Disability Services Data

Ceisteanna (436)

James Browne

Ceist:

436. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of adults with an intellectual disability awaiting residential care in County Wexford; the number of those waiting more than 12, 24, 36 and 48 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50305/19]

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.

HSE Staff Data

Ceisteanna (437)

James Browne

Ceist:

437. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the community dieticians in mental health, disability and primary care by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50306/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Patient Transfers

Ceisteanna (438)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

438. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital bed for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50308/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (439)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

439. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if the home share legislation and regulations drafted by the home share national expert group in 2016 have been considered; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons availing of the service are experiencing inequity in view of the fact that home sharing arrangements do not have the same protections as that of those providing foster care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50309/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The final report of the National Expert Group on 'Home Sharing in Intellectual Disability Services in Ireland' was published by the HSE in October 2016.

I have requested the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy with regard to the recommendations made by the Group.

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (440)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

440. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the number of Bills sponsored by his Department that have been enacted since November 2013, in tabular form. [50321/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Acts sponsored by Minister for Health and enacted since November 2013*

No

Date of Enactment

Title

1

18 December 2013

Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) (No. 2) Act 2013

2

25 December 2013

Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2013

3

24 June 2014

Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014

4

08 July 2014

Health Identifiers Act 2014

5

17 July 2014

Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Act 2014

6

28 July 2014

Health (General Practitioner Service) Act 2014

7

19 November 2014

Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014

8

25 December 2014

Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2014

9

10 March 2015

Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015

10

11 March 2015

Misuse Of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015

11

24 June 2015

Health (General Practitioner Service) Act 2015

12

24 December 2015

Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2015

13

25 December 2015

Mental Health (Amendment) Act 2015

14

26 July 2016

Health (Amendment) Act 2016

15

27 July 2016

Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2016

16

26 December 2016

Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2016

17

16 February 2017

Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017

18

31 March 2017

Health (Amendment) Act 2017

19

16 May 2017

Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Act 2017

20

23 May 2017

Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017

21

09 December 2017

Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Act 2017

22

21 December 2017

Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2017

23

17 July 2018

Health (General Practitioner Service) Act 2018

24

24 July 2018

Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Act 2018

25

18 September 2018

Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Act 2018

26

03 October 2018

Mental Health (Renewal Orders) Act 2018

27

17 October 2018

Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018

28

20 November 2018

Children’s Health Act 2018

29

20 December 2018

Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018

30

24 December 2018

Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2018

31

04 June 2019

Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Act 2019

32

05 June 2019

Health Service Executive (Governance) Act 2019

33

23 July 2019

CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019

34

24 October 2019

Health and Childcare Support (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2019

*Does not include Acts sponsored by other Ministers that include provisions within the remit of the Minister for Health

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (441)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

441. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of Bills (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50328/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I can advise the Deputy of the following in relation to the three pieces of legislation referred to in his question:

1. Children and Family Relationships Act 2015

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 was enacted to modernise family law in a way that is inclusive of and sensitive to the reality of contemporary family life in Ireland and to meet the needs of children living in diverse family types. Parts 2 & 3 of the Act, which are my responsibility as the Minister for Health, are key elements of the Act and are concerned with the rights of children conceived through the use of donor embryos or gametes.

Last month, I signed the Commencement Orders and Regulations for Parts 2 & 3 of the Act and the Regulations will come into effect on 5 May 2020. The Regulations include a declaration of parentage regulation and a certification regulation which for the first time allows the intending mother of a donor-conceived child, i.e. the woman who gives birth to the child, to name their spouse, civil partner or co-habitant as the second parent of the child, subject to the consent of both parties. A parent under this section shall have all parental rights and duties in respect of the child. The donor of a gamete or embryo shall not be a parent of that child and shall have no parental rights or duties in respect of that child.

Overall, the commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will clarify the legal position of all parties involved in donor-assisted human reproduction procedures carried out in the State, but particularly the children born from such procedures.

2. Assisted Human Reproduction Bill

The Government approved the drafting of a bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. This comprehensive piece of legislation encompasses the regulation, for the first time, of a range of practices, including: gamete (sperm or egg) and embryo donation for AHR and research; surrogacy; pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of embryos; posthumous assisted reproduction; and embryo and stem cell research. The General Scheme also provides for an independent regulatory authority for AHR.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health published the report of its review of the General Scheme on 11 July 2019, as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January 2018. The Committee makes 11 main recommendations, which include proposals both related to broad policy objectives and more technical amendments.

The Joint Committee’s report and its recommendations will be considered as part of the ongoing process of drafting the bill in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General.

It is not possible at this time to give a definitive timeline for the completion of the draft Bill and its subsequent passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas, but the Deputy should be aware that I consider the progression of this legislation to be a priority.

3. Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination, and Public Display) Bill

Work is progressing on the drafting of the Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill in collaboration with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme was undertaken by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on 16 October 2019 and the Committee’s report is awaited.

It is envisaged that the drafting process will be completed, and Government approval secured to publish the Bill, by the end of Quarter 1 2020. It is hoped that the Bill will then be progressed through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Home Care Packages Funding

Ceisteanna (442)

John Lahart

Ceist:

442. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the home care budget for 2019 in the CH07 region; the amount that was allocated; the additional funding provided; the estimated spend for the remainder of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50333/19]

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.

Autism Support Services

Ceisteanna (443)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

443. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health if funding for a group (details supplied) will be secured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50334/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Dóchas is an organisation based in Limerick, providing awareness and information for people with autism (ASD) and their families in the Mid-West region of Ireland. They provide advocacy and social supports for children and young people and their parents.

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. The Department of Health does not fund organisations directly while the HSE can only fund organisations for the purpose of providing health services on its behalf.

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

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Ceisteanna (444)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

444. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health if he will provide the HSE review of the north inner Dublin city drugs and alcohol task force. [50336/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (445)

James Browne

Ceist:

445. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if he will consider appointing a patient advocate to the national screening advisory committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50388/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Two 'patient and public' voices have been appointed to the National Screening Advisory Committee.

Following an open call for membership during the course of August and September 2019, a four member selection panel comprising two representatives from the Scottish Screening Advisory Committee, a patient advocate and Professor Niall O'Higgins, Chair of the National Screening Advisory Committee (NSAC) reviewed all applications received. A total of 19 members who reflect a wide variety of expertise and experience were selected and recommended to me for appointment.

The members come from a variety of backgrounds bringing many different areas of expertise including medicine, the law, ethics, health economics, journalism, politics, psychology, patient experience and advocacy.

The NSAC held its inaugural meeting on 18 November 2019 and I am totally satisfied that individually and collectively they will play an important role in the continued evolution of population screening programmes in Ireland.

Alcohol Pricing

Ceisteanna (446)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

446. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when the minimum pricing provisions of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 will be commenced; the reason for the delay in doing so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50400/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The 2013 Government Decision which approved a minimum pricing regime envisaged its introduction in Northern Ireland and in this jurisdiction simultaneously. It is my intention to seek a revised Government Decision so that minimum unit pricing can be implemented as soon as possible in order to address the very significant health harms and financial costs of the way alcohol is currently consumed here.

Home Care Packages Data

Ceisteanna (447)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

447. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the amount provided for home care in counties Galway and Mayo, respectively in 2019; the number of persons in receipt of a home care service; the number of persons on the waiting lists for the service; the average number of hours of home care provided to each recipient each week; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50406/19]

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.

Agriculture Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (448)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

448. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applicants selected for a remote sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area based schemes; the number of inspections in respect of the cases that have taken place; the number finalised and processed to payment stage; and the number of such applicants that have and have not received their 2019 payments in tabular form. [49788/19]

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.

It is important to note that in many cases, the existence of an inspection will not necessarily be delaying payment. In relation to the ANC/Islands Schemes, these schemes are 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 as they have not met scheme-specific criteria. When an applicant meets these criteria, they will become eligible for payment which will be processed promptly. Factors that may impact on payment issuing under BPS/Greening include, for example, applications to transfer entitlements, change in ownership request, etc., and officials in my Department are actively processing such cases.

The table below details the position on Remote Sensing inspections, as of 2nd December, in relation to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Greening Payment and the Areas of Natural Constraints/Areas of Specific Constraints (Islands) Schemes (ANC/Islands).

The balancing payment (15%) under the ANC/Islands Schemes is scheduled to commence from 9th December.

Payments under the Protein Aid Scheme, Young Farmers Scheme and Beef Data and Genomics Programme are scheduled to commence shortly, therefore detailed data in relation to these schemes is not yet available.

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 Finalised

BPS

6,619

6,079

6,008

71

540

Greening

6,619

6,077

5,914

163

542

ANC/Islands

5,823

5,384

4,505

879

439

The inspection cases yet to be finalised are at various stages of final processing and, once fully completed, will then be advanced through payment stage processing promptly.

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

Beef Environmental Efficiency Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (449)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

449. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a person (details supplied) will be included in the beef environmental efficiency pilot 2019 scheme: if their letter of appeal with proof of postage showing that their application was submitted within the timeframe will be considered by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49863/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Applications to participate in the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot were accepted between 4th and 22nd February 2019. As provided for in the Terms and Conditions of the Pilot, any potential participant seeking to establish the timely submission of an application were required to produce an Express Post or Registered Post receipt as proof of postage.

To date, no such documentation has been supplied by the person named.

Harbours and Piers Maintenance

Ceisteanna (450)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

450. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when works will be carried out at a pier (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49868/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of specific piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the Marine Works (Ireland) Act 1902, and piers, lights and beacons constructed under the auspices of the Congested Districts Board.

Cleandra Pier is owned by Cork County Council and responsibility for its maintenance and development rests with that Local Authority in the first instance and its parent Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government thereafter.

As indicated, my legislative remit does not extend to Cleandra Pier, and given that the ownership of, and overall responsibility for Cleandra Pier rests with the County Council, it is the Council who will decide if it wishes to carry out any further development, repair or maintenance.

My Department does however provide limited funding to assist coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways under the annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, subject to available Exchequer funding and overall national priorities.

I have approved funding of €2.2m for the Local Authority element of my Department’s 2019 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. Cork County Council has secured funding to the value of €218,625 for ten projects under this year’s programme. No application for funding in relation to Cleandra Pier was received under this year’s programme.

Should any application be submitted by Cork County Council in relation to Cleandra Pier under any future programme, it will be given due consideration, taking into account the terms and conditions of the scheme, the priority attached by the Council and available funds.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (451)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

451. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if lands belonging to farmers in which the OPW construct temporary roads to transport rock for flood prevention works on river banks will continue to meet the land eligibility requirements for basic payment and area of natural constraints scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49870/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department is required to implement rules regarding land eligibility and cross compliance for the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes, as prescribed in the governing EU regulations.

Roadway construction may impact on farmers’ basic payments either by a change in the area of land being farmed or in breach of cross-compliance requirements.

If the land area eligible for payment is reduced, e.g. by laying down hardcore for a roadway and/or fencing off any area to facilitate the roadway, it may reduce the eligible area. However, where the reduction in the area is short term and temporary in nature e.g. an area temporarily fenced off for a short period to facilitate the OPW works, this will not impact on the eligible area. If, however, the reduction in area is permanent, then the eligible area of the parcel/s will be reduced. Accordingly, this may impact the payment under the Basic Payment Scheme depending on whether the number of eligible hectares is reduced below the number of entitlements available to the farmer. In such a situation, a farmer may acquire additional land to replace the area lost as a result the roadway construction.

There could also be an impact on the basic payment where an inspection determines a breach under the cross-compliance requirements. Where the land involved is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or Special Protected Area (SPA), the roadway may cause a breach of Activities Requiring Consent/Notifiable Actions under Statutory Management Requirements 2 or 3. In order to avoid this situation, the farmer must have prior written permission from NPWS to allow the work. Such permission must include details of the land parcels affected. In this case, permission provided by NPWS to the OPW to cover the works and indicating the land parcels affected is adequate.

A reduction in the eligible area may also impact on other area-based payment schemes operated by the Department, for example, the Area of Natural Constraints, Greening, Young Farmer Scheme, GLAS, and BDGP.

Forestry Management

Ceisteanna (452)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

452. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on a forest aerial fertilisation plan by Coillte in north-east County Clare (details supplied) particularly in relation to spray drift and the possibility of fertiliser entering the water tables via Lough Graney; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49877/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Forestry Act, 2014 provides that the aerial fertilisation of forests requires a licence issued by my Department. My Department places great importance on the careful vetting of all applications for such licences to ensure that their potential impact on the surrounding environment is carefully assessed. Applications for an aerial fertilisation licence must include certain information, and any aerial fertilisation subsequently licensed must adhere to various requirements and to any specific conditions attached to the licence itself.

A licence for the forestry operation named has been received and this application is currently being assessed by my officials.

GLAS Appeals

Ceisteanna (453)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

453. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a GLAS appeal application by a person (details supplied). [49891/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was rejected from the GLAS scheme as a result of the findings of an on-farm inspection. This decision was upheld following a review under the Department's internal review process.

The person named subsequently lodged an appeal with the Agriculture Appeals Office. That office will issue a decision, in writing, directly to the person named when the appeal process has been completed.

Departmental Reports

Ceisteanna (454)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

454. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each year from March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of each report; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [49896/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the attached table contained in the following link.

External Consultant Reports

Agriculture Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (455)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

455. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if basic payment parcels in respect of a farmer (details supplied) in County Kerry will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49914/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2019 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraints Schemes application on 6th April 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 inspection.

A letter detailing the initial inspection findings issued to the person named on 12th November 2019 and comments were received on these on 13th November 2019. These comments are currently being examined by officials in my Department and the person named will be notified of the outcome of this process as soon as possible.

The inspection findings will then be processed to finalisation and any payments due will issue to the nominated bank account of the person named as soon as possible thereafter.