Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (400)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

400. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46654/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (401)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

401. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46663/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (402)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

402. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment in Cork University Hospital for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46665/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (403)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

403. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46667/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (404)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

404. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46668/19]

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.

Blind Welfare Allowance

Ceisteanna (405)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

405. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if a reassessment of a specific allowance from the HSE in respect of a person (details supplied) from County Cork will be arranged. [46700/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Beef Data and Genomics Programme

Ceisteanna (406)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

406. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be permitted to withdraw from the beef data scheme on medical grounds without penalties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46058/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) provides for six years of payments to participating farmers for completion of actions which deliver accelerated genetic improvement in the Irish national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability.

In applying to join the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP), the person named committed to participating in the programme for the full 6 years of the programme. The terms and conditions of the Programme state that, where a contract is terminated by an applicant, all moneys paid under the Programme shall be repaid to the Department except in certain cases including where force majeure applies.

Where a beneficiary is unable to continue complying with the requirements of the Programme for reasons beyond his/her control, a case may be made under force majeure to terminate participation in the Programme.

Medical evidence supporting a request to withdraw from the Programme was received from the person named on the 19th of March 2019. A letter clarifying the implications of any potential withdrawal from the programme and seeking confirmation of the intentions of the person named issued from my Department on the 8th of May 2019.

A reply from the person named was received on the 16th of May 2019 which indicated their desire to remain in the programme. If they now once again wish to withdraw from the scheme under force majeure, the person named must inform my Department in writing including any relevant medical evidence they have to substantiate their position.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (407)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

407. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payments will issue to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46063/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2019 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraints schemes application on 8th May 2019. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue. The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection.

Processing of this inspection necessitated the verification of the position on the ground by means of a field visit. This field visit has been completed and the results are currently being processed to finalisation with the intention of issuing any payments due to the nominated bank account of the person named as soon as possible. In the event that any queries arise, officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (408)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

408. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the timeline for an updated impact assessment to be carried out by the European Commission following the 2016 report on the cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture, which was predicated on the UK remaining in the EU; if a new impact assessment will be carried out to provide for all Brexit scenarios and the impact of 99,000 tonnes of increased Mercosur beef quota; and if the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development is the lead Commission directorate for this impact assessment. [46080/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Given the conclusion of several trade agreements since the 2016 cumulative impact assessment and the UK’s decision to leave the EU, I have requested the European Commission to update the 2016 cumulative impact assessment to take full account of all developments since.

The 2016 assessment, which was carried out by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, was something that Ireland, supported by France and other Member States, had called for in the context of the significant threat presented to the European agriculture sector, and particularly the beef sector, by Mercosur and other free trade negotiations. I believe an updated analysis is warranted, particularly against the backdrop of the potentially very negative additional impact of Brexit on the beef sector.

I have raised the issue with Commissioner Hogan, and he has confirmed to me that work on an updated cumulative impact assessment is currently underway in the Commission and that it should be published in 2020.

These cumulative impact assessments involve input from a number of Commission services (including DGs Agri and Trade as well as the Commission’s Joint Research Centre). I can assure the Deputy that I will continue to press the Commission for the most expeditious conclusion of the impact assessment.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (409)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

409. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the timeline for the economic impact assessment to be carried out on the Mercosur deal agreed between the EU and Mercosur countries. [46081/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Terms of Reference for the impact assessment of the Mercosur trade agreement is currently under development by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

It is the intention that the study will issue for tender by end of this year. Independent consultants will be commissioned in early 2020 with the intention that the impact assessment will be completed by Summer 2020.

Agriculture Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (410)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

410. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of basic payment and areas of natural constraint schemes applications selected for remote sensing eligibility inspection that have yet to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46163/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

EU regulations governing the administration of the Basic Payment Scheme, the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and other area-based schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including Ground or Remote Sensing (Satellite) inspections where applicable, are fully completed to ensure eligibility with the various schemes requirements before any payments issue. There are certain minimum numbers of inspections that must take place annually under the various schemes. Some 6,840 applicants have been selected for a Remote Sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area-based schemes.

In many cases, the existence of an inspection will not necessarily be delaying payment. In relation to the ANC Scheme, this scheme is subject to a range of eligibility and compliance criteria such as the requirement to meet a minimum stocking density in addition to maintaining minimum livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. At this stage, a number of farmers are not eligible to receive payment, however they may become eligible for payment later in the year when such criteria have been met. Factors that may impact on payment issuing under BPS would be, for example, applications to transfer entitlements, change in ownership request, etc.

The table below details the position on Remote Sensing inspections, as of 11th November, in relation to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC).

Scheme

No. of Eligible Applicants subject to Remote Sensing Inspection

No. of Inspection Cases Fully Completed & Advanced to Payment Stage

No. of Inspection Cases Fully Completed & Paid

No. of Inspections Cases

Fully Completed & Not Paid

No. of Inspections to be Completed/ Finalised

BPS

6,611

5,298

5,200

98

1,313

ANC

5,820

4,728

3,974

754

1,092

The inspections to be completed/finalised are at various stages of final processing and once fully completed, will advance to payment stage. In the event that any issues arise as part of the inspection process, officials in my Department will be in contact with the applicant.

My Department continues to finalise the outcome of Remote Sensing inspections on a daily basis to ensure that BPS and ANC Schemes payments due are issued as quickly as possible.

Basic Payment Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (411)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

411. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if land (details supplied) qualifies for the single farm payment as per 2015 guidelines; if so, the maximum area that qualifies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46172/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Deputy has clarified that the background to this query is that an individual is interested in purchasing the above mentioned folio in County Sligo and is inquiring if the land in question is eligible under the Basic Payment Scheme and whether any entitlements have been established on it.

Since this inquiry is from a third party and not from the owner of the folio number, the Department cannot release this information.

Animal Slaughtering Data

Ceisteanna (412)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

412. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the cattle listed in the weekly kill figures each week are just those from Irish herds included in the AIMS database; if it is a mix of native and imported livestock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46179/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The weekly kill figures published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are slaughter figures as provided by all relevant slaughter premises as per the requirements under S.I. No. 254 of 2019 EUROPEAN UNION (CARCASE CLASSIFICATION AND PRICE REPORTING) REGULATIONS 2019.

The reported figures include the total number of animals slaughtered (of any provenance) and have the following subcategorisations by grade: Steers, Cows, Heifers, young Bulls and mature Bulls. There is no requirement under the Regulation to categorise whether the livestock were imported or not.

Animal Slaughtering Data

Ceisteanna (413, 414, 415)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

413. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of steers aged between 20 and 36 months by month according to the AIMS database in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46180/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

414. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of bulls aged between 12 and 24 months by month according to the AIMS database in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46181/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

415. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of beef-breed heifers aged between 20 and 36 months by month according to the AIMS database in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46182/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 413 to 415, inclusive, together.

Detailed information in six monthly age categories for the beef herd and the dairy herd is extracted from the AIM database. This information is updated on a monthly basis and is available from 2014 up to 1 September 2019. The information on the AIM database for male bovine animals does not distinguish between bulls and steers.

This information on six monthly age categories for the beef herd and the dairy herd is made available on the Department's website at the address below.

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/animalidentificationmovement/cattle/bovinebirthandmovementsmonthlyreports/

Information on the male animals for the categories 18-24 months, 24-30 months and 30-36 months is provided in the Table below.

Table Number of Male Animals at 18-24 months, 24-30 months and 30-36 months

Position at:

18-24 months

24-30 Months

30-36 months

01-October - 2018

499,279

142,822

94,921

01-November - 2018

602,240

92,558

95,210

01-December - 2018

639,030

65,615

85,485

01-January - 2019

636,025

56,166

77,361

01-February -2019

567,016

82,344

63,244

01-March - 2019

408,304

19,7887

49,879

01-April - 2019

269,471

293,286

38,791

01-May - 2019

176,665

344,347

30,687

01-June - 2019

127,840

356,748

25,424

01-July - 2019

104,992

343,026

22,391

01-August - 2019

151,170

296,336

30,841

01-September - 2019

174,014

218,558

68,663

Information on the number of beef breed heifers in the age categories 18 - 24 months, 24 - 30 months and 30 - 36 months are set down in the Table below.

Table Number of Beef Breed Heifers at 18-24 months, 24-30 months and 30-36 months

Position at

18-24 months

24-30 months

30-36 months

01-October - 2018

339,818

135,751

56,909

01-November - 2018

440,723

97,785

75,332

01-December - 2018

481,119

73,192

84,090

01-January - 2019

485,242

63,459

84,745

01-February - 2019

447,945

70,480

75,699

01-March - 2019

374,990

114,685

65,095

01-April - 2019

265,936

187,850

49,188

01-May- 2019

178,014

238,770

34,381

01-June - 2019

130,195

253,337

24,990

01-July - 2019

109,774

242,710

20,558

01-August - 2019

126,582

217,345

23,092

01-September - 2019

211,850

186,009

35,302

Horticulture Sector

Ceisteanna (416)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

416. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the supports he will consider to aid vegetable and potato growers who have not been able to harvest their crops due to recent wet weather. [46187/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I am very aware of the impact the current spell of wet weather is having on the harvesting of vegetable and potato crops, including possible impact on cashflow. At this time of the year, my Department is prioritising payment of a range of supports for the agriculture and horticulture sector.

Advance payments under the Basic Payments Scheme, worth €747 million to 114,500 farmers, have commenced and these provide a vital support for farmers across all sectors and contribute greatly to maximising farm income and cashflow.

In recognition of the specific needs of the horticulture sector, the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector was developed to provide essential support for individual growers within Ireland’s horticulture industry. My Department is prioritising the payment of grant aid to approved applicants and, so far this year, over €3 million has already been paid out to individual growers and it is expected that the full budget of €6 million will be drawn down by the end of 2019.

In further support of the sector, payments under the EU fruit and vegetable producer organisation scheme are currently being processed, with over €4million expected to issue very shortly.

Common Agricultural Policy

Ceisteanna (417)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

417. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the legislative proposals of the European Commission (details supplied) laying down transitional provisions for the current CAP programme to be extended to 2021; the position Ireland is taking on the files at Council level; the EU funding for Ireland in 2020 under Pillar 1 direct payments and Pillar 2 rural development programme in tabular form; the proposed budget allocations for Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, respectively, in 2021 as set out in the legislative files; and the steps he will take to build support with like-minded member states to ensure that proposed budget cuts to direct payments and the rural development programme are reversed in 2021. [46188/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The European Commission has recently published its proposals for transitional measures to allow for continuity between programming periods 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 for CAP payments. This transition process is not unusual, given the typically challenging nature of the budgetary negotiations, which require unanimous agreement. The proposals are detailed and require careful consideration. They will be discussed by Member States over the coming months, and my officials are currently assessing their content.

The draft proposals provide for an additional, transitional year before starting the new CAP. Funding arrangements for transition year 2021 are based on the Commission’s proposals for the new MFF which include proposed reductions in CAP funding. This was also the arrangement implemented during the last transition period leading into the current CAP.

The EU funding for Ireland in 2020 for Pillar 1 Direct Payments and Pillar 2 Rural Development is set out in the EU Regulations for both for the current programming period. Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 for Rural Development sets out the breakdown for the entire programming period including 2020 in Annex 1, with a total amount for Ireland over the period of €2,190,592,153 (€2.19bn) including a figure of €312,570,314 for 2020. The ceilings are an indicative amount for each year. The drawdown may be more or less in any given year as it is dependent on the progress of the Rural Development Programme, but the overall ceiling for the programming period 2014-2020 cannot be exceeded.

In relation to Direct Payments Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, the National Ceiling for Ireland is set out in Annex 2 and provides for €1,211,066,000 (€1.21bn) for the year 2020.

My key focus is to work together with my European colleagues to achieve agreement on the CAP reform proposals and the maintenance of the CAP budget. I have consistently called for the latter at the Agri-fish Council in Brussels. In addition, in Madrid in May 2018, I joined colleagues from France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Finland to sign a Memorandum calling for the maintenance of the CAP budget. And, as recently as the October 2019 Agri-fish Council, I again joined sixteen colleagues across Europe in a declaration seeking to maintain CAP funding.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Ceisteanna (418)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

418. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the research carried out on the effect of ammonia gas on vegetation, soil, habitats and species; if critical levels for habitats of concern such has bogs, coniferous woodland and grassland have been identified; and if so, if same will be expressed in micrograms per cubic metre, for example, 1 ug/m3 for lichens. [46205/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Regarding the impacts of ammonia emissions on vegetation, etc. the Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) is the lead Department in this area. In this respect, I understand that the EPA has supported significant research into the effect of ammonia gas on vegetation, soil, habitats and species. Projects including AmmoniaN2K, Ammonia2 and MapEIre have focused on quantifying and assessing the impact of ammonia emissions from intensive pig and poultry units on Natura 2000 sites in Ireland. Research is ongoing in this area and an upcoming project will seek to build a more comprehensive understanding of the environmental burden (critical loads and critical levels) on the Natura 2000 sites.

As agriculture accounts for 99% of ammonia emissions, my Department’s focus has been on funding research on ammonia emissions through our competitively operated Stimulus research funding programme. Projects have, since 2012, focused primarily on obtaining accurate measurements of the levels of ammonia emitted from agricultural activities while also seeking to introduce measures designed to decrease ammonia loading to the atmosphere.

My Department is committed to working closely with DCCAE to ensure that ammonia emissions are reduced in a cost effective manner so that impacts on air quality and biodiversity are minimised. Given the extent of its contribution, I am acutely aware of the importance of reducing ammonia emissions from the agriculture sector. In this regard, I have recently concluded a consultation process and will shortly launch a code of good practice that will set out our measures to reduce ammonia emissions over the coming years.

Farm Inspections

Ceisteanna (419)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

419. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a further inspection will be carried out in the case of a person (details supplied) regarding cross-compliance issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46223/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Under the Terms and Conditions of the Basic Payment Scheme and other EU-funded schemes, an applicant, as well as meeting the scheme criteria, must also comply with EU regulatory requirements relating to Cross Compliance.

An inspection in respect of Bovine Animal Identification and Registration requirements under Cross Compliance was carried out by my Department on 21st August 2019. This inspection identified a number of breaches of these requirements which resulted in a 5% penalty being applied against the Direct Payments Schemes and other EU-funded schemes, where applicable.

The person named was notified of the inspection findings by means of a formal notification letter on 1st October 2019. A review request has been received and is currently being examined. The person named will be notified directly of the outcome as soon as the review process is completed.

An official from my Department has been in direct contact with the person named regarding this matter and the details supplied by the Deputy have been brought to the attention of the reviewing officer.

If the person named is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, the decision can be appealed to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office, within 3 months.