Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (252)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

252. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if holders of the stamp 4S permission will be regarded as non-compliant with the conditions of the permission if they avail of a national childcare scheme subsidy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49146/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In 2018, my Department launched a Scheme that was open to non-EEA nationals who held a student permission in the State during the period 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2010. This scheme applied to non-EEA persons who commenced their presence in the State lawfully under a student permission with a limited right to work and who maintained that lawful presence for at least two years.

The scheme permits qualifying persons to remain in the State with a right to work for 2 years on Stamp 4S conditions. After two years, if a person had adhered to the terms of their permission they may be granted a permission to reside in the State for a further year under Stamp 4 conditions.

My Department stopped accepting applications under this scheme on 20 January, 2019.

One of the criteria of this scheme was that the applicant must be able to support themselves without recourse to State funds and be tax compliant.

The access provided to holders of a Stamp 4 to the Irish employment market and the tangible benefits enjoyed by holders of this status are an acknowledgement by the State that, over time, those who migrate to Ireland contribute increasingly to society and the economy and have earned this status and the stability it brings.

A person with a stamp 4 permission can:

- Take up employment and are not required to hold an Employment Permit.

- They can work in a profession, subject to conditions of the relevant professional or other bodies.

- They can establish and operate a business.

- They may access state funds and services as determined by Government departments or agencies.

If a person wishes to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of their immigration permission, they must apply to renew their permission and registration before they expire.

A decision to grant childcare support to a Stamp 4 holder is made by the Government Departments and agencies who administer the childcare support scheme and will be determined by those agencies. If a person with a Stamp 4S permission is approved for the subsidy, this will not negatively impact the requirement under the Student Scheme that the applicant must be able to support themselves without recourse to State funds.

Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (253)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

253. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the details of supports that are in place for businesses and community groups in the Border region to prepare for the impact of Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48537/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department and its agencies have put in place extensive supports, schemes and advisory resources to ensure that businesses nationwide are prepared for Brexit. While we cannot yet know the form that Brexit will take, these measures aim to assist businesses in identifying key risk areas and practical preparatory actions regardless of the circumstances of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

InterTradeIreland’s [ITI] Brexit Advisory Service provides a focal point for SMEs working to navigate any changes in cross-border trading relationships arising as a result of Brexit. As part of this service, ITI has organised a series of awareness-raising events focused on improving knowledge of customs processes and procedures and identifying actions that can be taken in areas such as logistics and supply chain management. As of 8 November, more than 5,300 SMEs have directly engaged with the Brexit Advisory Service this year.

ITI’s Brexit Planning Voucher aims to enable businesses to seek professional advice on how best to plan and prepare for Brexit. This support helps businesses obtain advice on specific areas such as tariffs, currency management, and regulatory and customs issues. Vouchers are worth up to €2,250 (inclusive of VAT) each. To 8 November, 2,054 applications have been submitted for the Voucher, 1,747 of which have been approved.

ITI has also launched a further financial support in the form of the Brexit Implementation Voucher, which offers financial support up to £5,000/€5,625 (inclusive of VAT), with InterTradeIreland paying 50% towards implementing critical changes in relation to Brexit matters. As of 8 November, there have been 54 applications, of which 40 have been approved.

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the first-stop-shop for anyone seeking guidance and support on starting or growing their business, including businesses in the border counties. The LEOs have organised various events to enable companies to learn about the potential impacts and opportunities of Brexit. As of 8 November, 1,198 LEO clients have received one-to-one mentoring solely focused on Brexit. Since February, the LEOs have also been offering customs training workshops to support businesses trading with third countries in advance of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. To 8 November this year, there have been 1,456 training participants.

The LEOs also engage in a number of other schemes to help businesses prepare for Brexit. The Technical Assistance Grant for Micro Export is offered as an incentive for LEO clients to explore and develop new market opportunities. As of 8th November, 800 LEO clients have been approved assistance under the grant.

In addition, the six LEOs in the Border region are working together with their Northern Ireland counterparts under the EU Co-Innovate Programme.  The aim of Co-Innovate is to give SMEs from the manufacturing and tradable services sectors in the eligible regions the tools and tailored support to help them to innovate, differentiate and compete successfully.  This month, it was announced that over €1 million of R&D funding has been awarded through Co-Innovate.

The Brexit Loan Scheme was launched in March 2018. It provides relatively short-term working capital, up to three years, to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees to help them innovate, change or adapt to mitigate their Brexit challenges. The scheme is open to eligible businesses from all regions of the country, including those in the Border counties. Dublin aside, the most recent quarterly report shows that the border region is the most active region in terms of eligibility applications for the scheme. As of 18 November, there have been 892 eligibility applications received, of which 804 have been approved and 212 loans progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €46.6 million. It should be noted that 159 of total applications received relate to repeat/duplicate applications, as eligibility expires after six months.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme opened for eligibility applications in April 2019. This scheme provides a longer-term facility, 8-10 years, of up to €300m to support strategic capital investment for a post-Brexit environment at competitive rates. This scheme has been jointly funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to make available loans of €100,000 (€50,000 for primary agriculture) to €3 million, with loans of under €500,000 being provided on an unsecured basis.  The scheme is open to eligible Irish businesses, including those in the primary agriculture and seafood sectors, to support strategic, long-term investment in a post-Brexit environment.  As of 18 November, there have been 2,031 eligibility applications received, of which 1,925 have been approved and 595 loans progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €122.5 million.

Enterprise Ireland [EI] has established a Prepare for Brexit online portal and communications campaign, as well as an online “Brexit SME Scorecard” to help Irish businesses self-asses their exposure to Brexit and a “Be Prepared Grant” to support SME clients in planning to mitigate risks arising from Brexit.  It has also launched a new Eurozone Strategy to help SMEs broaden their export footprint beyond the UK.

EI’s Customs Insights course helps businesses looking at customs for the first time to understand the key customs concepts, documentation and processes. The course advises on the key actions companies can take to prepare for Brexit and highlights the various supports available. To 8 November, there have been 1,916 Customs Insights Course participants.

In quarter one of this year, I launched nine new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020, including Plans for the North East and the North West. These Plans build on the very strong progress made on employment creation under the Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017. The new Plans will ensure that regional stakeholders continue to work together to help achieve the Government’s 2020 targets for regional employment taking account of new and emerging opportunities and challenges, including Brexit.

In order to help build enterprise capability, under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) Enterprise Ireland invested in seven successful projects in the Border region with a total funding allocation of more than €10.6 million. This funding will help drive enterprise development and job creation in the Border Region. Enterprise Ireland will continue to engage with its clients to ensure they have the supports required to prepare for any kind of Brexit scenario.

In June, at a visit to the recently opened Cavan Digital Hub, I announced that a further €45 million is to be made available under a new third call of the REDF. The closing date for submission of eligible projects under this latest call was 25 September 2019. On 20 October 2019 an Evaluation Panel comprised of representatives from EI, my Department and other public and private bodies began to evaluate eligible projects. The evaluation of eligible projects has now been completed and the selected projects by the Evaluation panel will be recommended for funding to EI’s Investment Committee/Board for approval and I intend making an announcement on the successful projects before the end of the year.

My Department and I have also participated in the whole-of-Government 'Getting Ireland Brexit Ready' public information campaign. This campaign features workshop events throughout the country, aimed primarily at the businesses and people most impacted by Brexit, including events in Monaghan and Donegal. In addition to these events, Enterprise Ireland has rolled out a series of Brexit Advisory Clinics to help businesses across the country, including events in Dundalk, Letterkenny and Cootehill. In the last few weeks, the LEOs have held Brexit related events in Monaghan, Drogheda and Cavan.

While I have seen a very positive uptake of the supports available, I am conscious that the lasting uncertainty around the Brexit process may be leading businesses to defer their Brexit preparations.  The UK’s exit from the EU will bring change for Irish businesses and I want businesses, particularly those around the Border counties to know my Department and agencies are here to help.

Work Permits Data

Ceisteanna (254)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

254. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of work permits for a company (details supplied); if the quotas for general employment permits for meat processing operatives will be extended; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48749/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In 2018, at my request, following significant and ongoing engagement with the agri-food sector and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, a review of the emerging labour shortages being experienced in that sector was undertaken resulting in the introduction of a pilot scheme  which provided for operatives for the horticulture, dairy farming and meat processing industries. A quota of 250 employment permits was introduced initially for meat processing operatives. This quota has been increased twice with provision made for a further 500 and 750 bringing the total to 1,500 permits.  As part of the ongoing review of the occupation lists, my Department is currently considering a further business case submitted by meat industry employer representatives for an additional quota for meat processing operatives and is engaging with officials in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in this regard.  I expect recommendations arising from the ongoing review to be presented for my consideration in the coming weeks.

On 9th September 2019, my officials contacted the named company to inform them that the quota of 1,500 permits for Meat Processing Operatives had been exhausted.  My officials explained that the company could withdraw some or all of its six employment permit applications, and apply for a 90% refund of the fees, or the relevant applications could remain in their current position in the processing queue pending the completion of the consideration of the request for a further extension to the quota.  My officials inform me that the named company have, to date, sought a refund for one application.

Insurance Data

Ceisteanna (255)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

255. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of businesses that could not obtain insurance in each year since 2016, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48789/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I can confirm my Department does not collect the type of information sought by the Deputy.  I am also advised that both the Department of Finance, which has policy responsibility for insurance, and the Central Bank of Ireland, which has regulatory responsibility for the insurance sector, do not collect this type of information either.

Money Laundering

Ceisteanna (256)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

256. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation a breakdown (details supplied) of companies that filed with the new Register of Beneficial Ownership that is overseen by the Companies Registration Office by 22 November 2019; if she will consider extending the filing deadline to the end of the calendar year in view of the fact that the register was due to go live on 22 June 2019 but the CRO was unable to accept filings until 29 July 2019 due to technical reasons; and if provision will be made for SMEs that have had to meet this additional administrative burden. [48930/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The objectives of the beneficial ownership provisions being implemented are to strengthen transparency over who ultimately owns and controls companies and trusts to effectively detect, disrupt and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 110 of 2019) were made by the Minister for Finance and provide that the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies (RBO) is the central repository of such information held by companies and industrial and provident societies. While the CRO homepage provides a link to the RBO, the RBO is a separate website and a statutorily separate Register from the Companies Registration Office. Obligations under S.I. No. 110 of 2019 on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing are legally separate to company law requirements under the Companies Act 2014.

The numbers filing increased steadily throughout last week as the deadline of November 22 approached. As of November 22 2019 126,060 companies had successfully registered beneficial ownership details. This represents 55% of the total. There are many thousands of submissions currently at processing stage and the RBO expect the numbers registered to increase further. Further breakdown by size of company is not available at this time. The focus of the RBO staff is on processing the many thousands of submissions already received.

While I am sympathetic to the challenges being faced by small and micro enterprises in meeting their filing obligations, companies and industrial and provident societies have been legally obligated to be in possession of much of the information required for central filing since November 2016. The RBO was very concerned to ensure that relevant entities were aware of their obligations to file with the Register and undertook an extensive Public Awareness Campaign, in the period leading up to and around the opening of the Register on 29 July and in the period leading up to and around the deadline date.

Due to technical difficulties with the RBO portal on the evening of November 22, I understand some companies and industrial and provident societies may have been unable to file Beneficial Ownership details for a period of time. Any submissions filed with the RBO by midnight on November 25 will be treated by the RBO as having been received on time.

With regard to companies and industrial and provident societies that have missed the deadline for filing, I expect a practical and proportionate approach will be taken by the Registrar on a case by case basis to deal with those particular circumstances where companies and industrial and provident societies who have attempted to file in time with the RBO may have missed the deadline.

Money Laundering

Ceisteanna (257)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

257. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if her Department has lead responsibility for overseeing the operation of the new Register of Beneficial Ownership; and the meetings she has had to date in 2019 with the Minister for Finance on appointing the new registrar and meeting the requirements of S. I. No.110 of 2019. [48931/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

While S.I. No. 110 of 2019 was made by the Minister for Finance, Regulation 18 provides that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation may, after consultation with the Minister for Finance, appoint a Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies.  Under Regulation 19, the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies shall be maintained by the Registrar and for the purposes of registration in the central register the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation shall maintain and administer an office or offices in the State at such places as the Minister thinks fit.

On 11 July 2019 I wrote to the Minister for Finance notifying him of my intention to appoint a Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies, subject to any observations he may have.  On 16 July 2019 the Minister for Finance provided written response, noting my intention and that he had no further observations to make in this regard.

Officials from my Department have and continue to communicate with officials from the Department of Finance to discuss the operation of the RBO and meeting the requirements of S.I. No. 110 of 2019.  Communication takes place in several ways including e-mail, by telephone and by way of both formal and informal face to face meetings.

HSE Properties

Ceisteanna (258)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

258. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the person or body responsible for the maintenance of ten sheltered housing units (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49020/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Licensing

Ceisteanna (259)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

259. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health if there are regulatory impediments to the growing of hemp here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49118/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under current legislation the Minister for Health can issue a licence for the growing of hemp from seed varieties specified by the Commission of the European Communities, as being eligible for the purposes of Article 1 of Regulation (EU) No. 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 (OJ No. L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 608.).

The HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) administers the hemp licencing process on behalf of the Dept of Health. Further information regarding the hemp licencing process for the above purposes is available from the HPRA at controlleddrugs@hpra.ie.

Health Services

Ceisteanna (260)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

260. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the treatment and community support services available to lymphedema patients in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48542/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (261)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

261. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if an application for additional home help hours for a person (details supplied) will be expedited in view of the medical condition of the person. [48544/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (262)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

262. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be considered for an earlier appointment in Letterkenny University Hospital outpatient clinic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48549/19]

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.

Departmental Reports

Ceisteanna (263)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

263. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if the NTPF report on private healthcare in public hospitals will be made available. [48554/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Earlier this year, I published the Report of the Independent Review Group, which examined private activity in public hospitals.

The present mixed system in our public acute hospitals has evolved over decades, with an undue focus on responding to the needs of certain groups - consultants, private patients, generation of additional non-exchequer revenue by hospitals - over the needs of the broader patient cohort and the public good. Ireland is now an international outlier on private medicine in public hospitals. Other countries with strong public hospital systems do not tolerate the inefficiencies and perverse incentives that arise with having a stream of private patients. The Sláintecare and the de Buitléir reports together present an opportunity to design a public hospital service with a coherent vision, with the patient and the public good at its heart. I have committed to reverting to Government with proposals in this regard over the coming months.

As part of its consideration on the recommendations contained within the report, my officials consulted with the a number of bodies including the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on the implications of the recommendations. The NTPF was asked to consider the impact on capacity and waiting lists. The NTPF has advised my Department waiting times will decrease because of a reordering of queuing and a deprioritisation of private patients and will result in a modest increase in capacity. This work is ongoing and I will revert to Government in due course.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Ceisteanna (264)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

264. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the status of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland Statement of Strategy 2017 to 2019, in particular the key milestones at pages 14 and 15; the status of each milestone noted for 2017 to 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48559/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to an operational matter, I have referred it to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland for attention and direct reply.

National Dementia Strategy Implementation

Ceisteanna (265)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

265. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to ensure that each person diagnosed with dementia has access to a dementia adviser; the counties which do not have a dementia adviser to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48575/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Dementia Adviser Service was established by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) in mid-2014 and has been co-funded by the HSE since 2016. Dementia advisers provide information, advice and support to people with dementia and their families, or anyone concerned about their cognitive health, at all stages of their journey, from diagnosis through to end-of-life. A recent evaluation has shown that people with dementia and their families highly value the services provided.

In recognition of this, the Government has decided to fund an additional ten dementia advisers as part of an expansion of health care delivery in the community in Budget 2020 to deliver on the vision of Sláintecare. This will ensure the provision of enhanced support services for people with dementia.

In relation to the Deputy's specific question about the counties which do not have a dementia adviser, as this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Disability Services Funding

Ceisteanna (266)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

266. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the position regarding funding for a State supported accessible holiday resort (details supplied) in County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48577/19]

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.

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 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.

Emergency Departments Services

Ceisteanna (267)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

267. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health if a private room will be provided in the accident and emergency department of South Tipperary General Hospital in which patients presenting with mental health issues can wait to be seen in the private consultation room (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48578/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (268)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

268. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if a hospital appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); the length of time the person has been waiting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48579/19]

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

Ceisteanna (269)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

269. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for an operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48581/19]

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.

Health Insurance Regulation

Ceisteanna (270)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

270. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the Health Insurance Act 2018; when it will be updated for risk and price equalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48589/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I brought forward the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2019 on 19 November. The Bill will provide for new rates of risk equalisation credits and stamp duty levies on health insurance contracts to apply from 1 April 2020, and is expected to start Second Stage in Dáil Eireann this week.

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (271)

James Browne

Ceist:

271. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the status of the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48599/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (272)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

272. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a date for surgery; the average waiting list time for such surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48603/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (273)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

273. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health if he will provide the necessary resources for the provision of psychology and occupational therapy to a person (details supplied) as recommended by the HSE assessment of needs conducted in April 2019 but not being provided by the service provider (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48605/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (274)

John Brassil

Ceist:

274. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the expenditure by public hospitals on locum pharmacists; the rate of pay paid to locum pharmacists in publicly funded hospitals; if locum agencies are used and the daily and weekly rates paid to those agencies in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48613/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (275)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

275. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the detailed design plans with respect to the upgrading of St Joseph's Community Hospital, Stranorlar, County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48625/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (276)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

276. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the details of the plans to extend the dementia unit at St Joseph's Hospital, Stranorlar, County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48626/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (277)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

277. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the status of plans for the proposed redevelopment of Lifford Community Hospital; his plans for the retention and development of existing health services based in the community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48627/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Treatment Abroad Scheme

Ceisteanna (278)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

278. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a general practitioner can retrospectively sign a referral letter for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal wishing to avail of reimbursement for a procedure provided via the cross border directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48628/19]

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.