Pension Provisions

Questions Nos. 160 to 162, inclusive, answered with Question No. 149.

Question No. 163 answered with Question No. 151.

Question No. 164 answered with Question No. 148.

Questions (159)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

159. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if her attention has been drawn to a recent survey (details supplied); and the proposed actions that may be taken by her to address the findings contained in that survey. [21738/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have received a copy of the survey in question and noted its contents. There are no plans to change the current pension arrangements in the public service in general or in An Garda Síochána in particular. In this regard it should be noted that the new single public service pension scheme was introduced in 2013. I must also point out that over the course of our recovery from the economic crisis, the Government has consistently ensured that those who are most vulnerable are spared the effects of reductions in expenditure to the fullest extent possible. Indeed, in the most recent FEMPI legislation, those on pensions of less than €32,500 did not have any further reductions imposed on them.

Questions Nos. 160 to 162, inclusive, answered with Question No. 149.
Question No. 163 answered with Question No. 151.
Question No. 164 answered with Question No. 148.

Equality Issues

Questions (165)

Clare Daly

Question:

165. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there are any pending changes to equality legislation which would relate to the ability of employer to terminate a person's employment upon reaching a certain age. [21760/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Equality legislation on age discrimination is kept under regular review by my Department, particularly in the light of national and European case law and advice of the Equality Tribunal. The Court of Justice of the European Union has clarified in a series of decisions in the context of EU Directive 2000/78/EC that national rules on retirement ages may be set down if they are objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate social policy aim. While the wider issues of statutory retirement age and national policy on retirement are outside my brief, it should be noted that an Interdepartmental Group on Working and Retirement, under the auspices of the Department of Social Protection, is considering cross-cutting policy issues to support longer working with a view to improving the sustainability and adequacy of pensions systems in which my Department is participating. Any issues for equality legislation arising from the work of that group will also of course be considered.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (166)

John Halligan

Question:

166. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Health the current status of circa 5,000 patients who were outsourced from Waterford Regional Hospital, WRH, in the past year; the facilities to which these patients were outsourced; the number of these patients who have received their recommended complement of procedures in full; the number of these patients who are currently in the process of completing their treatment; the number still waiting to be seen at the facilities to which they have been outsourced; if any of the patients' case files have been returned to the remit of WRH; if he is confident that the decision to outsource these patients resulted in the most efficient and complete episode of care possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21355/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am advised by the HSE that, in 2013, a total of 6,456 patients on waiting lists for outpatient treatment at the Waterford Regional Hospital, were referred to private facilities for outpatient services, and a total of 666 patients were referred for in-patient/day case procedures. All 666 in-patient/day case patients have fully completed their episode of care. The patients were treated at the Whitfield Clinic Waterford; Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny; Mater Private Hospital, Cork; Bon Secours Hospital, Cork and the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Of the 6,456 patients referred for outpatient services to the Whitfield Clinic Waterford, Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny, and the Mater Private Hospital, Cork, 2,896 patients have been seen; the remaining 3,560 patients will be seen by the end of June 2014. Of the total number of patients seen, 1,940 patients have been discharged and 956 patients require a follow up episode of care. Arrangements are underway for Waterford Regional Hospital to take responsibility for the ogoing care of these patients. The files of those patients requiring ongoing care are in the possession of Waterford Regional Hospital.

The Deputy may wish to note that prior to signing Service Level Agreements with the hospitals concerned, the HSE engaged with the private providers with a view to agreeing a satisfactory price for the outsourced work. I have been assured that the costs agreed were considered reasonable when measured against national casemix costs. I am satisfied that, as hospitals are aligned into hospital groups, there will be increased potential to maximise the use of capacity across multiple sites, to ensure that challenges at individual hospital sites can be addressed in a timely fashion.