Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (643)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

643. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm that waiting times for a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon at Our Lady's Hospital Navan County Meath increased from eight months to 12 months between last October and November (details supplied); if he will provide in tabular form waiting times presently at January, July and December 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30844/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Improving access to outpatient services is a key priority for the Government. Collaborating with individual hospitals, the SDU, together with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the HSE, has developed the outpatient waiting list minimum dataset. This allows data to be submitted to the NTPF from hospitals on a weekly basis and, for the first time, outpatient data is available on www.ntpf.ie. For 2013, a maximum waiting time target has been set of 12 months for a first time consultant-led outpatient appointment and this is reflected in the HSE service plan. The SDU and the NTPF will work closely with hospitals towards achievement of the maximum waiting time. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved. In relation to the specific hospital appointment query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services Staff Issues

Questions (644)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

644. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if a Health Service Executive investigation is ongoing regarding the conduct of a care worker/personal assistant assigned to the care of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5; if the care worker/personal assistant in question has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30849/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The issue raised by the Deputy is a matter for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly, the Department has referred the question to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Reviews

Questions (645)

Tom Fleming

Question:

645. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite a medical card review in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30850/13]

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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. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has recently reissued to Oireachtas members.

Commemorative Events

Questions (646)

Finian McGrath

Question:

646. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding funding in respect of a project (details supplied) in Dublin. [30137/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply.  Please contact my private office if a response is not received within ten working days.

Marine Safety

Questions (647)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

647. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if in view of the recent tragedies in the fishing industry, he is considering making it compulsory for an alert system to be worn, if a fisherman goes overboard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30669/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department has been working with both the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Iascaigh Mhara on the legislative and financial supports for a series of maritime safety measures focused on the fishing community, including the mandatory usage of Personal Locator Beacons.  This has involved complex work which is now nearing completion.

State Airports

Questions (648)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

648. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the actions he has taken to ensure that Shannon Airport is given at least equal recognition as one of the two transatlantic airports here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30010/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister I do not confer such recognition on any airport whether it is domestic, trans-Atlantic, European, etc.  I am, however, very pleased at the significant increase in flights and seats between Shannon and North America this year and am confident that this will grow further.  I am also keen to see Shannon secure routes from Russia and Asia should the commercial conditions be right. As the Deputy is aware Shannon Airport separated from Dublin Airport Authority last December. As a result, I am happy that Shannon can create the conditions for a long-term sustainable future now that it is free to determine that future itself.  As an independent airport, Shannon is now in a position to compete with other Irish airports with regard to all services into and out of Ireland, including the transatlantic services.

Public Transport Provision

Questions (649)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

649. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider measures to regulate the use of rickshaws; if he or his Department has had any contact with local authorities regarding this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30076/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

There are no regulatory constraints over the use of rickshaws for hire at present.  A rickshaw whether or not mechanically propelled is not capable at present of being licensed as a small public service vehicle. The Taxi Regulation Bill 2012 which is before the Oireachtas provides for a restatement of the offence provision so that, following enactment, the use of mechanically powered rickshaws for the purposes of carriage of persons for reward would not be allowed. I am also aware that some Local Authorities are considering the introduction of non-motorised passenger transport by-laws.

Roads Maintenance Issues

Questions (650)

Brian Stanley

Question:

650. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost per kilometre the National Roads Authority is paying to contractors for all maintenance, including grass cutting and litter picking, on the M7 motorway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30079/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

Sports Funding

Questions (651)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

651. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the social inclusion measures, in terms of participation, that are required of those sporting organisations in receipt of funds from the Irish Sports Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30114/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Irish Sports Council, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the promotion, development and co-ordination of sport.  This includes responsibility for the recognition of sporting organisations as National Governing Bodies of sport and the allocation of funding to those bodies. As this question is a matter for the Irish Sports Council, I have referred it to the Council for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.