Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (193)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

193. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24487/19]

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.

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (194)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

194. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health if information on all maternity units will be provided (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24488/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Orthodontic Services

Ceisteanna (195)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

195. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 100 of 30 May 2019, when a reply will issue from the HSE (details supplied). [24489/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications Data

Ceisteanna (196)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

196. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in CHO area 9 on waiting lists for equipment recommended by their occupational therapist as of 31 May 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24504/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Dental Services Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (197)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

197. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for an urgent dental assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24506/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Respite Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (198, 199)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

198. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when additional essential respite services will be provided for adults in counties Cavan and Monaghan; the number of respite centres; the operational capacity of each at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24509/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

199. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when additional essential respite services will be provided for children in counties Cavan and Monaghan; the number of respite centres; the operational capacity of each at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24510/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 and 199 together.

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. 

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (200)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

200. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when a service will be restored for patients in County Cavan (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24511/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Pharmacy Services

Ceisteanna (201)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

201. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to address a reported shortage of community pharmacists; his plans to involve local pharmacies in the delivery of primary care services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24525/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the employment of community pharmacists is a commercial matter for the pharmacy sector and my Department has no role in this area. 

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to expand the role of community pharmacy in managing patient health, and this is an issue I intend to progress.

Work has been done in recent years on wider healthcare roles for pharmacies, including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland’s Future Pharmacy report, concerning expansion of professional pharmacy practice. It is clear from this and other work that there is potential to increase the range of publicly funded health services delivered through community pharmacy. Important new services, in influenza vaccination and emergency contraception, have already been introduced.

To be funded by the taxpayer, new public health services in community pharmacy, as elsewhere, should improve health outcomes and provide value for money and benefits for patients. Any new or transferred services should be based on sound evidence with matching improvements in governance and administration.

I recently met with the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and I attended their conference in Galway and these and other issues were discussed in both forums. It is my intention that further consultation will be carried out in 2019.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (202)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

202. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 89 of 9 May 2019, the reason the HSE has not responded to the parliamentary question, despite numerous contacts to obtain the response (details supplied). [24579/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services

Ceisteanna (203)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

203. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24580/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to a service issue, I have referred the matter to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy. 

Home Help Service

Ceisteanna (204)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

204. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health if his statement that the home help scheme is set to move towards the inclusion of some form of co-payment will be clarified; his plans for the home help scheme; the definition of co-payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24587/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Department is currently developing plans for a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home support services, the introduction of which the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to in 2021.

In preparation for this, the Department published an evidence review undertaken by the Health Research Board of the home care systems that are in place in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Scotland. Another important step in developing the scheme was a public consultation on homecare launched by Minister Harris and myself in 2017 to which approximately 2,600 submissions were received. A report on the findings of this was published in June 2018 and is available on the Department of Health website.

Currently the Department is also engaged in a review of the operation, management and funding of the existing system of home care provision, as well as further examination of the policy goals, objectives and guiding principles of adult home support service in other jurisdictions.

As part of this ongoing work, information in relation to possible funding options is being considered with a view to ensuring that the scheme developed will be sustainable and affordable going forward.

Industrial Disputes

Ceisteanna (205)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

205. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the action he and the HSE are taking to address the implementation of the pay rises recommended by a job evaluation scheme under the PSSA for almost 10,000 health support staff and to avoid disruption to the health service arising from the alleged failure to ensure that the HSE enters services negotiations in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24591/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

On 5 June 2019, SIPTU announced that up to 10,000 SIPTU members working as support staff in 38 hospitals and health care facilities will engage in industrial action for a 24 hour period on Thursday 20 June 2019.  SIPTU have advised the HSE of a further 5 dates of action to take place on 25 and 26 June and 2, 3 and 4 July.

In 2017, the LRA Oversight Body considered the approval of the Job Evaluation Scheme and recommended that the parties should proceed with the scheme as planned.  It advised that the question of implementing the outcome of the exercise will be considered by the parties at the conclusion of the exercise.

The Oversight Body is responsible for overseeing the industrial peace requirements of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 and addressing major disputes that may arise. The Oversight Body is representative of Public Service Unions and Associations and made up of representatives of the Public Services Committee of ICTU (including representation from SIPTU) and representatives of Public Service Employers ( who are represented by Senior Officials from DPER).

The dispute has been referred to the Oversight Body  which is expected to meet shortly in relation to the matter.  It is hoped that the parties can engage constructively to reach agreement and avoid industrial action.

TAMS Administration

Ceisteanna (206)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

206. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the number of TAMS applications to be accepted will be increased in order to help young farmers in view of the fact that the TAMS grant scheme is oversubscribed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24391/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

TAMS II is a demand-led scheme under which payments valued at €136m have issued to date to 9,290 farmers.  This amount increases to €147m when transitional payments under TAMS I are included.

These figures include payments to 2,300 qualified young farmers valued at €63.2m under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme.

The administrative checking of applications received under the most recent tranche is currently underway. 

GLAS Payments

Ceisteanna (207)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

207. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a number of GLAS payments (details supplied) are being held up, with his Department officials citing problems with information technology systems as the reason behind the delays; if the system is adequate; when the payments will be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24459/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016. Payments have been made for scheme years 2016, 2017 and the 2018 Advance.  

The delay to the balancing payment is due to a change request by the participant to his GLAS contract. The request was to withdraw part of the area claimed as Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP) and the entire Planting New Hedgerows action.  Force Majeure was granted in this case and the reimbursement of payment for the parcels withdrawn will not therefore apply.

Department officials are actively working to complete the necessary amendments in relation to the LIPP action to reflect these changes. GLAS balancing payments continue to issue on a weekly basis as issues with outstanding cases, such as this, are resolved.

Electric Vehicles

Ceisteanna (208)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

208. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on concerns of a person (details supplied) about a possible safety issue in regard to the release of hydrofluoric acid from the batteries of electric vehicles; if these concerns have been raised previously in his Department; if so, his plans to mitigate the risk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24507/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Matters related to road safety, vehicle standards and vehicle testing come under the remit of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

My Department works closely with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as part of the Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce. Where issues such as those highlighted are raised, my Department communicates these to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport which I can confirm has been done in this case.

Air Quality

Ceisteanna (209)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

209. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he received advice from his officials not to implement a nationwide smoky coal ban; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24531/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous coal, or ‘the smoky coal ban’ as it is commonly known, was first introduced in Dublin in 1990, and subsequently extended to our major cities and towns. Following a public consultation process, it was further extended in 2012, and now applies in 26 urban areas nationwide. The ban has proved very effective in reducing particulate matter and sulphur dioxide levels and has had the effect of significantly improving public health. Research indicates, for example, that the ban has resulted in over 350 fewer annual deaths in Dublin alone.

I am, therefore, disappointed that a number of coal firms have indicated they would legally challenge the decision of two former Ministers to extend the ban nationwide. Banning the use of smoky coal would have a positive impact on air quality and public health, particularly in built up areas.

I am continuing to work with the Attorney General to finalise a legally robust plan which will improve air quality by reducing particulate matter in the air.

National Broadband Plan

Ceisteanna (210)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

210. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has engaged a company (details supplied) on aspects of the national broadband plan; if so, if he continues to engage the company; if the company is also engaged by the preferred bidder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24535/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

KPMG Ireland was one of a number of advisors appointed by my Department to provide specialist advice and services in relation to the National Broadband Plan (NBP), following a competitive tender process in 2015.

KPMG continues to provide advice and services to my Department in relation to the NBP. This include specialist commercial and financial advice; review of commercial operator plans, the procurement process and supporting documents, and preparation of commercial/financial provisions of the NBP Contract.

My Department is aware that KPMG Ireland performs the statutory audit of and provides tax advice to, Granahan McCourt Dublin (Ireland) Limited and my Department is satisfied that appropriate safeguards are in place. This includes the audit and tax services being provided by different teams within KPMG Ireland and no contact between the teams with regard to the NBP advisory services.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (211)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

211. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an organisation (details supplied) will be granted funding under the current sports capital programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24403/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last.  By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 

Thereafter, 619 "equipment only" applications were assessed and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced in May.

Work is now under way in assessing the remaining applications for capital works.  The application from the organisation referred to by the Deputy is among this group of applications. 

For the first time applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be September 2019 before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Rural Transport Services

Ceisteanna (212)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

212. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a person (details supplied) cannot get the LocalLink route to and from a location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24413/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. It also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the Rural Transport Programme which now operates under the Local Link brand.

Noting this, I have forwarded your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Rail Network Expansion

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (213)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

213. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will commence the process of planning to build the rail line from Dublin to Navan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24436/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

 As the Deputy is aware, the issue of a potential extension of the existing Dunboyne/M3 Parkway line was considered by the National Transport Authority (NTA) during its development of the statutory Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 to 2035, which was adopted as the statutory transport plan for the region in 2016.

The Strategy stated that the level of travel demand between Navan and various stations to the city centre was insufficient to justify the development of a high-capacity rail link at that current time.  However the Strategy also stated that the issue of a rail link to Navan should be kept under review. This remains the case and the issue will be considered again as part of the statutory review of the current Strategy which must be reviewed every 6 years following publication.

In light of the NTA's responsibility in the matter raised, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Bus Services

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (214)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

214. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the number of bus transport routes in County Meath will be increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24437/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Public Transport Fares

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (215)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

215. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to significantly lower the cost of bus and rail transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24438/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  The National Transport Authority (NTA) has the statutory responsibility for the regulation of fares charged by public transport operators.

I have therefore referred this question to the NTA.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Road Network

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (216)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

216. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a full and urgent assessment will be requested on the need to introduce slip lanes for traffic exiting the N2 at Castleblayney (details supplied) in the interest of road users' safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24454/19]

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.  Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and upgrading of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. 

Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Rail Network Expansion

Ceisteanna (217, 218, 219, 220)

Kate O'Connell

Ceist:

217. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Transport Infrastructure Ireland has the authority to carry out underground works at a site on Grand Parade, Dublin 6, before applying for a rail order. [24492/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Kate O'Connell

Ceist:

218. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Transport Infrastructure Ireland has the authority to spend public money to fund construction on sites in which planning permission is not in place. [24493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Kate O'Connell

Ceist:

219. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there are provisions within the rail order legislation that exempt Transport Infrastructure Ireland from following typical approval and permission processes; and if these exemptions exist, if they can be in place before an application for a rail order has been granted. [24494/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Kate O'Connell

Ceist:

220. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the contractual relationship between Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the piling contractor and the developer of a site (details supplied) that would allow underground works to proceed. [24495/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 220, inclusive, together.

As I understand it, the construction works referred to by the Deputy relate to a private development being constructed by a private company pursuant to a planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála.

Details of that planning permission and conditions attached thereto are available to view on the website of An Bord Pleanála.  

I understand that the particular development is now subject to judicial proceedings taken by persons against the private developer and I do not propose to comment on the matter whilst those proceedings are taking place.