Medicinal Products Availability

Ceisteanna (441)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

441. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health the position regarding an application mechanism for a person (details supplied) who suffers from severe epilepsy and is seeking access to medicinal cannabis oil to treat the illness; the position regarding a mechanism being made available by which the person can apply for medicinal cannabis oil on the medical card or long-term illness scheme following correspondence to his office detailing the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21372/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Cannabis products which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive, are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. Under this legislation medical practitioners who wish to prescribe cannabis for medical use may apply to me, as Minister for Health, for a licence to do so. The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the granting of such a licence must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to my Department, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time.

A cannabis for medical use licence application submitted to the Minister for Health, in line with the Misuse of Drugs Acts, must include:

- An outline of the treatment the patient has received to date and justification from the doctor as to why it is appropriate in their patient’s specific circumstances to prescribe a Schedule 1 drug.

- Details of the cannabis-based product which it is proposed to prescribe and administer to the patient.

- The source of the cannabis-based product.

- The arrangements for the ongoing monitoring and care of the patient once the cannabis-based treatment has commenced.

The application must be submitted either by the patient’s medical consultant, or by their General Practitioner (GP). Applications from the patients' GP must include written endorsement for the proposed cannabis treatment for the individual patients by the patients’ consultant.

To date, licences have been issued for treatment of six separate individual patients.

The decision to prescribe or not prescribe any treatment, including cannabis treatment, for an individual patient is strictly a decision for the treating clinician, in consultation with their patient. The Minister for Health has no role in this clinical decision-making process.

Consultants requiring further information or clarification in relation to the licence application process are advised to contact the Department of Health directly. Valid applications received are assessed without delay.

A patient who is eligible under the Long Term Illness Scheme has automatic access to all of the products on the core list of products for that condition. This list is published on the HSE website. Medical cannabis is not listed as one of the approved products currently. Where a patient seeks reimbursement of a product outside the core list, there is an individual reimbursement application process.

The patient's treating clinician should complete the individual reimbursement request application form and return it to the HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS). Where such an application is approved, the HSE will then determine how the patient may be assisted, where they hold a Ministerial License.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (442)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

442. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the appointment of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21394/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (443)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

443. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when an assessment of needs for a child (details supplied) will take place. [21395/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (444)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

444. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the HSE has not committed to establishing a community intervention team in County Donegal in its community healthcare operational plan 2018; the reason this is the case; and when the county will have such a team. [21399/18]

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 Delays

Ceisteanna (445)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

445. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of persons due to receive IV treatment within 15 days in University Hospital Waterford that had their treatment delayed by more than 15 days by values (details supplied) in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21409/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Cancer Control Programme target is that 90% of Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy treatment patients will receive their treatment within 15 working days.

Data for University Hospital Waterford is set out below.

Total

Within 15 days

15 +1

15 +2

15+3

15+4

15+5

15 +>5

Unknown

2016

357

310

2

1

3

2

5

14

20

2017

348

235

14

10

11

9

9

39

21

2018

82

57

2

2

4

3

5

9

0

Total

787

602

18

13

18

14

19

62

41

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (446)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

446. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a knee replacement for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21425/18]

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.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (447)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

447. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a payment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20798/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

As the Deputy would be aware from previous recent PQs a review by the Director of Agriculture Appeals Office of the decision of the Appeals Officer has been requested in this case in accordance with the provisions of the Agriculture Appeals Act, 2001. The Agriculture Appeals Office has indicated that requests for reviews are generally dealt with in order of receipt and that both the Department and the person named will be advised of the outcome when the review has been completed.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (448)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

448. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the value of contracts for goods or services from companies (details supplied) since 2010. [20845/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The value of contracts awarded by my Department for goods or services from the associated companies/subsidiaries of the companies named since 2010 is €4,689,990 (details attached).

Company

Value of Contract

HP Ireland Ltd.

€4,152,569.57

HP Enterprise Ireland Ltd.

€537,420.56

DXC Technology

NIL

Fishing Industry

Ceisteanna (449)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

449. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to provide compensation to mussel fishermen (details supplied) who suffered a loss of stock and equipment due to storms in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20873/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to rope mussel farmers in Killary Harbour.

My Department's €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme is the vehicle for financial supports to the seafood sector up to 2021. The Programme delivers a wide range of supports for aquaculture, fisheries and seafood processing through a suite of 17 schemes. I have made very considerable funds available to the seafood sector in 2018 through a range of EMFF schemes. In doing so, I secured a very significant commitment from the Exchequer to the EMFF Programme. However, this means that there are no other sources of funds available to me, other than the EMFF, to assist the sector with any support requirements.

The EMFF Regulation (508/2014) restricts supports to aquaculture operators to cover economic losses due to severe storms to a contribution to aquaculture stock insurance under article 57. Under this article insurance supports can be made available to aquaculture producers to safeguard their income and cover economic losses due to natural disasters and climatic events. During the course of preparation of Ireland's EMFF Programme in 2014/15, a lengthy public and stakeholder consultation process was undertaken. The stock insurance provision was not included among the priorities selected for funding under the Programme. The priorities identified and included in the programme were capital investment in aquaculture sites and innovation, research and advice to develop technology, improve disease management and enhance animal husbandry.

Fishing Licences

Ceisteanna (450)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

450. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of boats registered to fishermen whose address is on an offshore island not connected to the mainland by a causeway or bridge by integrals of five metres in length; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20875/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Licensing Authority for Sea Fishing Boats is the Registrar General of Fishing Boats, or, under the superintendence of the Registrar General and the Deputy Registrar General of Fishing Boats. The Registrar General and the Deputy Registrar General are appointed by the relevant Minister under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 (No. 8 of 2006).

All fishing boats within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping (Registry, Lettering and Numbering of Fishing Boats) Regulations, 2005 are required to be entered on the Register of Fishing Boats maintained by the Registrar General in accordance with those Regulations. Only fishing boats licensed in accordance with the Fisheries Amendment Act 2003 (as inserted by Section 97 of the Sea-Fisheries Jurisdiction Act 2006) may be entered on the Register.

An Irish Fleet Register report detailing all currently registered vessels on the Irish Fishing Boat Register is available on the Department’s website and updated reports are posted on the Departments Website on a regular basis.

The following table details the number of boats on the Irish Fleet Register (as at April 2018) registered to an address on an offshore island not connected to the mainland and categorised according to overall length as requested:

Overall Length (in metres)

Polyvalent General

(No. of vessels)

Polyvalent Potting (No. of vessels)

Total

< 5

8

2

10

5 < 10

48

33

81

10 < 15

16

2

18

15 < 20

2

0

2

20 < 25

3

0

3

25 < 30

2

0

2

Total no. of vessels

79

37

116

Of which have an overall length (in metres) <12

Overall Length (in metres)

Polyvalent General

(No. of vessels)

Polyvalent Potting (No. of vessels)

Total

&lt;12

70

37

107

*The following Islands are connected to the mainland and are therefore excluded from the tables: Achill, Dinish, Inch, Iniscuttle, Inishnee, Lettermore, Lettermullen, Mynish, Omey, Ross and Valentia.

Aquaculture Licence Applications

Ceisteanna (451)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

451. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the full environmental impact assessment will be carried out on a bay; when a person (details supplied) will receive a decision on an application for an aquaculture licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20881/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department has received a number of applications for Aquaculture Licences from the applicant referred to by the Deputy in respect of sites located within Ballyness Bay which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive (Natura 2000 site).

All aquaculture activities in Natura site areas require an Appropriate Assessment to be carried out before any aquaculture licensing determinations can be made. My Department is working with the Marine Institute and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to achieve full compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives through a multi-annual work programme. This data collection programme, which is substantially complete, together with the setting of Conservation Objectives, will enable all new and renewal aquaculture applications to be assessed.

Conservation Objectives have been set for Ballyness SAC. The next step in the process is the carrying out of an Appropriate Assessment by the Marine Institute. This is being progressed taking account of the need to facilitate the use of scientific and other resources on a flexible basis across the full range of bays. While the Appropriate Assessments are carried out on a bay by bay basis, each licence application within the bay must be assessed individually.

Addressing the issue of aquaculture licensing in Natura 2000 areas is a key priority for my Department and the Deputy can be assured that every effort is being made to expedite the completion of the process in Ballyness Bay having regard to all the complexities involved.

Agriculture Scheme Appeals

Ceisteanna (452)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

452. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 547 of 27 February 2018, when a review decision will be made in respect of a person (details supplied) who subsequently won their appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20919/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The case concerned is currently being examined and I am advised by the independent Agriculture Appeals Office that the outcome of the review will be issued shortly.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (453)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

453. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a payment for ANC will issue to a person (details provided); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20968/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

An application under the 2017 Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme was received from the person named on 18 April 2017.

Under 2017 ANC Scheme, all eligible applicants are required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per hectare for a retention period of seven consecutive months. Stocking density can be satisfied by cattle, sheep, goats, deer and equines.

Payment has not issued in this case as the holding concerned failed to satisfy the scheme's minimum stocking density requirements. An official from my Department has been in contact with the person named in relation to this position and has advised him of his right to appeal this decision to the Agriculture Appeals Office.

Marine Safety

Ceisteanna (454)

John Deasy

Ceist:

454. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications approved under the marine tourism safety scheme operated by Bord Iascaigh Mhara in each of the years 2011 to 2017 by county. [20974/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Deputy's question is an operational matter for Bord Iascaigh Mhara. I have forwarded the question to BIM and asked that a response be provided within 10 days.

Dairy Sector

Ceisteanna (455)

John Deasy

Ceist:

455. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the work of the multi-stakeholder industry group established in November 2017 with a view to addressing the labour shortage in the dairy sector. [20975/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In relation to labour shortages in the dairy sector, last November I established a multi stakeholder group with a view to ensuring that Irish dairying has access to the human capital it requires to realise its ambitions. I expect that this Group will finalise an action plan in the coming weeks which will address the short and medium term labour issues facing the dairy sector. This action plan will make an important contribution to alleviating the labour shortage issue that exists and will be submitted to the Food Wise High Level Implementation Committee for information.

In addition to the work of this group, a range of other measures are being pursued by the dairy sector to try to attract and retain labour, including exchanges with New Zealand, enhanced efforts to recruit from within the European economic area, as well as efforts at regional level to engage with, and attract people on the live register, homemakers and drystock farmers to avail of opportunities on dairy farms.

It should be noted that a shortage of labour has been building up in certain sub-sectors of the Irish agri-food sector in recent times. In addition to the dairy sector, labour pressures also exist in the horticultural and meat processing sectors. While the reasons for the shortages are varied, they include the significant value added growth expansion of the sector in recent years; the growth in the economy as a whole which has meant we are now approaching full employment; and also economic and associated employment growth in other EU countries which have traditionally supplied workers for the Irish agri-food sector.

I am aware of the impact that these labour shortages are having, and I am committed to continue helping the sectors involved find appropriate solutions. In this context, I underlined the importance of a new pilot quota of employment permits for the horticulture, meat processing and dairy sectors, announced this week by my colleague the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. This is a measured response to issues raised by the sector as the labour market tightens.

Coastal Erosion

Ceisteanna (456, 457)

John Deasy

Ceist:

456. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department or its agencies has carried out or is conducting an analysis of significant shoreline changes such as sand removal from major beaches and seaside resorts due to severe winters and storms. [20976/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Deasy

Ceist:

457. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the national or EU funding programmes available to local authorities for beach nourishment projects and similar works to address significant shoreline erosion affecting seaside resorts. [20977/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 456 and 457 together.

My Department is responsible for the management, control and operation of the six Fishery Harbour Centres located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros an Mhíl under statute. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the 1902 ex-congested Districts Board piers, lights and Beacons Act.

The management and maintenance of beaches is a matter for the relevant Local Authority and their ultimate parent Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Responsibility for coastal erosion and changes to the coastline from weather events comes under the remit of the Office of Public Works (OPW).

My Department does provide limited funding to assist coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways under the annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. The matters raised by the Deputy do not come under the Terms of Reference of this programme.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (458)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

458. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of farm payments for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20998/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Sheep Welfare Scheme was introduced in December 2016; 2017 was the first year of the scheme. Advance and balancing payments issued in November 2017 and April 2018 respectively. My Department has no record of having received an application under the 2017 Sheep Welfare Scheme in respect of the herd number listed for the person named, and thus the person named was not due a payment under Year 1 of the Scheme.

However, an application was received from the person named on 26 January 2018 in respect of the 2018 Sheep Welfare Scheme. Such applications in respect of the second year of the Scheme are currently being processed.

With regard to the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, an application to participate in the BDGP was not received from the person named. However the person named has recently applied to take over participation in the Programme from the original applicant. This request is currently being processed and payment will issue when the change has been finalised, subject to compliance with the requirements of the BDGP.