Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (151)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

151. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the progress to date in determining eligibility for a medical card in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32506/15]

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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 issued to Oireachtas members.

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (152)

Noel Harrington

Question:

152. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a breakdown of the allocation of capital funding recently announced for State-owned nursing homes, community hospitals and facilities for people with disabilities in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32509/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The position regarding individual facilities will only become clear after a careful process of prioritisation in the light of the amount available. Patient welfare will at all times remain an absolute priority.

Tobacco Control Measures

Questions (153)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

153. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if data is currently available in respect of the estimated number of adults who are vaping in Ireland in 2015 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32511/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

According to Special Eurobarometer 429, "Attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes" published in May 2015, 3% of all Irish respondents (base 1,003) stated that they currently use e-cigarettes or similar electronic devices (e-shisha, e-pipes), 3% used them in the past, but no longer use them, 6% tried them in the past but no longer use them and 88% never used them. More comprehensive data on e-cigarette use in Ireland will be available shortly from the Healthy Ireland Survey.

E-cigarettes and other non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems are not regulated under tobacco control legislation because they do not contain tobacco. They must however, comply with the European Communities (General Product Safety) Regulations which specify the duties of producers and distributors placing products on the market.

While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they do contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance which is the driver for cigarette smoking. Hence, there are legitimate concerns about the public health benefits of allowing such products to exist without regulation. Because they are a relatively recent product, there is limited scientific information available to balance the potential harms and benefits that might arise from more widespread public use.

The EU Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU), inter alia, provides for the regulation of certain aspects of e-cigarettes across EU Member States. My Department is working to transpose the Directive into national legislation by the May 2016 deadline.

The Directive will:

- set mandatory safety and quality requirements e.g. on nicotine content, ingredients and devices, as well as refill mechanisms etc., for e-cigarettes;

- make health warnings and information leaflets obligatory;

- introduce notification requirements for manufacturers and importers of e-cigarettes; and

- impose stricter rules on advertising and monitoring of market developments.

In addition to the regulations under the Directive, e-cigarettes will be further regulated in Ireland through the introduction of a retail licensing system. The legislation, approved by Government will also prohibit the sale of these products to, and by, persons under 18 years of age.

Currently the evidence base does not support prohibiting vaping in public places although individual organisations/companies are free to introduce an e-cigs free policy. My Department will continue to monitor evidence on the potential harms and benefits of these products, so as to inform decisions around any future additional regulation in this area.

Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (154)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

154. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the progress to date in determining eligibility for a medical card in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32518/15]

View answer

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 issued to Oireachtas members.

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

Health Services Staff Remuneration

Questions (155)

Robert Troy

Question:

155. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the amount of bonus remuneration paid to staff in his Department and in agencies under his aegis to date in 2015; the number of persons to whom these payments were made and their purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32538/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In respect of staff within my Department, I confirm there is no bonus remuneration being paid. All non-commercial semi state bodies under the aegis of my Department have also confirmed that no member of their staff receives any bonus pay.

The HSE has informed my Department that no Performance Related Awards payments were made to HSE staff in 2015. The last year in respect of which performance related payments were made by the HSE was 2008.

Hospital Beds Data

Questions (156)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

156. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health the current number of public beds in hospitals. [32569/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Hospital Beds Data

Questions (157)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

157. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health the number of public beds that were available in hospitals in March 2011. [32570/15]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Health Services Funding

Questions (158)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

158. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health if he will consider the allocation of funding to the Asthma Society's advice line; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32574/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Primary Care funding requirements for 2016 are currently being considered in the context of the estimates process and the HSE's National Service Planning process. In the context of overall competing demands for health service funding, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.

Medical Card Data

Questions (159)

Gerry Adams

Question:

159. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a breakdown, in tabular form, of applicants for medical cards in County Louth from 2011 to 2015; the number of these who were deemed ineligible; who were awarded a medical card; and who were awarded a general practitioner only card. [32593/15]

View answer

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 issued to Oireachtas members.

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

Primary Care Centres Data

Questions (160)

Gerry Adams

Question:

160. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the primary care centres currently operating in counties Louth and Meath; if he will provide details of any proposed new centres in 2015. [32594/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has responsibility for the provision, maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres. Therefore, this matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.