Family Reunification Applications

Ceisteanna (124)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

124. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration will be given to an application for family reunification in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9253/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person in question made an application for family reunification under the provisions of the Refugee Act 1996 in January 2015. The case has been finalised and a decision letter issued to the applicant on 6 November 2015. There is no record of any current application for family reunification from the person concerned.

It is open to Irish citizens and those outside the International Protection process to apply for family reunification under the Non-EEA Policy Document on Family Reunification, which is available on the INIS website, www.inis.gov.ie.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (125)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a spousal visa or appropriate document will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9256/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a decision has been made on this application, and the applicant has been advised accordingly.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to visamail@justice.ie.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (126)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if residency status will be upgraded in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9257/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my response to his Parliamentary Question No. 118 of 7 December 2017. I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the situation remains unchanged.

After full consideration of this case, in correspondence, dated 26 September 2017, INIS wrote to the person concerned offering them temporary and limited immigration permission to remain in the State on Stamp 0 conditions for one year as a person of independent means. On 23 November 2017, the person concerned wrote to INIS via the Deputy stating that Stamp 0 was insufficient to meet their needs.

In correspondence, dated 23 November 2017, INIS wrote back to the person concerned clarifying that they do not qualify for any other permission to remain in the State other than Stamp 0 permission. Enclosed with this letter, also dated 23 November 2017, was a second letter offering the person concerned limited immigration permission to remain in the State on Stamp 0 conditions for one year as a person of independent means. INIS await a response to this second letter of offer.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (127)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person (details supplied) will be considered for residency status upgrade in the short and medium term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9258/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a letter issued to the person concerned on 17 January 2018 confirming that the application for a residence card pursuant to the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015 has been approved. I am further advised that the person concerned has been granted permission to remain in this state under Stamp 4 EUFam conditions for a period of five years.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (128)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a stamp 4 or similar status will be offered in the case of a person (details supplied); his views on whether a work permit is an appropriate or another solution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9259/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that from the limited details provided it is not possible to identify the person concerned and therefore its not possible to adequately respond to this question.

It would appear that the person in question may never have had permission to remain in the State. If it is the case that the person in question has not engaged with the immigration service already they should do so as soon as possible.

In this regard and to allow for a full examination of their circumstances, they should be advised to write directly to Unit 2, Residence Division, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 supplying the following documentation in relation to themselves, and if applicable, in relation to any spouse or children that might be currently in the State.

1. Full copy of their passport/s

2. Copy of their GNIB card/s

3. Copy of marriage certificate (if applicable)

4. Brief outline of their history in the State to include when and where they entered the State as well as a brief outline of their current circumstances.

5. Their current address.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Patient Transfers

Ceisteanna (129)

James Lawless

Ceist:

129. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Health if the patient transfer of a person (details supplied) from Naas General Hospital to Tallaght Hospital will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9024/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Psychological Assessments Waiting Times

Ceisteanna (130, 145)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

130. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health the efforts being made to reduce the waiting time for referrals to the child and adolescent primary care psychology service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9028/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

145. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting a community based primary care psychology appointment; the number of those children that suffer from an eating disorder; the number awaiting an appointment more than three, six, 12 and more than 12 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9131/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 130 and 145 together.

In recognition of the particular need to address access to primary care-based counselling services for under 18s, the Government has prioritised investment in this area. The HSE's National Service Plan 2016 provided an additional €5m for psychology for children with a focus on enhanced counselling interventions for children and adolescents. Recruitment of these posts, which includes a mix of psychologists and psychology assistants has commenced on a nationwide basis.

I have asked the HSE to revert to the Deputies in relation to the detailed service issues, including the number of children waiting for an appointment.

Health Services Appeals

Ceisteanna (131)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

131. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive a decision on an appeal for ancillary State support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9031/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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

Ceisteanna (132)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

132. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the reason the service of a chiropodist attending persons with diabetes in County Roscommon has ceased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9037/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (133)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

133. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the number of times a year persons with diabetes are entitled to attend a chiropodist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9038/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (134)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

134. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that have received treatment in the chiropodist clinic in County Roscommon in each of the years 2015 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9039/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

HSE Funding

Ceisteanna (135)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

135. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health if the HSE is paying for a chiropodist surgery for one day a week in County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9040/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (136)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

136. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health if the HSE is only providing a surgery one day a week to the chiropodist in County Roscommon; if so, when this will be increased to a fulltime service of five days per week; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9041/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Primary Care Centres

Ceisteanna (137)

John Brassil

Ceist:

137. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide dedicated dietetic services at the Ballyheigue primary care centre; when they will be in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9047/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Hospital Appointments Administration

Ceisteanna (138)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

138. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9063/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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, 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.

Hospital Equipment

Ceisteanna (139)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

139. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health his views on the fact that community groups in an area (details supplied) are raising funds to purchase an additional MRI scanner for the Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar; if the HSE can supply the equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9070/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy's question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply as the HSE is responsible for the delivery of health care infrastructure projects.

Medicinal Products Availability

Ceisteanna (140, 141)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

140. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the reason versatis pain relief patches have been withdrawn from vulnerable persons; and his plans to put in place a suitable replacement treatment on the medical card scheme [9073/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

141. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if a required medical product will be supplied to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9080/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 and 141 together.

Medicines play a vital role in improving the health of Irish patients. Securing access to existing and new and innovative medicines is a key objective of the health service. However, the challenge is to do this in a safe and sustainable manner. Treatment must be appropriate and proportionate and clinical decison-making, such as prescribing, should be based on both patient needs and sound medical evidence.

Lidocaine 5% medicated plasters are licensed for the localised relief of post-shingles pain in adults. This is the only licensed use for the patch in Ireland. It has been reimbursed in the community drugs schemes since 2010.

When the plasters were first introduced, the budget impact was low, because of the specific indication for which they are licensed. It was therefore a cause of clinical concern that, from 2012 on, usage increased significantly, to the point where, as a nation, we were using more plasters than the entire UK National Health Service, with ten times our population.

When a treatment is intended for a small group of patients, and evidence suggests that it is being used for many times that number, it is important and appropriate for clinicians to review its use. In 2016, the HSE Medicines Management Programme reviewed the use of the plasters. The review estimated that only 5-10% of prescribing had been for the licensed indication.

Following the clinical review, and in the interest of ensuring appropriate patient care, the HSE introduced a new reimbursement approval system for the patches from 1 September 2017. This process supports their appropriate use, ensuring that post-shingles patients continue to receive this treatment.

Under the new arrangements, all patients receiving lidocaine plasters for the licensed indication, shingles, were automatically approved on the HSE system. All of these patients continue to receive the treatment under the community schemes.

Non-shingles patients were given a three month grace period, in which their GP could move them to other treatments or apply for continued reimbursement. However, from 1 December 2017, non-shingles patients were no longer automatically reimbursed under the community drugs schemes.

In order for non-shingles patients to receive the patch through the community schemes, their GP must apply online for continued reimbursement approval. If an application is refused, the GP may appeal, making a clinical case for the patient. The HSE advises that the turnaround time for applications is three working days and for appeals it is five days.

As of 16 February, approximately 1,500 post-shingles patients have been approved, and the plaster is being provided to those patients in the normal manner.

Another 4784 non-shingles patients were registered by their GP, and 14% of these patients, 670 people, have been approved. In addition, 284 online appeals have been made, including patients who were never registered, and over 65% of these patients have been approved.

Over 2300 patients are now approved for the plaster in the drug schemes, with more than 850, over one third, approved for use other than post-shingles pain, based on the clinical case made by the GP.

It is clear that this new process supports appropriate use and prescribing and both post-shingles patients and other appropriate cases can continue to be treated with lidocaine plasters.

The introduction of the new approval system was flagged in August 2017, when details of the proposed changes were circulated by the HSE to prescribers and pharmacies. This advice has been re-issued in the last week, and information for patients and practitioners is on the HSE Medicines Management Programme website. (http://hse.ie/eng/about/Who/clinical/natclinprog/medicinemanagementprogramme/yourmedicines/lidocaine-plaster/lidocaine-medicated-plaster.html).

This decision is a matter for the HSE. However, I fully support the objectives of the HSE Medicines Management Programme.

Emergency Departments

Ceisteanna (142)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

142. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if a new emergency department will be provided at Beaumont hospital, Dublin 9 (details supplied); when construction of this new building will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9083/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Development Plan provides for a large number of Health developments across the country, including both national programmes and individual projects, across acute, primary and social care. Health capital projects and programmes currently underway will continue. As to be expected with a ten year plan, many proposals are at an early stage and will require to progress through appraisal, planning design and tender before a firm timeline or funding required can be established.

The Health Service Executive has informed my Department that an EU procurement process, to progress the selection and appointment of a design team for the new emergency department at Beaumont Hospital, will be progressed in 2018.

Commissions of Investigation

Ceisteanna (143)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

143. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the progress to date on the inquiry into the care of a person (details supplied) [9108/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government established the Farrelly Commission by SI 96 of 2017 on 21 March 2017. The Chair and Sole member of the Commission is Marjorie Farrelly Senior Counsel.

The Commission commenced its investigations on 15 May 2017, with an interim report to be completed within six months and a final report on Phase 1 of its investigations within 12 months of commencing work.

An interim Report was submitted to the Minister for Health in November 2017.