Youth Work Projects Funding

Questions (260)

Willie Penrose

Question:

260. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will ensure that the organisations that are involved in youth work, for which funding is vital, and for which funding has already been cut by 30%, should not be subject to further and additional expenditure adjustments in light of a reduction of 10% forecast for 2014; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that if Big Brother, Big Sister programme, which is an extremely important youth mentoring programme, incurs further funding losses, it will eventually close, despite being an extremely cost-effective programme which is volunteer led; if she will ensure that no further cuts are implemented in 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26584/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department provides a range of funding schemes, programmes and supports to the youth sector. Funding of some €53.498m is available in 2013 to support the provision of youth services and programmes to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities. Targeted supports for disadvantaged, marginalised and at risk young people are provided through the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund Rounds 1 and 2 and Local Drugs Task Force Projects. These funding schemes support national and local youth work provision to some 400,000 young people and involve approximately 1,400 paid staff and 40,000 volunteers working in youth work services and communities throughout the country.

In 2013, my Department's Youth Affairs Unit will provide total funding to Foróige of €5.93 million.

Programme

Amount in 2013

Youth Service Grant Scheme

€2,651,154

Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund (1 & 2)

€1,195,283

Special Project for Youth

€2,083,572

Total

€5,930,009

This total does not include local youth clubs grants, funded by my Department, but allocated to local clubs by; and at the discretion of local VECs.

This total does not include funding provided to Foróige with respect to Garda youth diversion projects or funding from other state agencies such as the HSE.

The savings required under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure in respect of 2013 amounted to €5.393m which equated to almost a 10% reduction on 2012 funding available for the provision of youth services. The savings required in 2014 in the youth budget under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure amount to €2.976m. Having regard to the savings requirements identified in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure my Department has tried to be as equitable as possible in achieving these savings. In considering how best to manage within the reduced budgets available, organisations are being asked to consider the scope for reducing administration costs and overheads, if this is at all possible, in order to maintain the front line youth services for young people. I have met, and continue to meet with, many youth organisations and groups to try and see how we can work together to minimise the impact of these necessary savings in order to ensure that the provision of quality youth services to young people is sustained in these challenging times.

In 2011, Foróige, following an internal review of the organisation’s wide range of provision for young people, reprioritised its areas of youth provision and programmes. This reprioritisation, which was proposed to my Department, enabled Foróige to strengthen their Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) Programme nationally. Foróige decided, with the permission of my Department, to reallocate the funding provided by my Department from their Youth Information services to the Big Brother Big Sister Programme. Additional funding was also provided by my Department to Foróige for the Big Brother Big Sister Programme in 2012 and 2013. While I fully appreciate the value of the Big Brother Big Sister Programme and the challenges facing it in the current fiscal climate, given the savings required within my Department's budget under the CRE, I do not envisage any further scope for the provision of any further increase on the funding already provided to Foróige.

A comprehensive Value for Money and Policy Review of youth funding has been commenced in my Department and it is anticipated that the findings of this report will inform the future development of youth programmes and services. My Department is developing a new youth policy framework for publication later this year. The new youth policy framework will aim to enhance the provision of youth services and activities and it will, inter alia, promote co-ordination between government departments and youth sector organisations with a view to maximising the effectiveness of the State funding available to support services for young people in future years.

Health Services

Questions (261)

Dara Calleary

Question:

261. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a commitment to the long-term future of a school (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26557/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am having enquiries made of the Health Service Executive in relation to the matter raised by the Deputy. I will be in further communication with the Deputy.

Health Services

Questions (262)

Dara Calleary

Question:

262. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a commitment to the long-term future of a school (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26558/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am having enquiries made of the Health Service Executive in relation to the matter raised by the Deputy. I will be in further communication with the Deputy.

Hospital Staff

Questions (263)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

263. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his views on claims made by the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine of an expected significant worsening of the current, very precarious medical staffing levels in emergency departments here, that evidence from around the country currently indicates that staffing deficits will worsen significantly from July 2013 and that it is likely that many departments will have difficulty filling medical staff rosters with inevitable cuts in services and more prolonged waits for patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26287/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE is actively managing the recruitment process for the next rotation of Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors in order to ensure that as many as possible are recruited and that all critical service needs are met. (It should be noted that Registrars in Emergency Medicine are in short supply internationally.) A number of separate recruitment processes are currently underway including:

- Filling by the Postgraduate Training Bodies of posts on training schemes;

- HSE Centralised Applications process;

- Local recruitment - which fills approximately 70% of service posts;

- External HSE funded initiatives, including a partnership arrangement with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan and recruitment in South Africa. These initiatives are focusing on key specialties including Emergency Medicine.

In addition, the HSE is taking steps to improve the working conditions of NCHDs, enhance retention and, in particular, achieve compliance with the European Working Time Directive by the end of 2014. In this context, the HSE is working intensively with hospitals on measures to progress compliance with the requirements of the Directive and to facilitate the early introduction of electronic time recording and rostering systems.

Hospital Services

Questions (264)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

264. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the status of catering services at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin; his views on whether there are plans to outsource the provision of catering services at Beaumont Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26288/13]

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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 (265)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

265. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if he will provide the number of prosecutions initiated by the Office of Tobacco Control or the Health Service Executive under the Public Health Tobacco Acts, in tabular form, for each year since 2004. [26289/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Smoking is the greatest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in Ireland, killing over 5,200 people a year. Ireland’s public health policy objective in relation to tobacco is to promote and subsequently move towards a tobacco free society. As this is a service matter, I have referred this question to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Equipment

Questions (266)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

266. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if the health insurance management system is currently live at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. [26290/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am informed by the Health Service Executive that Claimsure is the Health Insurance System currently being used in Beaumont Hospital.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (267)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

267. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health his plans to remove the upper age limit for eligibility, which is currently 64 years of age, for testing under the national breast screening programme, BreastCheck. [26291/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The BreastCheck Programme provides free mammograms to all women aged 50-64. The Programme for Government includes the extension of BreastCheck to women in the 65-69 age group, in keeping with EU Guidelines on effective screening for breast cancer. The main priority for the HSE's National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) at present is to maximise national uptake in the 50-64 year age cohort and it aims to extend the upper age range from 65 - 69 in 2014 in keeping with the Programme for Government. In the meantime women of any age who have concerns about breast cancer should seek the advice of their GP who will, if appropriate, refer them to the symptomatic breast services in one of the eight designated specialist cancer centres.

In addition, an Efficiency Review of the BreastCheck Screening Programme in order to prepare for the age extension of BreastCheck to women up to the age of 69, was published recently. The review, which was commissioned by my Department, makes a number of recommendations on how the screening process could be enhanced to increase the number screened. The NCSS has set up an internal working group to begin the planning and costing process for the extension of the age range.  The group is reviewing all aspects including population growth, impact of higher rate of breast cancers in the older age range, resource requirements and implementation options. My Department will continue to work with the HSE to ensure that national priorities and Programme for Government commitments are met.

General Practitioner Services

Questions (268)

Niall Collins

Question:

268. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the existing legislation or guidelines that permits a general practitioner to levy a charge of €20 for the provision of a prescription; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26298/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

General Practitioners (GPs) who hold General Medical Services (GMS) contracts with the HSE must not seek or accept money from medical card or GP visit card holders in respect of routine treatment or for the provision of prescriptions. Consultation fees charged by general practitioners to private patients and to GMS patients outside the terms of the GMS contract are a matter of private contract between the clinicians and the patients. While the Minister for Health has no role in relation to such fees, it is expected that clinicians would have regard to the overall economic situation in setting their fees.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

Questions (269, 270)

David Stanton

Question:

269. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Health if persons suffering from Ehler’s Danlos syndrome are eligible for the treatment abroad scheme; if such treatment is available in both public and private hospitals abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26299/13]

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David Stanton

Question:

270. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Health the number of patients with Ehler’s Danlos syndrome who have travelled to foreign hospitals or clinics for specialist services under the treatment abroad scheme each year for the past ten years, respectively; if he will provide details of where such treatment was accessed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26300/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 269 and 270 together.

The HSE operates a Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS), for persons entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland under EU Regulation 1408/71 as per the procedures set out in EU Regulations 574/72, and in accordance with Department of Health Guidelines. Within these governing EU Regulations and the Department of Health Guidelines, the TAS provides for the cost of approved treatments in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland through the issue of Form E112 (IE). A decision is made on each application in accordance with this legislation and guidelines and on the basis of a review by clinical experts. The cost of the treatment is not a deciding factor when approving an application. The treatment must not be available within the State or not available within a time normally necessary for obtaining it.

The TAS allows for an Irish based medical consultant to refer a patient that is normally resident in Ireland for treatment, in a public hospital, in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, where the treatment in question meets the following criteria:

(a) The application to refer a patient abroad has been assessed and a determination given before that patient goes abroad.

(b) Following clinical assessment, the referring Consultant certifies the following:

- They recommend the patient be treated in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland;

- The treatment is medically necessary and will meet the patient’s needs;

- The treatment is a proven form of medical treatment and is not experimental or test treatment;

- The treatment is in a recognised hospital or other institution and is under the control of a registered medical practitioner;

- The hospital outside the state will accept EU/EEA form E112 (IE).

and wish to confirm that applications for the Treatment Abroad Scheme are assessed on a case by case basis.

Applicants are eligible for the Scheme in general where they are referred abroad for a specified treatment that is not available in Ireland, which is a proven form of therapy, where the accepting facility abroad will accept Model Form E112 (IE). The referral must be from a Irish based consultant who is currently treating the patient in as a public patient. Patients can only be referred to the public facilities systems in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland.

The information requested by the Deputy, concerning the number of patients with Ehler’s Danlos syndrome who have travelled for treatment under the treatment abroad scheme is recorded over a six year period to date. However, in line with the HSE's policy in ensuring patient confidentiality; only data where instances of 5 cases or more are identified would be eligible for release. With this in mind, this information will not be released.