Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (31)

Clare Daly


31. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether fewer parliamentary questions and representations are one of the key performance indicators of the Lariam report implementation group (details supplied) in view of the fact that such indicators indicate issues with the approach of the group to the central issues regarding the Defence Forces' continued use of Lariam. [24345/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Lariam Report Implementation Group was established to implement the recommendations of the second report of the Malaria Chemoprophylaxis Working Group. That Group had previously been established to review, inter alia, issues arising in relation to the use of Lariam, particularly in the context of the current and potential litigation.

The recommendations focus on a number of different areas including planning, training and education/information sharing as well as the establishment of a Medical Advisory Group. It is intended that this will formalise the provision of on-going expert medical advice, including external expert medical advice, to the Defence Forces in relation to a range of medical matters including Malaria Chemoprophylaxis.

The Lariam Report Implementation Group is progressing its work through the formation of a structured plan using project management techniques to implement the recommendations as outlined in the Terms of Reference. These include planning, training and education/information sharing as well as the establishment of a Medical Advisory Group.

As in any project management approach, methods to establish how well the objectives are being met and key-performance indicators (KPIs), are a fundamental requirement. The KPI referred to by the Deputy, taken from a draft Project Initiation Document (PID), is just one of a number of possible appropriate methods being considered as a method of establishing progress.

The primary objectives of this project are to ensure the long-term health and welfare of Defence Forces members requiring Malaria Chemoprophylaxis when undertaking overseas missions and clarity and transparency on the use of an appropriate Malaria Chemoprophylaxis for Defence Forces members. In this context, it is to be expected that clearer information and communication on the use of Malaria Chemoprophylaxis could potentially lead to a measureable diminution in the number of clarificatory Parliamentary Questions and representations. As mentioned previously, this is only one of a number of such benchmarks under consideration in the context of the draft PID.

Question No. 32 answered with Question No. 23.