Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Staff

Questions (453)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

453. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health the staff complement sanctioned for Slaney House, County Wexford; if the full staff complement is in place; the hours of operation of the facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16619/19]

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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.

Legislative Process

Questions (454)

Dara Calleary

Question:

454. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the status of section 23 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018; when he plans to commence the section; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16622/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I commenced section 23 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act by Order of 1 November 2018 and the section came into operation on 12 November 2018.

Section 23 gives the Minister for Health the power to make regulations in relation to the sale and supply of alcohol products. Regulations are currently being developed and will be finalised with the assistance of the Office of the Attorney General.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

Questions (455)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

455. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when the planned three year cap on farm assets for the assessment of means under the fair deal scheme will come into force; the reason for the delays being experienced in the introduction of this new measure; his plans to apply the new criteria retrospectively with respect to current applicants of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16629/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department is working on the development of draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation. 

It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period.

The General Scheme of a Bill has been drafted and we are currently working closely with legal advisers on advice and legal quality control. The focus on matters relating to Brexit, including planning and preparing in a legal and legislative context, has unfortunately had an impact on progressing the Heads of Bill. However, subject to legal advice, I expect to bring the Heads of Bill to Government in May. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect in 2019 subject to the legislative process.

Ambulance Service Provision

Question No. 457 answered with Question No. 344.

Questions (456)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

456. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health the level of ambulance service provision for Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip, County Kildare; the amount of cover provided to each area over a 24/7 period in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16630/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly. 

Question No. 457 answered with Question No. 344.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Eligibility

Questions (458)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

458. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if children on the waiting list for psychological assessment can avail of the national treatment purchase plan; and if they can avail of this plan for treatment. [16642/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Developing Mental Health services remains a priority for Government. The Budget for 2019 provided an additional €55 million to progress new developments in mental health which brings overall HSE mental health funding to nearly €1 billion this year.

Access to specialist mental health services is typically via GP services, and specialist mental health services are provided in local community areas. These include acute inpatient services, day hospitals, outpatient clinics, community-based mental health teams (CAMHs, general adult and psychiatry of later life), mental health of intellectual disability, community residential and continuing care residential services. Sub-specialties include rehabilitation and recovery, eating disorders, liaison psychiatry and perinatal mental health.

In 2018, 114 new Assistant Psychologists and 20 Psychologists were recruited to the HSE Primary Care service, to help relieve pressures on the specialist CAMHS service. Minister Daly recently approved 10 new Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) posts to improve CAMHS.

The HSE is committed to the provision of evidence based Psychological Interventions for young people. These interventions are delivered mainly through Primary Care and where necessary through CAMHS Teams. In addition, significant additional funding has been allocated to Non-Governmental Organisations e.g. Jigsaw to improve access to young people seeking Psychological assistance.

In relation to the specific query raised by the Deputy, the role of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) is to authorise public hospitals to offer NTPF-funded treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an acute hospital 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

As psychological assessments and CAMHs services are not Inpatient/Daycase or Outpatient waiting lists within an Acute hospital setting, they do not meet current NTPF criteria.

Nursing Home Services

Question No. 460 answered with Question No. 344.

Question No. 461 answered with Question No. 440.

Questions (459)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

459. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in age cohorts (details supplied) in nursing homes across the State. [16643/19]

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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.

Question No. 460 answered with Question No. 344.
Question No. 461 answered with Question No. 440.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Questions (462)

Willie Penrose

Question:

462. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health the capital expenditure planned for the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar in relation to the necessary upgrading and refurbishment that is set out to include the provision of new theatres and ancillary services and additional staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16659/19]

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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 developments at the Regional Hospital Mullingar.

Home Care Packages Data

Questions (463)

John Curran

Question:

463. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in receipt of home support services to date; the number approved and waiting for home support services in each CHO area; the number of persons waiting for more than one, three and six months, respectively for home support services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16686/19]

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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.

Health Services Provision

Questions (464)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

464. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting since 1 April 2019 to go to a step down unit in County Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16694/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (465)

Pat Deering

Question:

465. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have a procedure carried out. [16695/19]

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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.

Hare Coursing

Questions (466)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

466. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will report on the 2018 meeting of the coursing monitoring committee; the items of importance that were discussed at the meeting; the decisions made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16085/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Monitoring Committee on Coursing meets annually and considers, inter alia, any issues arising from the previous coursing  season.  Wildlife Rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and veterinary inspectors from my Department attend these meetings and report on their findings.  The Monitoring Committee also arranges to have any complaints or reported incidents investigated.

At the 2018 meeting, a range of issues relating to the health, welfare and conservation of the Irish hare were discussed, in addition to a review of the 2017/2018 coursing season.

Hare Coursing

Questions (467)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

467. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the minutes of the 2018 meeting of the coursing monitoring committee were not released under freedom of information but the minutes of the 2016 and 2017 meetings were released; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16086/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Monitoring Committee on Coursing meets annually and inter alia, considers any issues arising from the previous coursing season.  Wildlife Rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and veterinary inspectors from my Department attend these meetings and report on their findings.  The Monitoring Committee also arranges to have any complaints or reported incidents investigated.

 The report of the Monitoring Committee on Coursing for the meeting held on 18th December 2018 was not released under the Freedom of Information Act, 2014 as the report had not been adopted by the Monitoring Committee at that time. This report has now subsequently been approved and has been released, in full, to the requester.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Questions (468)

Clare Daly

Question:

468. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the person or body that gave permission to An Bord Iascaigh Mhara to send an aquaculture remote classroom bus to schools nationally to inform children that salmon farms are environmentally safe; the grounds on which this permission was given; and his views on whether the visits by the bus to schools may represent an attempt to greenwash salmon farming in view of the evidence that salmon farms are polluting and a danger to wild fish stocks. [16313/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) is the State agency with responsibility for developing the Irish sea fishing and aquaculture industries.  BIM is tasked with the sustainable development of the Irish seafood industry through a range of technical, training and business supports. 

 As the information requested relates to operational matters for BIM, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to BIM for direct response.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Questions (469)

Clare Daly

Question:

469. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of schools to date that had a visit from the Bord Iascaigh Mhara aquaculture remote classroom; and the number of schools it is scheduled to visit. [16314/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The question asked by the Deputy concerns matters that are the responsibility of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).  I have forwarded the Deputy's question to BIM for direct response.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (470)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

470. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he is taking to protect Irish fishing interests at EU level; the measures he will take to protect the fishing sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit; the position regarding discussions from the most recent EU Council meeting of fisheries ministers; the position regarding the current common fisheries policy; and if a review will take place in 2019. [16041/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Government published a Contingency Action Plan on 19 December last year, setting out its approach to dealing with a no-deal Brexit and in light of ongoing uncertainty, preparatory work has continued to take account of all possible outcomes.

The Government has already introduced a range of measures to deal with the short-term impacts of Brexit.  In terms of dealing with Competitiveness issues, my Department introduced a €150 million low-cost loan scheme and increased funding under the Rural Development and Seafood Development Programmes in the 2017 Budget.   In Budget 2018, I, along with my colleague, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, introduced a new €300m “Brexit Loan Scheme” to provide affordable, flexible financing to Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit or who will be in the future - at least 40% of which will be available to agri-food and seafood businesses. 

Our enterprise agencies are continuing to work with seafood companies to help them to deal with Brexit through making them more competitive, diversifying market exposure, and up-skilling teams. 

My priority has been, and remains, to maintain existing levels of access to waters and resources.  However, in the worst case scenario of a disorderly departure, we can expect that those reciprocal arrangements will be impacted, at least in the very short term.

In recent months, I have continued to have regular meetings with my European colleagues, especially those from the group of 8 Coastal Member States whose fisheries are potentially most impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, as well as the European Commission.   I am also working closely with key stakeholders in the Irish fishing industry and am pleased at the level of unity on these key issues.  In recent weeks, the EU has adopted two legislative proposals to help mitigate the significant impact that a “no-deal” Brexit would have on Irish fisheries.

The first proposal is to allow fishermen and operators from EU Members States to receive compensation under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the temporary cessation of fishing activities. This would help off-set some of the impact of a sudden closure of UK waters to EU fishing vessels in a no-deal scenario. The exact details of how this would work in practice and the funding elements are still under discussion within the EU. Of course, it would be our hope that such measures would not be necessary.

The second proposal amends the Regulation on the Sustainable Management of the External Fleets. The aim of this proposal is to ensure that the EU is in a position to grant UK vessels access to EU waters until the end of 2019, on the condition that EU vessels are also granted reciprocal access to UK waters. The proposal also provides for a simplified procedure to authorise UK vessels to fish in EU waters and EU vessels to fish in UK waters – should the UK grant that access. This proposal is limited to 2019 and is based on the agreement in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of 17 and 18 December 2018 on the fishing opportunities for 2019.

The European Commission are 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.

A disorderly departure, that included a loss of access to UK waters, would have very serious consequence for our seafood industry.  I am satisfied that, in cooperation with our stakeholders and EU partners we are doing all that we can to plan to mitigate the potential impacts. A disorderly Brexit will be about damage limitation not, unfortunately, damage elimination.