Long-Term Illness Scheme

Question No. 929 answered with Question No. 853.

Questions (928)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

928. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his plans to cease the long-term illness scheme in view of the review of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14107/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I wish to reassure the Deputy that I have no plans to cease the LTI Scheme. However, the LTI Scheme will be included in the review of the current eligibility framework, including the basis for existing hospital and medication charges, to be carried out under commitments given in the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy. 

Question No. 929 answered with Question No. 853.

Hospital Accommodation Provision

Questions (930)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

930. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason the 20-bed cystic fibrosis, CF, inpatient unit in Beaumont Hospital is being delayed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14109/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to the issues you raised concerning the proposed purpose built cystic fibrosis in-patient facility at Beaumont University Hospital.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Questions (931)

John Curran

Question:

931. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health when the HSE will finalise its capital plan for 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14130/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department and the Health Service Executive are currently engaged in a process to finalise the HSE Capital Plan for 2019.

Projects that are currently in construction and are contractually committed will not be affected.

Once the HSE has finalised its Capital Plan for 2019, it will then be submitted to me for consideration.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (932)

John Curran

Question:

932. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the status of the delivery of a primary healthcare centre in Lucan (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14131/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (933)

Peter Burke

Question:

933. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); if the person can avail of the National Treatment Purchase Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14133/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am conscious that waiting times are often unacceptably long and of the burden that this places on patients and their families. In this regard, I am committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

The recently published Scheduled Care Access Plan, sets out a number of commitments aimed at improving access for patients waiting for hospital operations or procedures, as well as patients waiting for a first Outpatient appointment.

In terms of treatment offers, the NTPF authorises public hospitals to offer outsourced treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic. NTPF authorisations are made in respect of the longest waiting patients first.  

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.  

In relation to the matte raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.  

Hospital Appointments Status

Question No. 935 answered with Question No. 618.

Questions (934)

Martin Ferris

Question:

934. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) who is awaiting an appointment can expect to receive same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14134/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Question No. 935 answered with Question No. 618.

National Children's Hospital

Questions (936)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

936. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health his role in the appointment of a new project director (details supplied) for the national children's hospital; the number of resignations from the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14140/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have no role in the appointment of a new Project Director to the National Paediatric Development Board. 

In relation to the number of resignations from the NPHDB, as this is an operational matter I have asked the NPHDB to respond directly to the Deputy.

 

National Children's Hospital

Questions (937)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

937. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if he has the authority to dismiss a member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board as stipulated in the code of governance manual for the NPHD (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14143/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The process for appointing members to the Board of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is set out in the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (Establishment) Order (Statutory Instrument 246 of 2007).  The Children's Health Act 2018 amended the Board appointment process to better reflect the Board's primary role which is to deliver on the new children's hospital and outpatient and urgent care centres capital project, rather than its previous broader remit which also included operational planning for the services, the latter now being a matter for Children's Health Ireland.    

To allow for the appointment of a Board under the new provisions sooner than the expiry of the five-year term of office under which members of the Board have been appointed, the Act also includes a provision which, when commenced, provides for the cessation of membership of the Board in place at the time of commencement of the provision. The Establishment Order also provides that a member of the Board, including the Chairperson, may at any time be removed from membership of the Board by the Minister if, in the Minister's opinion, the member has become incapable through ill-health of performing his or her functions, or has committed stated misbehaviour, or his or her removal appears to the Minister to be necessary for the effective performance by the Board of its functions, or the Minister is satisfied that the member has failed to comply with the provisions in the Order which relate to disclosure of interests.

Medical Conditions

Questions (938)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

938. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health his plans to recognise fibromyalgia as a disability here; if it will be included on the long term illness list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14146/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome associated with wide-spread pain and fatigue. It is labelled a syndrome as fibromyalgia is a collection of signs, symptoms and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause. Fibromyalgia is not classified as a disability and there are currently no plans for the reclassification of fibromyalgia. In addition, there are no plans at present to add fibromyalgia to the list of conditions currently listed under the Long Term illness scheme.

Mental Health Services

Questions (939)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

939. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the status of the work that has been undertaken by the dual diagnosis national clinical care programme to date; the reason that the national clinical lead is no longer in post; the steps he will take to ensure that the programme is back up and running as soon as possible and delivers on its aims and objectives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14154/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Home Help Service Eligibility

Questions (940)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

940. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) was refused home help; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14157/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (941)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

941. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the reason a medicine (details supplied) is not covered by the medical card; if consideration has been given to amending same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14180/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Staff

Questions (942)

James Browne

Question:

942. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health his views on the growing number of resignations from CAMHS services here; his plans to counter the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14213/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (943)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

943. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay for a person (details supplied) receiving a consultation at the orthopaedic department, University Hospital Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14222/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Health Services Provision

Questions (944)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

944. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the reasons for the curtailment of eligibility for services (details supplied) which have been identified as replacement for hospitalisation or institutional care having particular regard to the availability of the highest ever health budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14232/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Animal Welfare

Questions (945, 946)

Catherine Martin

Question:

945. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of charges, prosecutions, convictions and sentences under sections (details supplied) of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 since inception by section; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13935/19]

View answer

Catherine Martin

Question:

946. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the largest fine levied and the longest prison sentence imposed to date under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13936/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 945 and 946 together.

The sections of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 to which the Deputy refers cover a range of issues and, in some instances, provide the prosecuting authority with alternatives relating to the same events which may be used having regard to factors such as the evidence in each individual case.

There are a number of prosecuting authorities provided for in the Act.  Offences may be prosecuted in the District Court by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, local authorities and members of an Garda Siochana.  Matters tried on indictment are the remit of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the normal manner.

The Act is enforced by members of an Garda Síochana, officers of Customs and Excise and by officers specifically authorised for the task.  These authorised officers include veterinary and other staff based at regional veterinary offices of my Department, and inspectors of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  These officers investigate matters relating to animal cruelty and neglect and, where the evidence supports such action, it is my policy that a file is prepared and the matter pursued through the Courts.

While information is not maintained that would enable the ready retrieval of the information sought by the Deputy, the following is the position. Since the inception of the Act, 68 individuals have been prosecuted.  Two persons died before trial while 66 were convicted; 2 of the persons convicted in the District Court have appeals pending before the Circuit Court. The Probation Act was applied in 5 instances.

Offences investigated and prosecuted include -

- contravention of section 11 which refers to failure to safeguard health and welfare of an animal.

- contravention of section 12 which refers to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal or being reckless or negligent regarding the health or welfare of an animal;

- contravention of section 13 which refers to failure to provide adequate food and water;

- contravention of section 14 which refers to abandonment of an animal.

There have been no prosecutions initiated by my Department for offences under sections 8, 10, 15 to 17, 19 to 24, 42, 43, 46, 58 or 72.

The emphasis of the enforcement effort of my Department has been on ensuring compliance with what may be called the core values of animal health and welfare, namely protecting animals from cruelty and neglect as well as ensuring that they are adequately nourished.

Sections 27 and 29 of the Act are not operative.

In relation to offences prosecuted by my Department, fines in excess of €50,000 have been imposed, one person was sentenced to a term of imprisonment which has been appealed and a further three individuals have received suspended sentences.  Disqualification orders under section 58 of the Act have been imposed on eight persons.

A further eleven files have been sent to the Chief State Solicitor with a view to instituting proceedings while summonses have issued in sixteen cases which remain before the Courts.

Common Fisheries Policy Review

Questions (947)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

947. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to propose a review of the EU Common Fisheries Policy post Brexit to manage the changes that Brexit will bring to fishing in the Irish Sea and north west; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14234/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The European Commission is due to report to the Council and the European Parliament on the functioning of the Common Fisheries Policy by 31 December 2022.  It will be up to the European Commission, in accordance with the right of initiative, following such a review to propose possible changes. Ireland will again be a central player in that debate given the importance of fisheries to our coastal communities and I would expect that, in consultation with stakeholders, we will aim to build on the current CFP to ensure an environmentally and economically sustainable seafood industry. 

Any possible changes to the current Policy, and the timing of such proposals, will of course be influenced by the outcome of Brexit negotiations.  In that context, our overriding priority will be to maintain existing reciprocal access to waters and resources.  In terms of the wider CFP, Ireland will be working to continue to improve the long term sustainability of the fish stocks upon which we rely and to ensure ongoing sufficient support for such sustainable development of the seafood sector through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Semi-State Bodies

Questions (948)

Alan Kelly

Question:

948. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a copy of all sales and marketing strategies by an organisation (details supplied) from 2013 to date in 2019 will be provided; if he is satisfied that all the actions in the strategies have been implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12738/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry.  Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

I understand Marketing Plans are complied annually by Bord na gCon but that these plans are not published. Bord na gCon prepared its Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 and this was published in March 2018. The Plan contains actions relating to the sales and marketing functions. A specific Sales and Marketing Strategy 2019-2021 is at an advanced stage of preparation.

During 2018, Bord na gCon restructured its sales function to significantly enhance the outward sales focus. Full-time Business Development Executives are now in place in respect of the following stadia – Shelbourne Park, Limerick, Cork, Waterford and Galway. There is also a Sales, Commercial and Operations Manager in place at Shelbourne Park and Tralee stadium. These roles support, and are supported by, the Sales & Reservation Centre located at Thurles Technology Park.

As part of regular liaison meetings between my Department and Bord na gCon, the Department is updated on the commercial performance of the company and the implementation of their strategic plan.  Good progress has been made in many areas. It should also be noted that plans and strategies, by their nature, need to adapt to specific circumstances and commercial needs at individual locations. This can involve refocus of marketing and sales effort as any given year progresses to reflect market changes or altered priorities.