Immigration Data

Ceisteanna (116)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to the previous parliamentary questions wherein it was indicated in the case of a person (details supplied) was not identified by the information provided refers to them or another person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48492/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I must again inform the Deputy  that, based on the information provided and after a thorough search of our systems, there is no record to be found of an immigration application from the person referred to.  The Deputy might also note that it is the responsibility of all persons with an immigration permission in the State, or an application for an immigration permission, to ensure that the information provided is kept up to date. Therefore if the person referred to has changed address since the original application or last registration they should advise my Department or their local registration office of their new address.

Should the Deputy obtain updated or revised details from the person, including full name, address and relevant reference or application numbers, I would be happy to advise on the position of the particular case.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Vetting

Ceisteanna (117)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if, in the case of a person (details supplied) who was the subject of legal proceedings overseas in respect of which they were found guilty when they were a student and is now anxious to ascertain the standing of the issue in terms of a criminal record; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The primary purpose of Garda vetting for employment purposes is to support protection for children and vulnerable adults.  It is carried out by the Garda National Vetting Bureau in accordance with the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 and other relevant laws.  Neither I nor my Department has any role in the processing of vetting applications. 

The Garda Vetting Bureau can be contacted as follows

By email:

vetting@garda.ie

By post:

National Vetting Bureau,

Racecourse Road,

Thurles,

Co. Tipperary.

E41 RD60 

The person referred to by the Deputy may wish to contact the vetting office. It is also open to the person in question to seek private legal advice on the matter raised.

Refugee Appeals Tribunal Decisions

Ceisteanna (118)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if, in the case of a person (details supplied) their original appeal to the refugee tribunal on 15 April 2002 was adjudicated upon by a tribunal member that out of approximately 1,500 cases is not known to have awarded refugee or asylum status to anyone, if the decision arising therefrom can now be set aside on the bases of natural justice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48494/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I must inform the Deputy that any international protection applicant who receives an adverse determination or decision from one of the State’s international protection determining bodies may apply to the High Court for a judicial review of that determination or decision within a specified period of time.

The same position applied to determinations or decisions made in 2002 by the refugee status determining bodies of that time i.e. the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. Where a determination or decision was not challenged within the specified timeframe then it remains valid in law and can no longer be challenged, some 17 and a half years later. As a result, I see no basis for having any such decision revisited at this point in time.  

The Deputy might also wish to note that it is open to any person refused a declaration as a refugee to make an application under s.22 of the International Protection Act 2015 for the consent of the Minister to make a subsequent application. Any such application would, however, need to be founded on new elements or findings which have arisen which make it significantly more likely that the relevant person will qualify for international protection and the relevant person was, through no fault of their own, incapable of presenting those elements or findings for the purposes of his or her previous application.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (119)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

119. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of times she has met with insurance companies and Insurance Ireland since 1 January 2016; the date of each meeting; the persons or bodies she met with; the purpose of each meeting in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48295/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I have had no meetings with insurance companies or Insurance Ireland since 2016 and neither had my predecessors. I have officiated at a number of events as has one of my predecessors the details of which are outlined in the following table.

Minister

Date

Location

Purpose

Minister Heather Humphreys

07/10/2019

Liberty Insurance, Dublin Road, Cavan

Photo call with Liberty Insurance (jobs announcement)

Minister Heather Humphreys

16/09/2019

Unit 10&11, Cashel town shopping centre, Cahir Road, Co.Tipperary

Opening of DMS new offices and jobs announcement

Minister Heather Humphreys

03/09/2019

Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Attended Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2019

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor

25/05/2016

Merrion Hall, Strand Road, Sandymount

Announcement of the purchase of OSG Group by Sedwick. (Photocall)

Work Permits Applications

Ceisteanna (120)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if favourable consideration can be given to the issue of a work permit in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48503/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

There does not appear to be a current employment permit application for the named person (details supplied).

An application for an employment permit by the named person will be considered should such an application be made, subject to the application fulfilling all relevant criteria.

In order to apply for an employment permit a non-EEA national must have secured a job offer for an eligible occupation from an Irish registered employer.

Details on how to apply for an employment permit are available on my Department's website at the following link - https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/.

In order to assist with the application process, the Department has produced a suite of information including various checklist documents, a ‘User Guide' to our online application system and a comprehensive FAQ Document which answers the most common queries received regarding employment permits. All this information can be found in the Employment Permit section of my Department’s website at www.dbei.gov.ie.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (121)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

121. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the date, location and purpose of each meeting she as Minister or a Minister of State in her Department attended with insurance companies, insurance brokers or representative bodies in the insurance industry in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48520/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I have not met with insurance companies, insurance brokers or representative bodies in the insurance industry. I have checked with the Ministers of State in my Department and I am advised they have had no such meetings either.

Details of events which I have officiated at are detailed in the following table.

Minister

Date

Location

Purpose

Minister Heather Humphreys

07/10/2019

Liberty Insurance, Dublin Road, Cavan

Photo call with Liberty Insurance (jobs announcement)

Minister Heather Humphreys

16/09/2019

Unit 10&11, Cashel town shopping centre, Cahir Road, Co.Tipperary

Opening of DMS new offices and jobs announcement

Minister Heather Humphreys

03/09/2019

Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Attended Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2019

Labour Market

Ceisteanna (122, 123)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

122. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the percentage of persons in the labour force that have basic or above basic digital skills based on latest OECD business and SME data and other international data sources; the corresponding EU average rate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48521/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

123. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the percentage of persons in employment that that have basic or above basic digital skills based on latest OECD business and SME data and other international data sources; the corresponding EU average rate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48522/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 and 123 together.

The share of the population with basic or above basic digital skills is tracked on an annual basis by EUROSTAT, and the results published in the European Commission's Digital Economy Society Index (DESI).

On the basis of the latest available data, which is for 2017, and which features in the 2019 edition of the DESI, 48% of Ireland's population have at least basic digital skills, which compares with an EU average of 57%- also for 2017. In Ireland's case, this is an increase on 44% in 2016.

28% of Ireland's population meanwhile have above basic digital skills, a figure that also refers to 2017, and which compares to an EU average of 31%. For Ireland this is also an increase on the 2016 level of 25%.

The importance of digital skills to the future of Ireland's workforce is recognised in the Government's Future Jobs Ireland , which aims to help prepare Ireland for the economy of tomorrow. Technological advances and the transition to the low carbon economy present challenges but also numerous opportunities as our businesses and workers learn to operate in a changed economy.

In addition to support from Government to exploit these opportunities, investment by enterprises to innovate is required and our people will also need to learn new skills. The enhancement of digital skills will be core to the vision set out in Future Jobs Ireland , which includes efforts to embrace innovation and technological change and the improvement of SME productivity.

One of the key targets set out in Future Jobs Ireland is to increase the share of the population with basic or above basic digital skills from its 2017 baseline of 48%, to equal or greater than the EU average by 2025. This is complemented by an ambition to double Ireland's lifelong learning rate from a 2017 baseline of 8.9% to 18% by 2025.

The means by which these targets will be realised are set out under pillar 3 of Future Jobs , on enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent- the majority of these initiatives will be progressed by the Department of Education and Skills and its agencies.

These include the development of digital literacy curricula at school level, the implementation of Upskilling Pathways- New Opportunities for Adults, the Skills to Advance and EXPLORE upskilling programmes for lower skilled workers, the expansion of apprenticeship and traineeship offerings, Springboard+ courses in new technologies, Skillnet Ireland training provision in digital skills development and emerging technologies, and the roll out of the new Human Capital Initiative within the Higher Education sector.

These initiatives are in turn being supported through reforms to the National Training Fund, to align it more directly with the changing skills requirements of the Irish labour force.

Other commitments in Future Jobs Ireland 2019 complement these initiatives and recognise the role that employers have in supporting the upskilling of employees. Future Jobs Ireland 2020 will build on these commitments and introduce additional actions which will result in further progress in this area.

Hospital Transfers

Ceisteanna (124)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

124. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be transferred; the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48278/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Mental Health Services

Ceisteanna (125)

James Browne

Ceist:

125. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the development of inpatient capacity for mental health services within the Waterford and Wexford LHO; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48283/19]

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 (126)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

126. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health when a position will be sanctioned in the case of a person (detail supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48293/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (127)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

127. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number of times he has met with insurance companies and Insurance Ireland since 1 January 2016; the date of each meeting; the persons or bodies he met with; the purpose of each meeting in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48304/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As Minister for Health I have oversight and governance responsibilities in relation to the Voluntary Health Insurance Board, the statutory board which does business as Vhi Healthcare. My officials meet quarterly with Vhi senior management as part of governance arrangements under the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2016). My Department also hosts the periodic Health Insurance Consultative Forum, in conjunction with the Health Insurance Authority, to discuss market issues with the health insurers. I am provided with detailed briefing on regulatory and governance matters that arise in these meetings. In addition to this, I have attended the following meetings in the period the Deputy mentioned:

Meetings:

Date of Meeting

Organisation

Purpose of Meeting

28th of September 2016

Vhi

Vhi requested to update the Minister on developments since the company was authorised as a health insurer in 2015

5th of December 2016

Vhi

The Minister met with the Vhi Board to discuss governance and oversight issues

7th of September 2017

Vhi

The Minister met with Vhi to get an update on Vhi’s corporate strategy

Hospital Equipment

Ceisteanna (128)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

128. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the paediatric bone densitometry scanner at Temple Street Children's University Hospital is open and sufficiently staffed; the regularity with which it is operational weekly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48317/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Children's Health Ireland to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

General Practitioner Services Provision

Ceisteanna (129)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

129. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if the general practitioner contract for a practice (details supplied) in County Kerry will be readvertised; if the practice will be kept open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48320/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for it to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (130)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

130. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited. [48332/19]

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 Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (131, 132)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

131. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the average waiting time for patients to receive cardiac rehabilitation in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48334/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

132. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the number of patients on the waiting list for cardiac rehabilitation in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48335/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 and 132 together.

In relation to the particular queries raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Pharmacy Services

Ceisteanna (133)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

133. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding pharmacy fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48340/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Minster for Health I recognise the significant role community pharmacists play in the delivery of patient care and the potential for this role to be developed further in the context of health service reform and modernisation.

The regulations governing the current pharmacy fee structure were made under section 9 of the FEMPI Act 2009 and are set to expire at the end of 2019. Under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, these regulations must be replaced on 1 January 2020 to maintain a statutory basis for contractor payments and to prescribe the fees payable from that date. The fees to be set are determined by the Minister for Health, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

In keeping with my obligations under Section 43 of the 2017 Act, Department of Health officials have begun a process of consultation with the IPU, as the representative body, prior to the introduction of new fee regulations. My officials have met with an IPU delegation on two occasions and a detailed submission was received from the IPU on 8 November.

That submission is currently being considered by my Department in the context of the statutory fee-setting process as referred to.

General Practitioner Services Provision

Ceisteanna (134)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

134. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48341/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE is committed to the provision of high-quality GP services through the GMS GP contract. Appointments in respect of new or vacant GMS posts are made through open competition following advertisement and competitive interview. Periodically, challenges can be experienced in regard to the permanent filling of some GP posts. In areas where this challenge is experienced, every effort is made by local HSE management to ensure the provision of GP services to all GMS patients.

The HSE has repeatedly advertised the GMS list of 380 patients in an effort to put in place a permanent GP to serve the practice. However, the financial viability of a practice of this size is a challenge for GPs and it has not been possible to find a replacement.

As a result of this, the HSE wrote to the GMS patients served by this practice in early November 2019 advising them that the practice would close in December 2019 and providing them with information on how to find an alternative GP.

In light of the community reaction to this announcement, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare held a meeting with the local community and public representatives on Monday November 18 to listen to local concerns and to discuss any possible additional measures that could be taken to attract a GP to the GMS contract in Milltown. Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has also postponed the closure of the practice to early 2020 to provide time to the local community to work on possible additional measures.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (135)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

135. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the reduction in available service hours at a centre (details supplied) for persons with an intellectual disability; if sufficient funds will be provided to ensure full service is supplied to clients of the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48351/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

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