Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (125)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

125. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm his already signalled intent to provide funding in the health budget for the introduction of a bilateral cochlear implantation programme in 2014; his plans to meet the parents of the children affected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30386/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has advised that it is working closely with Beaumont Hospital to progress plans for both simultaneous and sequential bilateral cochlear implantation. The development of the service will require additional resources for Beaumont and a business case is currently being prepared, with guidance from two UK independent experts, which will be submitted for consideration in the HSE 2014 Estimates process. Confirmation of any funding must await the outcome of this process.

I am pleased to say that I have arranged to meet with Happy New Ear in early July and I look forward to hearing their views. Minister Kathleen Lynch, with officials from the Department of Health and the HSE, also met with Happy New Ear on 22 May last. She outlined to them the progress being made in regard to the provision of bilateral cochlear implantation and I understand that it was a very positive meeting.