School Transport Applications

Questions (70)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

70. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a decision has been made on a post-primary school bus application (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20240/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

Under the terms of the Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest school as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes. A minimum number of 10 eligible children residing in a distinct locality, as determined by Bus Éireann, are required before consideration may be given to the establishment or retention of school transport services, provided this can be done within reasonable cost limits. For school bus operating purposes a "distinct locality" is a cluster of eligible children who reside in the same general area, in the same general direction from the school attended, as determined by Bus Éireann taking cognisance of the local road network. A service to convey a group of children whose homes are at scattered points in a school district would not be considered.

Bus Eireann has advised that it is currently assessing all eligible applications from the area referred to by the Deputy to establish if a school transport service is warranted under the guidelines of the school transport scheme from the 2019/20 school year.

The terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme are applied equitably on a national basis.

School Accommodation Provision

Questions (71)

Shane Cassells

Question:

71. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of an ASD unit for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20269/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that funding was allocated to St Mary's Primary School, Enfield under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme in 2018 for the provision of a three-classroom ASD Base.

The project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority so it is now a matter for the Board of Management to advance the project.

Commencement of Legislation

Questions (72, 75)

James Browne

Question:

72. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the sections of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 in force; and when he plans to commence outstanding sections. [20175/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

75. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when all sections of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 will be commenced; the reason for the delay of commencement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20224/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 72 and 75 together.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides a modern statutory framework to support decision-making by adults with capacity difficulties. The Act was signed into law on 30 December 2015 but has not yet been fully commenced. The Act provides for the establishment of new administrative processes and support measures, including the setting up of the Decision Support Service within the Mental Health Commission (a body under the Department of Health).

The Decision Support Service is working towards being operational and ready for the commencement of the main provisions of the 2015 Act in 2020. The Deputy will appreciate that a lead in timeframe is needed to ensure that the necessary staff resources, processes, IT system, expert panels, codes of practice and regulations will be in place so that the Decision Support Service will have the capacity to be up and running effectively. There are many complex strands to this preparatory work, including the involvement of multiple organisations.

A high-level Steering Group comprised of senior officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, the Mental Health Commission and the Courts Service, together with the Director of the Decision Support Service, is overseeing the establishment and commissioning of the Decision Support Service and this work is ongoing. The 2019 Revised Estimates Volume provides for an allocation of €3.5 million in the Justice and Equality Vote for the establishment of the Decision Support Service.

A number of provisions of the 2015 Act were commenced in October 2016 in order to progress the setting up of the Decision Support Service. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 515 of 2016), brought Part 1 (Preliminary and General) and Part 9 (Director of the Decision Support Service) of the Act, other than sections 3, 4 and 7 in Part 1 and sections 96 and 102 and Chapter 3 in Part 9, into operation on 17 October 2016. These provisions were brought into operation in order to enable the recruitment of the Director of the Decision Support Service. Ms Áine Flynn was appointed Director of the Decision Support Service on 2 October 2017.

The commencement of Part 8 of the Act, which provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives, is a matter for the Minister for Health. The Minister for Health, under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 517 of 2016), brought some provisions of Part 8 of the Act into operation on 17 October 2016. The provisions commenced in Part 8 were the definition of “Minister” in section 82; the definitions of “code of practice” and “working group” in section 91(1); and section 91(2). The commenced provisions provide for the establishment by the Minister for Health of a multi-disciplinary group to make recommendations to the Director of the Decision Support Service in relation to codes of practice on advance healthcare directives. In anticipation of the completion of that process, the Minister for Health commenced the remainder of section 91 on 17 December 2018 (S.I. No. 527 of 2018).

The key preparations are being put in place under the oversight of the Steering Group to allow for further commencement orders for the provisions of the 2015 Act to be made when the Decision Support Service is ready to roll out the new decision-making support options.

Garda Deployment

Questions (73)

John Curran

Question:

73. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to plans to increase the number of gardaí at Rathcoole Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20180/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána including the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed and I, as Minister, have no direct role in this regard.

The Deputy will be aware that Rathcoole Garda Station forms part of the Clondalkin District in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (D.M.R.) West Division. The Garda strength of the D.M.R. West Division on 31 March 2019 the latest date for which figures are readily available was 720, of whom 201 are assigned to the Clondalkin District and 14 are assigned to Rathcoole Garda Station. There are also 24 Garda Reserves and 61 Garda civilian staff attached to the D.M.R. West Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 233 were assigned to the D.M.R. West Division.

The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and 600 Garda Civilian Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.

I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the D.M.R. West Division.

For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the link.

Legal Aid

Question No. 75 answered with Question No. 72.

Questions (74)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

74. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason maintenance costs are not taken into account when calculating the expenses of persons applying for legal aid and who pay maintenance for a child; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20220/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Section 29 of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 provides that a person shall not qualify for legal aid or advice unless he or she satisfies the requirements in respect of financial eligibility specified in the Act and in the regulations made under the Act.

The financial eligibility criteria are provided for under the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996 to 2017 and in particular Regulations 13 to 21. The Regulations provide that a person whose annual disposable income exceeds €18,000 shall not be financially eligible for legal services. A person’s disposable income is calculated by reference to their gross income less certain deductions prescribed in the Regulations.

The following criteria apply in determining the financial eligibility of applicants for legal aid who are paying maintenance:

Where an applicant for legal services is paying maintenance to his/her spouse/civil partner/former partner and/or paying maintenance for a child or children who do not reside with him/her, this is taken into account (up to the maximum deduction allowable) when conducting the financial eligibility determination.

The maximum deductions allowable are as follows:

- Where an applicant for legal services is living apart from his/her spouse/civil partner/former partner and is paying maintenance to them, the applicant for legal services is entitled to an allowance in respect of the amount paid, up to a maximum of the spousal allowance which is €3,500 against the calculated annual income.

- An applicant for legal services who is paying maintenance for a child or children is entitled to an allowance in respect of the amount of maintenance paid, up to a maximum of the dependant allowance, which is €1,600 per child against the calculated annual income.

The relevant allowance/s is offset against the applicant’s income so as to determine disposable income for the financial eligibility determination by the Legal Aid Board. The Board has no discretion to make an allowance for amounts of child support paid over and above those specified in the Regulations. Changes to the allowances are made periodically by amendment to the Regulations.

Question No. 75 answered with Question No. 72.

Prison Accommodation Standards

Questions (76)

Clare Daly

Question:

76. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the risk posed to Prison Service staff and vulnerable prisoners by prison overcrowding; and the steps he will take to ensure prisoners are not forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor in prisons as a consequence of overcrowding. [20227/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that prison Governors are required by law to accept all prisoners into their custody who have been committed to prison by the Courts. The Irish Prison Service therefore has no control over the numbers committed to custody at any given time.

The actual number of beds available on a given day can be less than the capacity figure as cells may be unavailable for different reasons such as repairs and maintenance. Furthermore, where local management assess a prisoner as being unsuited to share a cell for reasons of vulnerability or propensity to violence, a cell designated as being operationally suitable for two prisoners may, temporarily, house only one prisoner.

Where the number of prisoners exceeds the maximum capacity in any prison, my officials make every effort to deal with this through a combination of inter-prison transfers and structured Temporary Release. Decisions in relation to temporary release are considered on a case by case basis and the safety of the public is paramount when those decisions are made.

My Department has been working closely with the Director General of the Irish Prison Service to ensure a safe working environment for staff and the safety and security of prisoners in our custody and we are taking a number of short and medium term steps to address the issue of increasing prison numbers.

I am advised that plans are advanced for the re-opening of accommodation not currently being used within the system, including the re-opening of the Training Unit which itself will provide approximately an additional 90 spaces.

In addition, an audit of existing accommodation is underway, in order to identify where additional spaces can be brought on stream with the potential to provide in excess of an additional 100 spaces.

I have also recently signed a construction contract for the female prison in Limerick as well as a new wing to Limerick male prison. Together, they will provide 130 new spaces.

Work Permits Eligibility

Questions (77)

Clare Daly

Question:

77. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if the regulations for permits for seasonal workers in the agrifood sector have been reviewed with a view to the influx of workers in summer 2019. [20307/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department has policy responsibility for the Employment Permit Acts and administers the granting of employment permits to non- EEA nationals to work in the State. Migrant workers from the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) do not require an employment permit to work in Ireland.

There is currently no employment permit type specifically designed for seasonal workers to take up temporary employment in any sector. However, the Review of Economic Migration Policy which my Department undertook in 2018 recommended the introduction of a seasonal employment permit to meet the needs of enterprises which employ workers on a seasonal basis, to cater for example for the agrifood and hospitality sector. My Department is currently assessing the options for introducing this permit, guided by best international practice and possible models for such a permit are being considered by my officials. If introduced and in line with current practice, seasonal non-EEA workers will be covered by employment rights legislation in the same way as other workers.

IDA Ireland Data

Questions (78)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

78. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of companies supported by IDA Ireland by country of origin in tabular form; her views on whether there is an over-reliance on one country in particular; if so, the measures she is taking to reduce this over-reliance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20165/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

Ireland remains a global leader in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) with over 1,400 multinational companies from over 40 countries choosing to invest here. While North America remains the principal source of FDI into the country, the IDA continues to diversify its portfolio of investors here. In 2018 alone, for example, 24 investments were secured from growth markets, representing an increase of 14% on 2017.

I am particularly encouraged by the progress made by IDA Ireland in attracting first-time investors from Asian markets. Last year, for example, saw notable investments from Chinese, Indian and South Korean firms. This shows that the concerted effort that the IDA has made to target Asian investors is now producing results in terms of new jobs here on the ground in Ireland.

While much has been accomplished in this context, the Government remains conscious of our need to continue attracting FDI from as many different countries as possible. To diversify investment here further, we need to build awareness of Ireland as a preferred investment destination in target countries, as well as improve competitiveness and consolidate Ireland’s traditional strengths in terms of talent, productivity and ease of doing business. I am confident that this approach will help boost further the number of investors here from non-traditional markets and that we will continue to see greater geographic diversity across the IDA's client portfolio. The Agency's efforts in this context are already being reinforced and supported by the Global Ireland strategy, which will build and deepen Ireland's footprint all over the world in the period up to 2025.

While we will continue to focus on strengthening FDI from growth markets, we must also not neglect the importance of our traditional source markets. Ireland's strong track record with companies from those markets - which employ tens of thousands of people across the country - has been hard-won and is the product of decades of hard work. That is why the IDA will continue to do everything possible to sustain and grow investment levels from North America and Europe while also seeking to increase investment from growth markets.

The table below details the number of IDA-supported companies by country of origin.

Country of Origin

Number of companies

Australia

23

Austria

1

Belgium

16

Bermuda

13

Brazil

1

British Virgin Islands

1

Canada

39

Cayman Islands

7

China

28

Cyprus

1

Czech Republic

1

Denmark

7

Finland

5

France

63

Germany

99

Greece

2

Hong Kong

2

India (including Sikkim)

25

Ireland

2

Israel

3

Italy

29

Japan

33

Jersey

1

Liechtenstein

2

Luxembourg

8

Malaysia

1

Mexico

1

Monaco

1

Netherlands

33

Nigeria

1

Norway

5

Portugal

3

Russia

11

Singapore

10

Slovenia

1

South Africa

6

South Korea

4

Spain

6

Sri Lanka

1

Sweden

12

Switzerland

41

Taiwan (Province of China)

1

Turkey

4

United Arab Emirates (including Abu Dhabi)

1

United Kingdom

120

United States of America (including Puerto Rico)

766

Uruguay

1

Vietnam

1

Grand Total

1,444

Work Permits Eligibility

Questions (79, 80)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

79. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans for the removal of the healthcare assistant role from the ineligible categories of employment for the employment permits list in view of the shortage of same which is presenting as a crisis for the management of nursing homes. [20178/19]

View answer

Bobby Aylward

Question:

80. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if her attention has been drawn to concerns raised by stakeholders in the nursing home and healthcare industry regarding the recent changes to the work permit system and the adverse effect this may have on the recruitment of healthcare assistants within the general health service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20228/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 80 together.

The State's general policy is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of the State and other EEA states. Where specific skills prove difficult to source within the State and EEA, the employment permits system offers a conduit into the Irish labour market for non-EEA nationals with in-demand skills and is operated as a vacancy led system.

The system is managed through the operation of the Critical Skills Occupations List and the Ineligible Occupations List for the purposes of granting an employment permit. The Lists are subject to twice-yearly review which is predicated on a formalised and evidence-based process and involves consideration of the research undertaken by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (Solas), the Expert Group of Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), the National Skills Council, and input by relevant Government Departments in addition to the public consultation phase. Submissions to the review process are also considered by the Economic Migration Policy Interdepartmental Group chaired by DBEI and which includes the Department of Health.

Healthcare assistants are currently on the Ineligible Occupations List. In order to have an occupation removed from the Ineligible List, there would need to be a clear demonstration that recruitment difficulties are solely due to shortages across the EEA and not to other factors such as salary and/or employment conditions. Organisations in the sector would need to provide the necessary evidence to substantiate their claims. Following completion of the most recent review, the role of Healthcare Assistant was not proposed for amendment at this time. The views of the lead policy Government Department for the sector, in this case, the Department of Health, are an important part of the decision-making process. Officials of that Department have advised the sector of the need for further evidence, demonstrating genuine efforts to recruit across the EEA. In particular the sector needs to engage with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social protection who have responsibility for EURES the (European Employment Services), and who are well positioned to help sectors to recruit from within the EEA.

The next review process to consider changes to the lists of occupations is scheduled to commence with a new public consultation phase over the next few weeks with any changes proposed based on the evidence considered, for implementation soon after.

Nursing Home Services

Questions (81)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

81. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if a request by an organisation (details supplied) on a specific service will be considered. [20163/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the terms of the current GMS contract, GPs are required to provide eligible patients with ''all proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a general practitioner and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree or kind which general practitioners cannot reasonably be expected to possess." There is no provision under the GMS GP contract for persons who hold a medical card or GP visit card to be charged for medical services provided under the contract.

GPs contracted by the HSE under the GMS scheme are obliged to provide services to their medical card and GP visit card patients, including those resident in nursing homes. GPs are remunerated for these services primarily on a capitation basis, with a range of additional support payments and fees for specific items of service. Currently, an annual capitation payment of €434.15 is payable in respect of each GMS patient over 70 years of age residing in a private nursing home approved by the HSE for periods in excess of 5 weeks.

The focus of the recent talks on GP contractual reform was on development of a range of modernisation, reform and sustainability measures and the development of a chronic disease programme for GMS and GP visit card patients. Along with most other capitation rates, the nursing home rate will increase by approximately 48% over the next 4 years, under the recent agreement with the IMO.

Brexit Issues

Questions (82)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

82. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to concerns by cancer patients in County Donegal travelling to a hospital (details supplied) in the context of a hard Brexit; the steps that have been taken to ensure patients having to travel to Northern Ireland will not have their cancer treatment interrupted by Brexit-related events; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20166/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The provision of radiotherapy services to cancer patients from County Donegal at the North West Cancer Centre in Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Derry, is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

A Steering Group, to provide strategic oversight of the service, and a Monitoring Group, to review performance information and to monitor the effectiveness of the service, are in place in line with the MOU and SLA. Brexit is an agenda item for meetings of these groups, and the NI and RoI representatives are committed to the continuation of the current cross-border arrangements for radiotherapy services to cancer patients. The situation will continue to be monitored over the coming months.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (83, 84)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

83. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to providing additional home help hours for a person (details supplied). [20167/19]

View answer

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

84. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) was refused additional home help hours to their allocation of five hours. [20168/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 and 84 together.

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

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (85)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

85. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the status of pending surgery for a person (details supplied). [20169/19]

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 (86)

Clare Daly

Question:

86. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting over a year and a half for vital home therapy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20172/19]

View answer

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.

Residential Institutions Redress Scheme

Questions (87)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

87. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter regarding Caranua (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20179/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Caranua is an independent statutory body established under the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 to utilise some €110 million in cash contributions from religious congregations to help meet the needs of persons who as children suffered abuse in residential institutions.

I am advised by my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills, that Caranua ceased to accept applications from 1 August 2018 and it is working to process some 2,000 remaining open applications. Caranua’s operations will be wound down during the course of 2019 and the organisation will be dissolved when it has completed the performance of its functions.

An Inter-Departmental committee comprising representatives from relevant departments and chaired by the Departments of Education and Skills is currently examining the way in which existing State services can best meet the needs of residential institutions survivors into the future. It should be noted that survivors have always been able to avail of existing mainstream services without self-identifying as survivors. It is anticipated that the inter-Departmental committee will report later this year.

Regarding medical cards, eligibility for a medical card is established primarily on the basis of financial assessment. There are currently no proposals to extend automatic eligibility for medical cards to survivors who have accessed Caranua. However, in certain circumstances the HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card even though an applicant exceeds the income threshold, when he/she faces difficult circumstances, such as extra costs arising from an illness. Furthermore, awards made by Caranua are disregarded in the income assessment for a medical card.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

Questions (88)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

88. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the publication and implementation of the pricing review for high-dependency, specialist care needs of persons requiring nursing home care. [20183/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

The Report of the NHSS Review published in 2015 identified a number of issues for more detailed consideration, including a review of the pricing mechanism used by the NTPF, with a view to:

- Ensuring value for money and economy, with the lowest possible administrative costs for clients and the State and administrative burden for providers;

- Increasing the transparency of the pricing mechanism so that existing and potential investors can make as informed decisions as possible; and

- Ensuring that there is adequate residential capacity for those residents with more complex needs.

A Steering Group was established to oversee and manage the pricing review. The Steering Group is chaired by the NTPF and includes representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). As part of its work on the review the NTPF sought various inputs including external expertise and stakeholder engagement to inform the review. These inputs are being considered in detail. It is recognised that any change to any part of the Scheme must be considered in terms of the short- and long-term impact on the viability of the Scheme and accessibility of long-term residential care in general. It is therefore important that the relevant issues are considered thoroughly.

I understand that the NTPF has now completed its report and is under final consideration by the Steering Group. It is expected that the Report will be submitted to the Department in approximately the next week. Any recommendations included in the report will then be considered.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (89)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

89. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if he will seek clarification from the HSE on the submission of documentation to the medical card unit on 14 March 2019 and a subsequent letter issuing from the unit in recent days seeking the same documentation concerning a person (details supplied); and if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the application is being held up as a result of the delay. [20188/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (90)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

90. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if a favourable response will issue to a request for a meeting from representatives of persons (details supplied) living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20195/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I can confirm my private office received this meeting request and is processing it in the normal way. A response will issue directly.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (91)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

91. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the new wheelchair provided for a person (details supplied) needs to be repaired or replaced; and if the problems will be resolved out of respect to the person in view of the expenditure of public funding for the wheelchair. [20196/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

HSE Reports

Questions (92)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

92. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if the Health Service Executive has ceased publishing performance and management data reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20203/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive continues to produce its monthly performance profiles (PP) and management data reports (MDR). However, publication of the October-December 2018 PP and the MDRs for those months were delayed due to some outstanding financial issues. They are now due to published.

In the meantime, the monthly performance cycle continues with the next DoH-HSE performance review meeting due to take place on Tuesday, 21st May. The March PP and MDR will be discussed at this meeting and publication of the January-March PP and corresponding MDRs will follow as soon as possible afterwards.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Questions (93)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

93. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of vacant posts in whole-time equivalent terms in the CAMHS by CHO in tabular form. [20204/19]

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.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Questions (94)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

94. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of young persons on the waiting list for CAMHS in counties Cavan and Monaghan to date; the length of time they have been on the list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20205/19]

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.