results will be ready for publication in March 2013. I welcome the progress that has been made so far and will use the FSAI survey results to inform my decision regarding further progress in this area.

Orthodontic Service Provision

Questions (486)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

486. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health when braces will be supplied to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11143/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to patients based on their level of clinical need. An individual's access to orthodontic treatment is determined against a set of clinical guidelines and priority is given to patients with greatest needs. The HSE has been asked to examine the specific query raised by the Deputy and to reply to him as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (487)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

487. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork who was told in May 2012 that surgery was necessary is still awaiting an appointment to have the treatment carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11146/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to waiting list management in general, the National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2013, 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, recently adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists. In relation to this particular query raised by the Deputy, I have asked the Health Service Executive to investigate the situation and respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Hospital Facilities

Questions (488)

Gerald Nash

Question:

488. Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health if he will outline the Health Service Executive's plans for the future of laundry services at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, County Louth and the Louth County Hospital; if he will ensure that the HSE engages constructively with trade unions regarding the option under consideration for the operation and future of the services at both facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11147/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Health Services Expenditure

Questions (489)

Gerald Nash

Question:

489. Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health if he will detail the total cost of a piece of machinery at a facility (details supplied) in County Louth; if he will explain the reason for the failure to replace the item; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11148/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Hospital Facilities

Questions (490)

Gerald Nash

Question:

490. Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health if a company (details supplied) is on record as having formally applied to the Health Service Executive through the public tendering process to provide services at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, County Louth; if he will outline the total value of any contracts awarded to that company in 2011, 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11149/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The administration of procurement services is a service matter. Therefore the Deputy's question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medical Card Delays

Questions (491)

Tom Fleming

Question:

491. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite and award a full medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11151/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Underage Drinking

Questions (492, 574)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

492. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if he has received and reviewed a submission (details supplied) on the misuse of alcohol by children and young persons; if he is preparing any new measures to address this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11152/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

574. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on action on children's abuse of alcohol; and if he will respond to the report on child abuse of alcohol (details supplied). [11510/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 492 and 574 together.

The submission concerned has been received by my Department; and in this context the National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group report contains a range of recommendations to, among other things, reduce the consumption of alcohol in general. These recommendations are grouped under five pillars of Supply Reduction (availability), Prevention, Treatment, Rehabilitation and Research. The report contains a range of recommendations that impact directly and indirectly on the problem of excessive youth alcohol consumption. Real and tangible proposals are currently being finalised on foot of the recommendations in the National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group report. These proposals cover all of the areas mentioned in the report, including the areas of advertising of alcohol, sponsorship of various public events by the drinks industry and legislation on minimum unit pricing. The Cabinet Committee on Social Policy has considered the aforementioned proposals and I intend to bring forward specific proposals for consideration by Government as soon as possible.

Medical Card Delays

Questions (493)

Tom Fleming

Question:

493. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite and award full medical cards in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11153/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Health Services

Questions (494, 495)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

494. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the reason Dublin 15 has been moved from Health Service Executive Dublin North West to HSE Dublin North; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11154/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

495. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will detail the operational changes that will occur as a result of transfer of the Dublin 15 region from Health Service Executive Dublin North West to HSE Dublin North. [11155/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 494 and 495 together.

As this is an operational matter for the Health Service Executive it has been referred to the Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (496)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

496. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 13; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11159/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

HSE Agency Staff

Questions (497)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

497. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm that all agency workers who have been on contract with the Health Service Executive have been paid all the arrears that were due to them as a result of the implementation of the EU directive on agency workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11163/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the issue is a matter for the Health Service Executive, the deputy's query has been referred to the Executive for direct reply regarding the payment of arrears.

Ambulance Service Provision

Questions (498)

Gerald Nash

Question:

498. Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm the Health Service Executive's plans for ambulance cover in the Drogheda/Dundalk area; the budget available for the ambulance service in County Louth for 2013 compared to 2012; the number of ambulances available to cover County Louth in 2013 compared with 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11170/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Tobacco Control Measures

Questions (499, 500, 509)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

499. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health regarding the tobacco products directive public consultation, the number of responses that were received and by what means of communication; the breakdown of those in favour and against; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11177/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

500. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health regarding the tobacco products directive public consultation process, if the views expressed in the responses will be reflected in his Departments position on the directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11178/13]

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Damien English

Question:

509. Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Health the number of submissions made to the public consultation on the EU tobacco products directive which closed on 16 January 2013; if he will publish the submissions made on this important legislative proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11203/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 499, 500 and 509 together.

Approximately 6,400 submissions were received by my Department in response to the public consultation on the proposal for the Tobacco Products Directive. The submissions are in the form of e-mails, written submissions and printed postcards. The analysis of the submissions is on-going. The results of the public consultation and consultations with other Government Departments will feed into the discussions which are taking place with all Member States of the EU at the European Council's Working Party on Public Health which is chaired by Ireland during the Irish Presidency.