Medical Card Expenditure

Question No. 205 answered with Question No. 136.

Ceisteanna (204)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

204. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of guaranteeing a medical card for all members of the Travelling community. [27354/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the provisions of the Health Act 1970 (as amended), eligibility for health services in Ireland is based primarily on residency and means. The Act provides that persons who are unable, without due hardship, to arrange GP services for themselves and family can qualify for full eligibility (a medical card). The HSE awards medical cards in accordance with the Health Act, and assesses applicants on the overall financial situation of the applicant and his or her spouse or partner.

Every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of any difficult circumstances in the case of applicants who may be in excess of the income guidelines. In relation to the cost of medical card provision for all members of the Travelling community, the data required to model this is not readily available and it is therefore not possible to provide an estimate of the cost of the proposal.

Question No. 205 answered with Question No. 136.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (206)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

206. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an application by a person (details supplied) for the fair deal scheme will be expedited and approved for the maximum financial support. [27383/19]

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.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (207)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

207. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health when the recruitment ban in the HSE will be concluded. [27397/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (208)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

208. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied). [27398/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (209)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Ceist:

209. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment. [27423/19]

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.

Agriculture Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (210)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

210. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a farmer (details supplied) in County Clare will receive grant aid for a bulk tank constructed in 2018 having already submitted tax clearance certs and other required documents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27273/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Payment to the applicant in question has been approved and will issue in a matter of days.

Aquaculture Licence Applications

Ceisteanna (211)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

211. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an application for a land-based aquaculture licence by a company (details supplied) will be expedited and approved; the reason a licence has not been issued to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27317/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department considers applications for land based aquaculture licences in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act and applicable EU legislation. The licensing process involves consultation with a wide range of scientific and technical advisors as well as various Statutory Consultees. The legislation also provides for a period of public consultation.

The Statutory and Public Consultation phase in respect of the application referred to by the Deputy has concluded. Consideration of the application by my Department is ongoing and every effort is being made to expedite a determination in respect of the application having regard to the complexities involved.

As this licence application is under active consideration as part of a statutory process, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this time.

Sea Lice Controls

Ceisteanna (212)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

212. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number, name and location of all salmon farms using mechanical treatments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27388/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The control protocols for the management of sea lice are operated by the Marine Institute on behalf of the State. These protocols are more advanced than those operated in other jurisdictions for the following reasons:

- the inspection regime is totally independent of the industry

- data obtained as a result of inspection is published and made widely available

- treatment trigger levels are set at a low level

The use of mechanical treatments for sea lice control is an operational issue for salmon farm operators. It is not a regulatory requirement for the Marine Institute to approve or record the use of mechanical treatments for sea lice and, therefore, the information requested by the Deputy is not available.

The sea lice monitoring and control programme in Ireland is widely acknowledged as representing best practice.

Sea Lice Controls

Ceisteanna (213)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

213. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the treatments pertaining to the 17 orders to treat from the Marine Institute to salmon farmers since November 2017 to control sea lice infestations were chemical treatments; if so, the type and amount of chemicals used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27389/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The control protocols for the management of sea lice are operated by the Marine Institute on behalf of the State. These protocols are more advanced than those operated in other jurisdictions for the following reasons:

- the inspection regime is totally independent of the industry;

- data obtained as a result of inspection is published and made widely available and

- treatment trigger levels are set at a low level.

As set out in the document “A Strategy for Improved Pest Control on Irish Salmon farms,” a Notice to Treat is issued to a salmon farm if the sea lice levels exceed the specified set treatment trigger levels.

The method of treatment is a matter for the salmon farm and its privately contracted veterinary/fish health professionals and is not specified by the Marine Institute. On completion of the treatment, the Marine Institute conducts a follow-up inspection to determine sea lice levels on the farm.

The sea lice monitoring and control programme in Ireland is widely acknowledged as representing best practice.

Sea Lice Controls

Ceisteanna (214)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

214. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if salmon farms that have used more than the allowed number of chemical treatments under organic certification lose their organic certification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27390/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The organic status of operators in Ireland is certified by rigorous on-going assessment undertaken on behalf of my Department by designated Organic Control Bodies. My Department is the Competent Authority under EU regulations but has delegated the certification function to these bodies, in accordance with the relevant EU regulations and in common with the practice in many other countries across the EU. The Organic Control Bodies in question act under formal service agreements with my Department and are themselves subject to audit by my Department, by INAB (the Irish National Accreditation Board) and by the various EU audit authorities.

Article 25 of Commission Regulation 710/2009, which lays down detailed rules in relation to organic aquaculture animal and seaweed production, provides for the use and control of allopathic treatments which are deemed permissible.

In accordance with Article 92(d) of Commission Regulation 889/2008 as amended, my Department has issued a Catalogue of Infringements to Organic Control Bodies operating in Ireland. This Catalogue lists infringements and irregularities affecting the organic status of products and corresponding measures to be applied by control bodies in case of infringements or irregularities by operators under their control who are involved in organic production.

The Catalogue classifies veterinary treatments in respect of aquaculture which are non-compliant, as a critical non-compliance. The appropriate sanction in respect of a critical non-compliance as laid down in the Catalogue of Infringements requires immediate decertification of the batch/product/lot as appropriate.

Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (215)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

215. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a response will issue to correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27391/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

An application for the Young Farmer's Capital Investment Scheme of TAMS II was received on 25 April 2018. The application was partially rejected as full Planning Permission was not submitted with the application. Following a request, the case was reviewed on 18 July 2018 and the original decision was upheld. The entire application was subsequently rejected in November 2018.

An appeal was subsequently lodged with the Agricultural Appeals Office who upheld the original decision.

The applicant is no longer eligible for the Young Farmer's Capital Investment Scheme. However, should the applicant wish to reapply with the full grant of Planning Permission in place, it is open to them to submit an application under the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme of TAMS II, full details of which are available on the Department website. This measure attracts a 40% grant rate.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (216)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

216. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the capital spend to date in 2019, including the capital carryover from 2018, by subhead; the provision under each subhead including the capital carryover from 2018 provided for in the Revised Estimates Volume for 2019; the details of the significant overspends or underspends under each subhead; the action to be taken to deal with same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27429/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The table below shows the capital allocations on sub head basis for 2019 as per the 2019 Revised Estimates Volume, and actual expenditure to end May 2019:

2019 Subhead

Sub-head Name and component schemes

REV 2019 Allocation €000

Actual Spend Jan-May 2019 €000

AB

Administration Budget: Capital (includes IMT equipment , Office Machinery, Laboratory,)

5,800

986

A3

Food Safety, Animal Health

720

0

B.3

Agri-Environmental Schemes (Traditional Buildings Scheme)

1,250

0

B.5

Development of Agriculture & Food (Farm grants)

(Includes TAMS, Horticulture Industry, Organic Sector Development )

77,530

34,016

B.6

Beef Sustainability Schemes (inc BEEP)

1,150

0

B.10

Forestry (includes €22m carryover from 2018 not shown in REV)

100,179

68,072

B.12

Other Farm Schemes

500

0

C.4

Development and Promotion of Agriculture & Food (non- farm) includes Food Industry Investment & Prepared Consumer Food Centre

13,630

2,165

C.5

Teagasc

9,150

800

C.7

Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund

11,144

6,000

C.11

Other: Restoration Johnstown Castle

520

520

D.3

Fisheries includes Fisheries Harbour Centre & Seafood Development Programme

28,427

3,674

D.4

Marine Institute

12,000

3,400

D.5

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

12,100

1,750

D.6

Sea Fisheries Protection Authority

400

95

D.7

Haulbowline Remediation

2,500

556

Total 2019 Capital

277,000

122,034

Subhead allocations are voted on an annual rather than on a monthly or quarterly basis, so excess or underspend can only be definitively declared at the year end. By the end of May 2019, 44% of my department’s capital allocation had been expended, though as shown by the table above, the portion of the full allocation spent in that period varies from subhead to subhead.

Expenditure is monitored constantly against indicative monthly subhead profiles, and, in that regard, expenditure in TAMS is ahead of profile by approximately €4m while expenditure in the Forestry is behind profile by almost the same amount. Expenditure in such demand-led schemes, which comprise the majority of my department’s voted capital, is driven largely by submission of payment claims by eligible participants, the timing of which can vary from year-to-year as circumstances change. This makes profiling more complicated and performance against profile at this point of the year is not necessarily the ideal predictor of the likely outturn although it does give a general indication of financial trends.

My Department will continue to manage its voted resources to obtain the best possible outturn for the year.

Knowledge Transfer Programme

Ceisteanna (217)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

217. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the financial allocations on an annual basis under the 2014-2020 RDP for the knowledge transfer group scheme; the amount expended on the scheme in each year since established; the number of active participants in the scheme; and the number of approved applicants that subsequently withdrew from the scheme in tabular form. [27430/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

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

Knowledge Transfer Programme

2016/2017 Scheme

Year 1

2017/2018 Scheme

Year 2

2018/2019 Scheme

Year 3

Expenditure

€20.73m

€18.59m

Active Participants

19,667

18,676

18,525

Withdrawals

991

151

35

The calendar year allocations for the Knowledge Transfer Programme are €23m per year.