Hospital Equipment

Ceisteanna (136)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

136. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for the provision of a MRI scanner for St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny; if the funding will be provided in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17087/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Hospital Transfers

Ceisteanna (137)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

137. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the reason a patient transfer between UHL and the Mater Hospital on 4 April 2018 could not be completed by ambulance and had to be carried out by a family member; if this endangered the patient; his views on whether this was acceptable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17089/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.   

Cancer Services Provision

Ceisteanna (138)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

138. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the provision of breast clinic services in St. James's Hospital is being cut back; the steps he will take in relation to same; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that carriers of genetic braca 1 and 2 are having repeat visits and check-ups extended from once every six months to once every 12 months, that family history clinics are being closed and those attending are referred back to their general practitioners; his views on these cuts to the services; and the reason the services are being cut. [17094/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In parallel with the Rapid Access Clinic for Symptomatic Breast Disease in St James's Hospital, a Familial Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Service has evolved to provide a clinical service to women who are considered to be at higher than average risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. Due to increased referral rates to the symptomatic breast disease clinic, there were some restrictions on access to the familial service for a period in 2018.

Resources have since been provided to the hospital's breast services, including for additional radiology and pathology support. One of the hospital's two mammography machines was replaced and a third machine has recently been installed. Capacity for mammography has been a major part of the challenge in meeting demand for breast services in St James's. I am advised that the Familial Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Service at St James's Hospital is now restored.

Ambulance Service Provision

Ceisteanna (139)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

139. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the level of ambulance cover for County Longford, especially on Monday and Tuesday nights; if he will direct the HSE to review ambulance cover in the county once a facility (details supplied) opens in 2019 adding an additional 6,000 persons to the area when at maximum capacity; if the HSE is satisfied with the level of cover for the county and region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17098/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.  

HSE Properties

Ceisteanna (140)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

140. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Health if a property (details supplied) has been disposed of; if so, the new owner of the property; if not, the position regarding the property; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17099/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the management of the healthcare property estate, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you in relation to this matter.

Mental Health Services Funding

Ceisteanna (141)

John Curran

Ceist:

141. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the relevant criteria with regard to minimum staffing requirements and service levels necessary for a jigsaw service to be funded by the HSE. [17104/19]

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.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (142)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

142. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the State contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract. [17116/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Ceisteanna (143)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

143. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health his views on whether a one to two year wait for a standard hospital appointment is acceptable (details supplied); if the process can be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17124/19]

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, since 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.

Obesity Strategy

Ceisteanna (144)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

144. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if a body has been appointed to monitor compliance and effectiveness of the Non-Broadcast Advertising and Marketing of Food and Beverages, including Sponsorship and Retail Product Placement: Voluntary Codes of Practice; and the reason for the delay. [17128/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the umbrella of the national oversight group, the Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group, work is being intensified on the development of the monitoring mechanism for the Codes of Practice on the Marketing and Advertising of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages. This has taken longer than anticipated with respect to determining the most robust monitoring mechanism to preserve the integrity of the implementation of the Codes for the benefit of public nutritional health and in line with the main objective of the Obesity Policy and Action Plan (OPAP) to deal with the problem of obesity. The progression of the development of guidelines to govern the implementation of these codes is also being conducted in tandem with the development of the robust monitoring mechanism.

Furthermore, my Department has engaged with industry representation on initiating a register of signatories to the Codes of Practice from the perspective of compiling a list of companies that would be signing up to the Codes. The development of guidance on the interpretation of the Codes will precede the development of this list.

My Department has engaged with industry both formally and informally in a number of areas of interest within the context of obesity. For example, and as the Deputy is aware, the Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group agreed to establish a sub-group for Reformulation. This sub-group has met on a number of occasions since being established and agreed their Terms of Reference. The Reformulation sub-group is technical in its work programme. The work of the sub-group will primarily set targets on reformulation of food and drink. It will also make recommendations on addressing reduction of portion sizes and on monitoring and validation procedures.

As part of its work, a workshop between the Reformulation sub-group and Food Sector Stakeholders comprised of, among others, industry on reformulation, has taken place on two separate occasions. These provided an important opportunity for detailed engagement with key Food Sector Stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities of reformulation in the interests of promoting the health and wellbeing of the population. And the work of the sub-group is now building on this engagement.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (145)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

145. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of surgery for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17133/19]

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, since 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.

Nursing Staff

Ceisteanna (146)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

146. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of implementing the framework for safe nurse staffing and skill mix in all acute hospital settings; the number of additional nursing staff, that is, whole-time equivalent that would be required for the implementation of the framework in all acute hospital settings; the number of additional healthcare assistants, that is, whole-time equivalent required for same; and if he will report on the development of a national implementation plan for incremental roll out across hospitals. [17134/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill mix sets out, for the first time in Ireland, a methodology to determine the appropriate number of nurses and healthcare assistants required for our medical/surgical wards.  

Before I formally launched the Framework in April 2018 it was piloted in three sites. Results from the pilots were very positive with evidence of improvements in the quality of care such as reduction in nurse sensitive outcomes, a reduction in care left undone events, increases in staff and patient satisfaction, a reduction in length of stay and absenteeism and reduction in spend on agency costs.

The unique point of the Framework is that it determines the required nurse staffing and skill mix by matching the nursing resource to the type and number of patients on an individual ward and individual patients’ needs.  It is built on a rigorous methodology involving complex calculations of a number of elements, including the required nursing hours per patient day, patient acuity and dependency, bed occupancy, indirect nursing hours required, the skill mix required to meet patient needs, patient outcomes and staff and patient experience. As such accurate whole time equivalent requirements and associated costs will only be available when all medical and surgical areas are assessed as part of the implementation of the Framework.        

The pilot sites did indicate that additional resources, both nursing and healthcare assistants, were required in those pilot sites. These were met through a mix of additional recruitment and agency conversion. Indicative average figures from one model 4 hospital in the pilot identified additional average recruitment as 2.5 whole time equivalent per ward. (1.1 Health Care Assistant  and 1.4 Staff Nurse).  This uplift was in addition to conversion of agency. This uplift is an average figure and the pilot demonstrated that some wards required no uplift, some required a skill mix adjustment, some required Health Care Assistants only and some did require more than the 2.5 uplift.  

The HSE is currently working on an implementation plan to rollout the Framework to all Model 4 hospitals. An essential part of the implementation is the acquisition and introduction of the supporting ICT system.  The procurement process is at an advanced stage.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (147)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

147. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17163/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

General Practitioner Services

Ceisteanna (148)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

148. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of children that will be in receipt of free general practitioner care if it is extended as proposed in 2020; and the net increase in the number of children covered resulting from the proposed change. [17189/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government intends to extend GP care without fees to children aged 6-12 on a phased basis, starting in 2020. Legislative changes will be required to give effect to this extension.

My Department is undertaking a detailed assessment over the coming months regarding the most appropriate approach to facilitate a phased expansion of GP care without fees, taking account of the number of children that will be eligible to benefit from this measure.

Organic Farming Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (149)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

149. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payments will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17103/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The 2018 Organic Farming Scheme advance payment issued to the person named above on 18 December 2018 while the 2018 GLAS Scheme advance payment issued on 16 November 2018.

Payments for both schemes are fully up to date.  

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (150)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

150. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the State contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract. [17106/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has awarded no contracts to the named company over the past seven years.

Marine Institute

Ceisteanna (151)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

151. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 208 of 8 November 2018, if the tender has been awarded; and the status of the vessel. [17135/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The tender for the design of the new research vessel, to replace the current Celtic Voyager, was published on 6 November 2018 in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). 

Eight tender submissions were received by the deadline of 7th December and, following evaluation, the tender for vessel design has been awarded by the Marine Institute.   I understand from the Marine Institute that the design process is currently underway.

Departmental Agencies Funding

Ceisteanna (152)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

152. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding allocated in 2019 to each specific State agency under his aegis, including Bord Bia, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the National Milk Agency, Teagasc and the Marine Institute by current and capital funding in tabular form. [17136/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table.

Agency

Capital Allocation 2019 €

Current Allocation 2019 €

Total Allocation - 2019 €

Bord Bia

0

46,619,000

46,619,000

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

12,100,000

26,193,000

38,293,000

National Milk Agency

0

0

0

Teagasc

9,150,000

132,082,000

141,232,000

Marine Institute

12,000,000

23,429,000

35,429,000

Horse Racing Ireland

11,100,000

56,100,000

67,200,000

Bord na gCon

44,000

16,756,000

16,800,000

Irish National Stud

0

0

0

Sea Fisheries Protection Authority

400,000

13,395,000

13,795,000

Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board

0

0

0

Coillte

0

0

0

Veterinary Council of Ireland

0

0

0

Beef Data and Genomics Programme

Ceisteanna (153)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

153. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 387 of 29 November 2017, the first and full year costs of the proposals in tabular form. [17137/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) will provide suckler beef farmers with some €300 million of funding over the lifetime of the current Rural Development Programme.  BDGP provides for payments to farmers for completion of actions which deliver accelerated genetic improvement in the national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability. Currently 24,544 herds are included between BDGP I and II.

Payments to farmers under the BDGP are calculated on the basis of costs incurred or income foregone.  Any increase to payment rates would therefore require farmers to undertake additional actions to justify any such increase.  The scheme has been through a complex and difficult process of approval at EU level and it would not be possible to change payment rates for current participants in the manner suggested.

The information the Deputy requested is provided in the attached table. 

 BDGP Costs

Proposal

Cost of proposal

Remainder Cost @ 80

Total

Current BDGP  Cost

Difference

1st 10 @150

53179940

22736240

75916180

45112750

30803430

1st 15 @150

58401380

16768880

75170260

45112750

30057510

1st 20 @150

62291070

12323520

74614590

45112750

29501840

1st 25 @150

65107380

9104880

74212260

45112750

29099510

1st 30@150

67150050

6770400

73920450

45112750

28807700

1st 10 @175

58253890

22736240

80990130

45112750

35877380

1st 15 @175

65340130

16768880

82109010

45112750

36996260

1st 20 @175

70618995

12323520

82942515

45112750

37829765

1st 25 @175

74441130

9104880

83546010

45112750

38433260

1st 30@175

77213325

6770400

83983725

45112750

38870975

1st 10 @200

63327840

22736240

86064080

45112750

40951330

1st 15 @200

72278880

16768880

89047760

45112750

43935010

1st 20 @200

78946920

12323520

91270440

45112750

46157690

1st 25 @200

83774880

9104880

92879760

45112750

47767010

1st 30@200

87276600

6770400

94047000

45112750

48934250

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (154)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

154. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress to date for each of the action points agreed in the beef roundtable in November 2014 (details supplied); the details of each such action point that has been completed, not completed or is ongoing, respectively; and the revised deadlines for action points not delivered by the original timeframes in tabular form. [17138/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Deputy refers to the key action points agreed by stakeholders at the Beef Roundtable meeting in November 2014.

The action points and progress to date under each action point as requested are available at the following link:

Beef Roundtable

Common Agricultural Policy

Ceisteanna (155)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

155. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the estimated annual cost and seven year cost if the Exchequer were to fill the deficit caused by the proposed cut to Ireland’s pillar 1 direct payments and pillar 2 rural development programme allocations for the next CAP programme post-2020 following the publication of the 2018 MFF proposals for the 2021-2027 period; and the maximum co-financing rate permitted for member states under pillar 2 for the amount of national exchequer funding to a RDP over a full CAP window. [17140/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The negotiations on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 - which will be decided by Ministers for Finance and Heads of Government - are ongoing, and are running in parallel with the negotiations on the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Agreement on the budgetary allocations is not expected to be achieved until Autumn 2019.

I have been very firm in my view that I do not accept the proposed 5% cut to the CAP budget post-2020, and there is consensus on this issue amongst my Member State colleagues.  I have been strongly advocating for the CAP budget to be restored to current levels for the EU 27 for the next programming period, and I will continue to work towards achieving this objective until agreement on the MFF post-2020 proposals has been reached.  

Pillar I direct payments are a core feature of the CAP, and are fully funded by the EU budget.  The cut in Pillar I funding for Ireland based on the current MFF proposals is approximately €47m per annum.  These payments cannot be co-financed by Member States.   With regard to the maximum co-financing rate for Pillar 2, the Commission proposals outline a maximum EAFRD contribution rate of 43%, down from the current rate of 53%.  Until the MFF proposals are agreed, it will not be clear what the precise financial implications for the CAP schemes will be. Based on the proposals, Commissioner Hogan has indicated previously that some €47 million per annum in additional national funding would be required for Ireland to make up the proposed shortfall under Pillar II funding, and my Department would concur with that estimate.