Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (280, 281, 282)

Gerry Adams

Question:

280. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the health services available to persons resident in Mosney direct provision centre; the specialist services available; the mental health services available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50108/19]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

281. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if direct advocacy services are available to persons resident in Mosney direct provision centre. [50109/19]

View answer

Gerry Adams

Question:

282. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the transport services available to persons resident in Mosney direct provision centre. [50110/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 280 to 282, inclusive, together.

I can inform the Deputy that all international protection applicants including those who are resident in the Mosney Accommodation Centre access health services and supports including mental health services on the same basis as nationals. The services are mainstreamed and are therefore provided through the Department of Health and the HSE. Residents access GP services through the GMS scheme and are exempt from prescription charges. A fully staffed Medical Centre is located within Mosney. A doctor and a nurse attend each weekday. At weekends, an out of hours Doctor-On-Call Service is available for any urgent medical needs.

With regard to transport, all residents in the centre can avail of a shuttle bus that operates Monday to Saturday (including bank holidays) from Mosney to Drogheda. A church service to Julianstown is also provided every Sunday at 10.30am. A taxi service is available to management to cater for urgent and emergency situations, which may arise for residents. A courtesy car is also available at all times to cater for any other urgent needs for example, taking a parent to collect a sick child from school, etc.

Children living in Mosney attend nine local primary schools and four secondary schools. Bus Eireann School Transport provides transport for all children to and from school each day to schools in Julianstown, Drogheda, Duleek, Tullyallen, Donore, Bettystown and Drumcar.

Regarding more general services and supports for residents, I wish to inform the Deputy that substantial improvements have been made to the reception system in recent years in particular since our voluntary opt-in to the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive. Residents have access to the services of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children and over 3,400 labour market access permissions have been granted to eligible applicants including over 2,500 permissions to residents in accommodation centres.

In August, Minister Flanagan and I published new National Standards for accommodation centres. These Standards were developed by an Advisory Group including representatives from UNHCR Ireland and the NGO sector. They provide a framework for the continued development of person-centred, high-quality, safe and effective services and supports for residents living in our accommodation centres. Their purpose is to improve the quality of care and ensure consistency across all accommodation centres.

All accommodation centres including Mosney have 'Friends of the Centre' groups in place, which promote integration by facilitating links between the residents and local community, voluntary and sporting groups.

The provision of services and supports for residents is kept under review. In that regard, a high level interdepartmental Group, established in my Department, is currently reviewing the implementation of the State's legal obligations under the EU Directive (2013/33/EU) including access to work and the services offered to applicants while their applications are being considered. In addition, an Advisory group, chaired by the former Secretary General of the European Commission, Dr. Catherine Day will advise on the development of a long-term approach to the provision of support including accommodation for people in the international protection process.