Health Services Provision

Question No. 249 withdrawn.

Ceisteanna (248)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

248. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the arrangements put in place to meet the transport requirements to day care in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29939/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has again been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Question No. 249 withdrawn.

Accident and Emergency Services Provision

Ceisteanna (250)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

250. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health if he will provide details of proposed changes to the accident and emergency service at James Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin, when the plan to establish the Dublin North East Hospital Group is fully implemented. [29981/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Report on the establishment of Hospital Groups which I launched on the 14th May is the most radical and most fundamental modernisation of our health system infrastructure since the State’s foundation. To achieve the most effective high quality outcomes for patients in the most cost efficient manner possible, the reform of the structures and governance for the delivery of hospital services is vital now.

The formation of Irish acute hospitals into a small number of groups, each with its own governance and management, will provide an optimum configuration for hospital services to deliver high-quality, safe patient care in a cost-effective manner. In the longer term, each group's viability and future prosperity will be realised by its ability to deliver a comprehensive range of services across the group.

The reorganisation of services within Hospital Groups will be a matter, in the first instance, for the CEOs and group management. Within one year of the formation of Hospital Groups, each individual group will be required to submit a strategic plan which will outline its plans for future services within the group area. These strategic plans will determine the way services are provided within each group.

These plans and their subsequent implementation will then be rigorously reviewed, including all necessary due diligence checks, to see whether they are in a position to advance to Hospital Trust status after the necessary legislation is put in place (which is planned for 2015).

Hospital Groups

Ceisteanna (251, 252, 253)

Simon Harris

Ceist:

251. Deputy Simon Harris asked the Minister for Health if he will provide details regarding the specific advisers that his Department has appointed to oversee and assist with the process to establish hospital groups as a transition to independent hospital trusts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29993/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Simon Harris

Ceist:

252. Deputy Simon Harris asked the Minister for Health the full range of administrative services and supports that his Department is offering to hospitals as they prepare to be grouped together into six autonomous hospital groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29994/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Simon Harris

Ceist:

253. Deputy Simon Harris asked the Minister for Health if he intends to organise seminars, events, meetings or briefings to assist hospitals with administrative planning and preparation as they prepare to be placed into six autonomous hospital groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29995/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 251 to 253, inclusive, together.

The Report on the establishment of Hospital Groups which I launched on 14 May is the most radical and most fundamental modernisation of our health system infrastructure since the State’s foundation. To achieve the most effective high quality outcomes for patients in the most cost efficient manner possible, the reform of the structures and governance for the delivery of hospital services is vital now.

Implementation of the recommendations of the Group’s Report has already commenced. I have personally visited the areas covered by each of the 6 groups with my Department and the Director General Designate of the HSE, explaining the policy objectives and listening to the questions the staff in each of those areas have about this policy implementation. The reaction has been positive. Professor John Higgins is also carrying out a debriefing exercise, supported by my Department and the HSE, to help ready the hospitals for the impending changes. Since the launch of the Report, he has held approx. 50 meetings with hospitals in this regard.

Implementation of the Report will be overseen by a National Strategic Advisory Group and driven by the HSE through the Hospital Groups Implementation team which is currently being established. The National Strategic Advisory Group will be chaired by Mr Leo Kearns, CEO of the Royal College of Physicians. Professor John Higgins will also be a member of this group, providing continuity and building on the significant goodwill and reassurance he has brought to the formative phase of the establishment of these groups. The group will provide guidance and on-going direction in relation to implementation of both the Hospital Groups Report and the Smaller Hospitals Framework. It will also provide a forum to resolve issues and assist in the development of specific guidelines on the steps required for full implementation.

I will appoint Chairs of each Group in the next few weeks. Advertisements to seek other board members will be placed in parallel with the process of appointing the Group Chairs and the subsequent appointment of group CEOs and management teams. All appointments will be made based on the competencies the individual brings to the Board in line with the HIQA report on Tallaght.

Within one year of the formation of Hospital Groups, individual groups will be required to submit a strategic plan which will outline its plans for future services within the group area. These strategic plans will determine the way services are provided within each group. The implementation of these plans by each group with then be rigorously reviewed, including all necessary due diligence checks, to see whether they are in a position to advance to Hospital Trust status after the necessary legislation is put in place.

Health Insurance Claims

Ceisteanna (254)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

254. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the procedure for recouping costs from private health insurers of private care in public hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29997/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive is continuing a drive to reduce the time taken to submit claims to private health insurance companies. Significant progress has been made in the last two to three years and there is a plan in place to significantly improve the process further. This will encompass hospital processing and consultant sign-off. There remains a significant challenge in improving the speed of payments from insurers and this is something which the HSE is engaging on with both the insurers and the Department of Health.

The Deputy's question has been referred to the HSE, and I understand that a reply has already issued directly to the Deputy.

Public Sector Staff Data

Ceisteanna (255)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

255. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the number of persons employed within the public sector by his Department or agency and by grade for each year of the five consecutive years for which the most recent data is available. [30456/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of my Department is detailed in the attached tabular statement.

With regard to the Health Service Executive, they have been asked to collate the data sought as soon as possible and it will be provided directly to the Deputy by them when available. The information in relation to the Non-Commercial State Agencies is currently being collated and will be forwarded directly to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

-

-

Grand Total

MAC

P.O.

A.P.

H.E.O.

A.O.

E.O.

S.O.

C.O.

Service Officer

Ministerial Staff

Professionals

End May 2013

H/C

385.00

8.00

27.00

80.00

80.00

11.00

61.00

8.00

65.00

9.00

14.00

22.00

WTE

357.79

8.00

26.30

75.10

70.73

10.30

55.93

7.53

59.83

9.00

13.67

21.40

End Dec 2012

H/C

391.00

8.00

26.00

79.00

81.00

8.00

61.00

8.00

67.00

9.00

14.00

30.00

WTE

363.09

8.00

25.30

73.90

71.33

7.30

56.33

7.53

61.33

9.00

13.67

29.40

End Dec 2011

H/C

391.00

8.00

27.00

80.00

81.00

11.00

64.00

9.00

68.00

10.00

12.00

21.00

WTE

365.76

8.00

26.80

75.60

72.40

10.30

59.20

8.53

63.23

10.00

11.50

20.20

End Dec 2010

H/C

477.00

10.00

30.00

90.00

92.00

15.00

81.00

13.00

93.00

10.00

16.00

27.00

WTE

439.83

10.00

29.30

83.50

82.73

14.30

74.80

10.83

83.23

10.00

15.00

26.13

End Dec 2009

H/C

532.00

11.00

31.00

98.00

101.00

14.00

93.00

14.00

105.00

11.00

16.00

38.00

WTE

486.88

11.00

30.30

89.30

90.23

13.50

86.50

11.20

93.56

10.80

15.00

35.48

H/C = Headcount ie Number of individuals in Dept.

WTE = Whole Time Equivalents.

End December 2011, included the Disability Appeals Officer Post

On the 1st June 2011, the Department of Health was formed after the split of the Department of Health and Children.

End December 2010, included the Disability Appeals Office and the Health Repayment Scheme Appeals Office

End December 2009, included the Adoption Authority, the Ombudsman for Children, the Disability Appeals Office and the Health Repayment Scheme.

Road Network

Ceisteanna (256)

Paschal Donohoe

Ceist:

256. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the National Roads Authority's planned closure of the Dublin Port tunnel on seven separate occasions between now and 21 June 2013; if he will indicate the actions the NRA has proposed to undertake to ensure that HGVs do not use roads along the River Tolka in the North Strand and East Wall areas of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29706/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Any planned closures of the Dublin Port Tunnel is a matter for the NRA.  

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days. Traffic Management in relation to HGVs is a matter for the relevant local authority, in this case, Dublin City Council.

Light Rail Projects Status

Ceisteanna (257, 258, 259, 260)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

257. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has requested the Railway Procurement Agency to carry out any further preparatory work on Metro North before the end of 2015. [29708/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

258. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he recognises that there remains a huge demand among our constituents in north and west Dublin and east Meath that the Metro North project should proceed when the troika programme is completed. [29709/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

259. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he anticipates that the current forecasts for development of Dublin Airport and its huge economic zone and hinterland by the mid-2020s make the case for preparing to construct Metro North before 2016, a key element in Ireland's economic revival. [29710/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

260. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department and-or the Railway Procurement Agency have investigated any possibility of funding the construction of Metro North in conjunction with metro systems in other European capitals and in view of the recent international consulting success of the RPA. [29711/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 257 to 260, inclusive, together.  

Following the comprehensive review of capital expenditure carried out in 2011 and against the background of difficult funding realities a decision was taken to defer the Metro North project together with a number of other proposed new projects. Given the limited funds available, the decision was taken that the main priority to 2016 is to protect investment made to date, to maintain safety standards. and to progress affordable projects  such as Luas Cross City which add value to the existing network. 

While Metro North was being procured as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a targeted  EIB loan of up to €500 million it also required a very significant Exchequer contribution to support the PPP. This Exchequer contribution is not affordable within the funding envelope now available for transport projects to 2016. In addition, the successful awarding of a major PPP contract involving private funding of the size required for  Metro North is challenging at any time but is particularly challenging in current circumstances. The road  PPPs currently being progressed require a much smaller private sector involvement and do not require any further  Exchequer support  for construction.  Furthermore, securing the closure of these much smaller roads PPPS has proven challenging, with only one, so far, having being brought to financial close since 2008.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is currently preparing an Integrated Implementation Plan for investment to 2018  in the GDA as required under the DTA ACT 2008. This plan will address the investment needs of the Swords /Airport corridor to 2018 based on available funding and will be subject to public consultation later this year. Furthermore I have asked my officials to prepare a Strategic Investment Framework for Land Transport which will inform future investment plans and this work which will include a review of Metro North as well as other projects is underway. Metro North is postponed not cancelled and is kept under review.