Noonan, Michael

Tuesday, 17 December 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 473 No. 1

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Order of Business.

Limerick East): It is proposed to take the report from the Select Committee on Legislation and Security on the Criminal Law Bill, 1996; the report from the Select Committee on Finance and General Affa...More Button

Order of Business (Resumed).

(Limerick East): The investigation of an individual crime is a matter for the Garda Síochána. The Leader of the Opposition last week raised this issue with the Taoiseach who recited the full package ...More Button

(Limerick East): Early next year.More Button

(Limerick East): The Bill has approximately 20 heads and will be ready in March or April of 1997.More Button

(Limerick East): The Taoiseach and Tánaiste are in America on important business concerning the European Union and this country and are meeting with the President of the United States. It is ridiculo...More Button

(Limerick East): The Bill is being put through the normal process and a draft has been——More Button

(Limerick East):——circulated to Departments in the usual way. It will be placed before the Government in the near future and will be published early in 1997.More Button

(Limerick East): Legislation is in place to deal with this matter which is being addressed by the appropriate agencies. It is a great cause for concern if children are homeless in Dublin as Christmas...More Button

(Limerick East): As the Deputy is aware, the Freedom of Information Bill which was published yesterday is a step in that direction.More Button

(Limerick East): The Select Committee on Legislation and Security, under the chairmanship of Deputy Flanagan, is examining the wider issue.More Button

(Limerick East): I will be making a full and complete statement in reply to the priority questions tabled by Deputies Geoghegan-Quinn and O'Donnell during Question Time.More Button

(Limerick East): No such proposal has been put forward. As the Deputy is aware, a group is currently examining the Garda Síochána and its wider functions. We will await the group's recommendations b...More Button

(Limerick East): As Deputies who have been in contact with representatives of credit unions are aware, this is a massive undertaking but it is going before Government tomorrow and will be published sh...More Button

(Limerick East): I wish Deputy O'Keeffe a happy Christmas. I am surprised that he did not take the opportunity this year to promote Mitchelstown ham.More Button

(Limerick East): I have not been briefed on that matter but I will ask the Tánaiste's office about it. I believe it may have gone through.More Button

Priority Questions. - HIV Infected Blood.

Was asked: if he will give details of the contacts, if any, he has had with the management of the Blood Transfusion Service Board in relation to the infection of blood with HIV; if he has satisfied himself with ...More Button

Was asked: when he and his Department were made aware of the residual problem relating to HIV infected blood; the reason the Blood Transfusion Service Board did not inform him that, on legal advice in August 199...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 9 and 11 together. As I informed the House on Tuesday, 10 December 1996 in reply to Private Notice Questions, I was made aware of the residual problem ...More Button

(Limerick East): I will arrange with the ushers to have them circulated.More Button

(Limerick East): A number of questions have been raised. In my reply to the House last Tuesday I outlined the number of donors who offered blood to the BTSB who had tested positive for HIV from 1985 ...More Button

(Limerick East): The Deputy had colleagues who were Ministers for Health from 1987 until 1994. There were two repeat donors who tested positive in 1987, there were none in 1988, one in 1989, one in 1...More Button

(Limerick East): I outlined how the new management of the BTSB reviewed the look-back programmes in respect of the 16 individual donors and how a look-back was undertaken to trace infections every tim...More Button

(Limerick East):——and endeavour to ascertain the exact difficulty and the number of people potentially infected so that they may be traced is subject to criticism, it is unfair to dump on it, as some ...More Button

(Limerick East): I like to attend the House to answer questions.More Button

(Limerick East): I told the chief executive officer of the BTSB that he should have informed me in advance of putting procedures in place for the look-back programme, which investigates the residual p...More Button

(Limerick East): The flow of information is stronger and better than it was prior to the time when my predecessor was Minister. As Minister for Health in 1994, he told the House of the position regar...More Button

(Limerick East): No. As I said on Thursday I gave the Deputy the information I had which was effectively an update on what I had given on the Private Notice Question on Tuesday. I said I was not gi...More Button

(Limerick East): The Deputy seems to be a very wise administrator but she always misstates the position. I gave a normal speech on the Estimates debate and I did not deal with HIV or hepatitis C. Wh...More Button

(Limerick East): I also pointed out to both Deputies that in respect of HIV and hepatitis C I did not have the relevant officials with me——More Button

(Limerick East):——but rather the financial officials.More Button

(Limerick East): One cannot bring every official in the Department to an Estimate's debate. I was accompanied by the relevant officials and there was nothing much about these issues in the Estimate. ...More Button

(Limerick East): I had only financial officials.More Button

(Limerick East): I had briefed myself and I gave the full information. Do not make this great pretence. The problem across the House is this.More Button

(Limerick East): I have watched this very carefully for the past ten days. While I was asked various questions, I ask why no Fianna Fáil Deputy, including the spokesperson, and no Progressive Democra...More Button

(Limerick East): I will be back in January.More Button

(Limerick East): We are talking about the manner in which the inquiry will take place because the judge took on a specific task under specific terms of reference and there must be discussions. In my ...More Button

(Limerick East): I am not making excuses.More Button

(Limerick East): I gave the Deputy full information.More Button

(Limerick East): Deputy O'Donnell will always try to misrepresent what I said. When I addressed the House last week I gave the information I had to date on the Private Notice Question. I heard about...More Button

(Limerick East): I was fully briefed and I gave the Deputy the full information. What more does she want?More Button

(Limerick East): I am touchy about people who misrepresent me.More Button

(Limerick East): No.More Button

(Limerick East): The Deputy continues to misrepresent me.More Button

(Limerick East): What I said is that the normal progress of HIV runs its course and there is quite a period between the date of infection and the development of symptoms — normally symptoms develop be...More Button

(Limerick East): Under the look-back programme, the infection has been traced down to ten. A man in his 70s from the north west received one of these issues but he seems to be in full health. He rec...More Button

(Limerick East): Everyone agrees that the work being carried out by the tribunal on hepatitis C is very effective.More Button

(Limerick East): I do not wish to rush in before Christmas and do anything which would disrupt this work, particularly as I have been informed that the interim report will be submitted to me during t...More Button

(Limerick East): I was made aware of the correspondence at some time on Friday afternoon. I understand that the information came from the BTSB. The BTSB was presented with many questions and in repl...More Button

(Limerick East): In reply to the Private Notice Question I outlined the 16 positive donors from 1985 to 1994. I described how look-back programmes were initiated in respect of some of those donors fo...More Button

Other Questions. - Child Abuse.

Was asked: if he intends to abide by the commitment given on 16 September 1996 that a decision would be given in relation to reporting arrangements for cases of child abuse by the end of 1996; and if he will mak...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Insurance.

Was asked: if he has reached a conclusion in relation to whether BUPA's plans infringe community rating principles; and if he has received any notification from the VHI of any impending increases in premia.More Button

Limerick East): BUPA Ireland Ltd. launched schemes of insurance on 19 November 1996. These comprise a community rated indemnity scheme known as the essential scheme and age rated cash plans at four d...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Home Subvention.

Was asked: the total amount paid in subventions for individuals to private nursing homes in respect of qualified people; the number of public long-stay geriatric beds currently available; the proposals, if any, ...More Button

Limerick East): Since the introduction of the Health (Nursing Homes) Act, 1990, on 1 September 1993 to 31 October 1996, 9,731 subventions have been approved. This year, just under £17 million has bee...More Button

Written Answers. - Nuclear Pollution Research.

Was asked: if his Department has had an opportunity to meet Dr. Chris Busby, head of research at the low-level radiation campaign in Wales, with a view to collecting evidence on the health effects of nuclear pol...More Button

Was asked: if he will give financial assistance towards the continuation of research originally commenced by Dr. Patricia Sheehan, prior to her death, into the possible effects of Sellafield and other related no...More Button

Was asked: if he will undertake an offical study into the reported vitamin and enzyme deficiencies in patients in the Dundalk area of County Louth, in view of the suggestion that there is an above average incide...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 15, 21 and 43 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Home Support Schemes.

Was asked: the home support schemes operated by his Department for families with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): Home support services include home helps, home care attendants and personal assistants and are provided both by health boards and voluntary organisations on behalf of the baords. Supp...More Button

Written Answers. - Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Was asked: the number of children using the services at Temple Street children's hospital; the proposals, if any, there are to relocate Temple Street children's hospital; if so, the proposed catchment area of th...More Button

Limerick East): It has been agreed in principle that the Children's Hospital, Temple Street will be relocated on the campus of the Mater Hospital. It has also been accepted that future developments at...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Safety Board.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to put the recently established Food Safety Board on a statutory basis.More Button

Limerick East): The establishment of a new statutory-based Food Safety Board with executive powers was one of the principal recommendations of the interdepartmental group on food safety controls which...More Button

Written Answers. - Children in Care.

Was asked: his views on the inadequacies in the provision of places for children in care.More Button

Limerick East): Since 1993 a substantial programme of investment amounting to £35 million on an annualised basis has been provided for the development of new child care and family support services to ...More Button

Written Answers. - MRSA Statistics.

Was asked: the number of deaths which are estimated to be as a result of methicillin resistant staphlococcus aureus (MRSA) in Ireland since 1990; and the steps, if any, currently being taken by his Department to...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to set up a national surveillance unit to monitor methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).More Button

Was asked: the issues of concern which have been brought to his attention regarding methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); the hospitals which have expressed their concerns in this regard; and if he...More Button

Was asked: if statistics are available regarding the incidence of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Irish hospitals; and if so, whether these statistics include the number of people who have ...More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in our hospitals; the current number of confirmed cases; the number of hospitals involved; the steps, if any, being ta...More Button

Was asked: the Irish hospitals which have recorded methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the hospital or expressed concerns in this regard; the submissions, if any, he has received; and if he wil...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 20, 27, 112, 121, 129 and 149 together. The establishment of a national disease surveillance unit is currently being considered and the faculty of path...More Button

Written Answers. - Physiotherapists' Pay Negotiations.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the last pay review for physiotherapists was 17 years ago; if his attention has further been drawn to the difficulty being experienced by hospitals in ...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the talks, if any, which have taken place with chartered physiotherapists under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work; when a conclusion will be reached on such talks; and if...More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding the status of physiotherapists' pay and negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress, if any, which has been made with his Department on the pay negotiations by chartered physiotherapists under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work; the current status of these discus...More Button

Limerick East): I intend to take Questions Nos. 22, 47, 94 and 103 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Alzheimer Services.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that adequate services are available to Alzheimers patients and their families; the services available to these persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): As the Deputy will be aware, the report, The Years Ahead — A Policy for the Elderly stressed the need to develop a range of services for people with dementia, including Alzheimer's dis...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the progress, if any, made in respect of reducing the waiting lists for cardiac operations; the total number of patients awaiting operations; the progress, if any, made in respect of the tender for th...More Button

Limerick East): The strategy to deal with cardiac surgery waiting lists has been to provide additional facilities and infrastructure within the public hospital service to increase annual activity.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons in County Kerry on waiting lists in all Southern Health Board hospitals as on 31 October, 1996, for hip and knee replacements, dental treatment, including dentures, eye treatment...More Button

Limerick East): The number of persons from County Kerry who were on waiting lists in all Southern Health Board hospitals on 31 October 1996, for hip and knee replacements, dental treatment including d...More Button

Written Answers. - HIV Infected Blood.

Was asked: if he will give an update on the current investigation regarding the tracing of patients in the recent HIV crisis; and his views on whether the hospitals concerned were adequately informed of the grav...More Button

Limerick East): As I informed the House on Tuesday 10 December 1996 in reply to Private Notice Questions, I was made aware of the residual problem relating to HIV infected blood on Monday, 9 December,...More Button

Written Answers. - Women With Disabilities.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that women with disabilities are less likely to be employed, less likely to be in training and more likely to be poor than men with disabilities; and the pl...More Button

Limerick East): The report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, which was published on 18 November, contains a wide range of recommendations concerning the provision of service...More Button

Written Answers. - Communicable Diseases Report.

Was asked: when he intends to publish the advisory group report on communicable diseases screening for medical personnel; the discussions, if any, he has held with the representative organisations in this regard...More Button

Was asked: in view of a recent revelation that a doctor infected with the hepatitis B virus had been working in a Dublin operating theatre, the steps, if any, he is taking to prevent such a recurrence.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 109 together. The advisory group on the transmission of infectious diseases was established with the following terms of reference: “to advise th...More Button

Written Answers. - Galway Hospice Funding.

Was asked: the reason funds were not made available to enable Galway Hospice to open to receive patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): The Deputy will be aware that the question of providing funds for the Galway Hospice is a matter for discussion in the first instance between the Hospice Foundation and the Western Hea...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Treatment/Rehabilitation Facility.

Was asked: if he will consider using one of the Dublin hospital buildings, which will become available when the hospitals relocate to Tallaght, as a major drug treatment and rehabilitation facility.More Button

Limerick East): As the Deputy is aware, the provision of the drug treatment services in Dublin is a matter for the Eastern Health Board in the first instance. In considering locations for drug treatme...More Button

Written Answers. - Irradiated Food.

Was asked: the percentage, if any, of imported foodstuffs which is irradiated before entering Ireland; if he will give details of the different types of food produce which are irradiated before entering Ireland;...More Button

Was asked: the percentage, if any, of imported foodstuffs irradiated before entering Ireland; if he will provide details of the different types of food produce which are irradiated before entering Ireland; and i...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the current situation where the onus is on the producers of irradiated food to label it as such in view of the growing concerns regarding the quality of our foods.More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Treatment Centres.

Was asked: if he will make provision for meaningful treatment of drug addicts in provincial centres in view of the fact that the current facilities seem to be totally inadequate; and if he will examine the case ...More Button

Limerick East): The provision of treatment services for drug misusers is a matter for the regional health boards in the first instance. Apart from the Eastern Health Board area, where there are waiti...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Abuse.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has in relation to the mandatory reporting of child abuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Home Births Report.

Was asked: if he intends to publish the report on home births compiled in respect of the Eastern Health Board by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): This report was conducted under the aegis of the Coombe Women's Hospital and funded by the Department of Health. The study commenced in 1986 and was completed in 1992; it relates to t...More Button

Written Answers. - Deaf People's Allowance.

Was asked: whether he intends introducing any special allowances for deaf people in view of the extra living costs they incur; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): I am aware that people with physical and sensory disabilities, such as deaf people, may incur additional costs as a result of their disability. The Commission on the Status of People w...More Button

Written Answers. - Personal Assistance Services.

Was asked: if he will publish the cost-benefit analysis for personal assistance services which was commissioned as a result of an approach from the Centre for Independent Living; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Limerick East): This study was commissioned by my Department on the advice of the advisory group on personal assistance services for people with physical disabilities to establish the total costs of p...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Levy.

Was asked: the circumstances in which maintenance payments made between separated spouses are subject to health levies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): Payments between separated spouses are liable for the health contribution levy where the payee's income — including the maintenance payment — exceeds £9,750 in the 1996-97 tax year. T...More Button

Written Answers. - HIV Blood Testing.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to introduce unlinked HIV testing of all blood samples in order to provide more reliable data on the level of HIV in the general population as is currently the practice i...More Button

Limerick East): Unlinked anonymous HIV testing programmes are used as a means of confirming that the information produced by voluntary testing is giving a true indication of the prevalence of the dise...More Button

Written Answers. - Private Health Insurance.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the Voluntary Health Insurance Board regarding developments in private health insurance which the board believes could signal the demise of community...More Button

Was asked: the steps, if any, he intends to take in relation to health insurance in view of the fact that the newcomer into the market, BUPA, seems to place the over 55 year old age group at a disadvantage; and ...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 46 together. I am aware of the concerns expressed by the Voluntary Health Insurance Board with regard to community rating in private health insu...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Costs.

Was asked: the average patient cost per day in acute hospitals in each health board area.More Button

Limerick East): My Department is continuing to develop mechanisms for attributing acute hospital costs to the different elements of a hospital's activity. This information is available for 26 of the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Diúltiú Rothaí Speisialta

Was asked: an bhfuil a fhios aige gur dhiúltaigh Bord Sláinte an Iarthair cathaoir rothaí speisialta a chur ar fáil do dhuine (sonrai tugtha) i gContae na Gaillimhe; an ndéanfaidh sé fiosrú faoin gcás; an gcuirf...More Button

Limerick East): Tá sé mar chúram ar an mBórd Sláinte atá i gceist cathaoir rothaí a chur ar fáil do dhuine faoi leith. Dá bhrí sin, tá cheist ón dTeachta curtha faoi bhráid an Phríomh Oifigeach Feidh...More Button

Written Answers. - Marriage Registration.

Was asked: if he will outline the steps he proposes to take to regularise the situation of a couple (details supplied) in County Monaghan.More Button

Limerick East): The administration of the registration system for marriages is primarily a matter for An t-Árd Chláraitheoir (Registrar-General) of Births, Deaths and Marriages and for local registrar...More Button

Written Answers. - Care of Elderly.

Was asked: the number of elderly people from the Republic who are currently in care in Northern Ireland due to shortage of accommodation in institutions and the lack of private nursing homes in the Republic.More Button

Limerick East): It is not possible to quantify the number of elderly people from the Republic who are currently in care in Northern Ireland. However, as the Deputy may be aware, traditionally there h...More Button

Written Answers. - Ambulance Service.

Was asked: the current position in relation to pay parity for the ambulance service to bring it into line with other emergency services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): The report of the review group on the ambulance service was published in November 1993. The group, in their report, stated that the ambulance service is an emergency service similar t...More Button

Written Answers. - Home Help Scheme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the taxation of the home help scheme operated by health boards may create problems for the scheme as a whole; the steps, if any, he intends to take to ...More Button

Limerick East): Full-time home help, who account for approximately 1 per cent of those involved in the home help scheme, are permanent, pensionable employees of health boards and as such are paid the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Accommodation for the Elderly.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the level of co-ordination between local authorities and health boards regarding accommodation for the elderly; the plans, if any, he has for a more integrated approac...More Button

Limerick East): Accommodation for the elderly is a matter, in the first instance, for my colleague, the Minister for the Environment.More Button

Written Answers. - Dialysis Facilities.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to ensure that the Midland Health Board provides dialysis facilities for kidney patients in the midlands; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): I have been advised by the Midland Health Board that at present 15 patients from the Midland Health Board area are undergoing hospital dialysis. The needs of these patients are served...More Button

Written Answers. - Hepatitis B Immunisation.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to introduce the immunisation guidelines for Ireland in relation to hepatitis B, issued by the special immunisation committee headed by Professor J. Stephen Doyle, which prop...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has for the introduction of a vaccination campaign aimed at protecting children against hepatitis B in view of recent events and in accordance with the universal directive fr...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 110 together. Since 1988 it has been Department of Health policy that all health care staff who have regular contact with blood and other body f...More Button

Written Answers. - Epilepsy Funding.

Was asked: the incidence of epilepsy in the population; the level of funding for research and support services by each health board area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): Brainwave, the Irish Epilepsy Association, estimates that about 20,000 people in Ireland with epilepsy require treatment. The amount of funding approved by health boards in 1996 for Br...More Button

Written Answers. - Killarney (Kerry) Hospital.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, before his Department for the disposal by the Southern Health Board of St. Finan's Hospital, Killarney, County Kerry; if so, if such proposals indicate the approximate month and...More Button

Limerick East): The Southern Health Board is responsible for the delivery of health services, including mental health services, in County Kerry. I am informed by the board that the development of men...More Button

Written Answers. - National Training and Development Institute.

Was asked: if funding will be provided to the National Training and Development Institute to provide facilities for people in long-term sheltered work activation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to address the worsening problem of people with disabilities who are long-term unemployed.More Button

Was asked: if he will guarantee the basic rights of disabled people by offering broader and more challenging work within training centres.More Button

Was asked: if the £10 training allowance received by trainees at the National Training and Development Institute can be index-linked and increased to a realistic level.More Button

Was asked: if he has a policy on the National Training and Development Institute; and if so, if this policy is being adhered to by the institute.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to answer Questions Nos. 55, 88, 116, 142 and 143 together. The report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, which was published on 18 November, contai...More Button

Written Answers. - Wheelchair Accessible Transport.

Was asked: the steps, if any, he has taken to comply with the proposals by the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities which has drawn to his attention the fact that at least 80 per cent of all tran...More Button

Was asked: the guarantees, if any, he can offer people with disabilities in accordance with stated wishes expressed in A Strategy for Equality that 80 per cent of all transport and transport services be wheelcha...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 89 together. The Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities report, A Strategy for Equality, states that “at least 80 per cent of all ...More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Handicap Services.

Was asked: the steps, if any, he proposes to take to ensure an adequate level of service for the mentally handicapped in the Limerick area.More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will give details of the Government's strategy for tackling hospital waiting lists which have increased by 32 per cent since the current Administration came into office; and his targets for redu...More Button

Limerick East): Considerable progress has been made in reducing waiting lists for hospital treatment and the Government remains committed to the objective of further reducing waiting lists. The total...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called to have a brace fitted with the Western Health Board.More Button

Limerick East): As the provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board, I have asked the chief executive officer of th...More Button

Written Answers. - Missing Medical Details.

Was asked: the way in which a crucial file of an anti-D mother (details supplied) in County Meath went missing in St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, at the end of June 1996; the information, if any, currently avail...More Button

Was asked: the reason an anti-D mother (details supplied) in County Meath who was tested in late 1994 by the Blood Transfusion Service Board was not told that her test was positive until she made a phone call to...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 96 together. I have informed by the Blood Transfusion Service Board that the person concerned was tested on 2 March 1994 under the national bloo...More Button

Written Answers. - Hearing Aids.

Was asked: whether in the ear hearing aids are currently covered under the entitlements of medical card holders.More Button

Limerick East): Persons with medical cards are provided with hearing aids by the National Rehabilitation Board on behalf of health boards. To date, the aids provided have been the behind the ear type...More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Handicap Services.

Was asked: the number of mentally handicapped persons in each county in the Western Health Board area who are on a waiting list for either a day care or a residential service; the proposals, if any, there are in...More Button

Written Answers. - Dental Service.

Was asked: his views on the cancellation of three out of five dental appointments between 1 July 1996 and 2 December 1996 due to the non-availability of a dental nurse in respect of a child (details supplied) in...More Button

Limerick East): The provisions of dental treatment services to eligible persons in the Dublin 3 area is the statutory responsibility of the Eastern Health Board. I have been advised by the board that ...More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Handicap Services.

Was asked: if he will make provision for a fund for an organisation (details supplied) in County Laois which is working with mentally handicapped persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): The provision of financial assistance to voluntary organisations providing services to persons with a mental handicap and their families in the midland region is a matter in the first ...More Button

Written Answers. - Home Help Services.

Was asked: the steps, if any, he has taken or intends to take to ensure that payment to home help personnel is standardised throughout the eight health board areas in view of the fact that the present wide range...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to standardise the rate of home help pay; the future plans, if any, he has to improve the rate of pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 162 together. The issue of payment for part-time home helps has been raised on a number of occasions in the recent past. In response to previo...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Service Entitlements.

Was asked: whether a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny is qualified for hospital cover.More Button

Limerick East): Entitlement to public health services in Ireland is primarily based on residence and means and is not related to payment of PRSI.More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: the number of children awaiting orthodontic procedures in County Donegal; the cost of reducing the waiting list; and the proposals, if any, he has to address this problem.More Button

Limerick East): The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in County Donegal is the statutory responsibility of the North-Western Health Board. I have been advised by the board that t...More Button

Written Answers. - Waterford Respite Care Centre.

Was asked: the reason for the failure to support the establishment of a respite care centre in Waterford; the alternative provisions, if any, which are being made for such services in the Waterford area; and if ...More Button

Written Answers. - Long-Term Illness Scheme.

Was asked: the criteria and decision process involved in deciding long-term illnesses and disabilities; if he will include rheumatic arthritis as a long-term illness; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

Limerick East): Long-term illnesses for the purpose of the long-term illness scheme are specified by statutory instruments. The long-term illness scheme entitles persons who suffer from certain illne...More Button

Written Answers. - Oral Contraceptive Risks.

Was asked: the risks associated with oral contraceptives; if he will compare such risks to health risks associated with pregnancy; if his attention has been drawn to studies or research in this area; and if he w...More Button

Limerick East): It is known that there is a possibility of thromboembolism associated with the use of all oral contraceptives and that the risk can be higher in patients with predisposing factors. Th...More Button

Written Answers. - Cot Deaths.

Was asked: the number of cot deaths recorded in 1996; the total number of cot deaths recorded in each of the years 1994 and 1995; and the new revelations, if any, which have been brought to his attention regardi...More Button

Limerick East): According to the national sudden infant death register, which is maintained by the Irish Sudden Infant Death Association, the total number of deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Service Vacancies.

Was asked: the total number of personnel vacancies currently in the health services due to budgetary restrictions; if he will give a breakdown in respect of each health board area; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Limerick East): As I recently explained to the Deputy, current personnel policy for the health services provides that health agencies which are managing resources within allocation may fill non-consul...More Button

Written Answers. - National Lottery Funding.

Was asked: the total amount of national lottery money received to date by his Department; if he will give details of the allocation of such money to projects; if there are any commitments in regard to future dis...More Button

Limerick East): The total amount of national lottery funding allocated to my Department to date is £200,762,825. Details regarding the amounts allocated to agencies are set out in the following table...More Button

Written Answers. - Support Services for Disabled.

Was asked: his views on the proposals from people with disabilities that support services in a health board's budget should not have to compete with services such as hospital services.More Button

Was asked: if he will agree that support services for people with disabilities in a health board's budget should not have to compete with other services, such as hospital services.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 134 together. In general, the additional resources voted by the Oireachtas for the development of health services must be allocated according t...More Button

Written Answers. - St. Ita's Hospital, Dublin.

Was asked: the guarantees, if any, he can offer the staff and patients at St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane, County Dublin, in relation to the deplorable conditions there; and the plans, if any, he has to close down ...More Button

Limerick East): The Eastern Health Board is responsible for the delivery of health services, including mental health services in Dublin. Acute in-patient beds for those with mental illness in Dublin ...More Button

Written Answers. - Grants Applications.

Was asked: the current position regarding the application submitted by the Western Health Board for grant approval for a new health centre at Ballinfoile, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding the application submitted by the Western Health Board for grant approval for a new health centre at Knocknacarra, Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding the application submitted by the Western Health Board for grant approval for a new health centre at Oranmore, County Galway.More Button

Was asked: the current position regarding the application submitted by the Western Health Board for grant approval for a new health centre at Inishturk, County Galway.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 to 120, inclusive, together. As the Deputy will be aware the provision of health centres in the Galway area is a matter for the Western Health Boar...More Button

Written Answers. - Water Fluoridation.

Was asked: if he can produce any laboratory studies which show that 1.0 parts per million fluoride in drinking water has reduced dental caries.More Button

Was asked: if he can produce any blind or double-blind studies with a human population which prove fluoridation has reduced tooth decay.More Button

Was asked: if he can produce any medical and/or clinical studies which prove the complete safety of water fluoridation for persons who are young, old, well, sick and malnourished.More Button

Was asked: if he will consider establishing an independent and expert committee to investigate fully the history of water fluoridation throughout the world, specifically to examine all the scientific evidence re...More Button

Was asked: his views on the situation whereby fluoridation has been considered and in some cases tried, but rejected in almost all European countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 122, 123, 124, 125 and 126 together. A report of a World Health Organisation expert committee on oral health status and fluoride use states that labora...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Aid.

Was asked: the amount in grant aid which will be made available for a proposed day care centre (details supplied) in County Clare; and when the committee will be notified in this regard.More Button

Limerick East): I understand that the Mid-Western Health Board has received a detailed proposal for a day care centre in Clarecastle from the Clarecastle day care committee. The committee is involved...More Button

Written Answers. - Cancer Statistics.

Was asked: if he will give details of the cancer rates for Cork and Kerry; and if he will give details of the regional variations, if any, in cancer deaths.More Button

Limerick East): Standardised death rates from cancer in each county and county borough for the latest available year, 1992, are set out in the following table. The rates per 1,000 population for Cork...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Diploma.

Was asked: the reason the National Nurse Examination Body (NNEB) diploma in Northern Ireland, dealing with childcare, is not recognised by health boards in the Republic; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Limerick East): Childcare workers in the health service are employed at the following grades trainee houseparent, assistant houseparent and houseparent. The current basic qualification for trainee and...More Button

Written Answers. - Suicide Statistics.

Was asked: the national statistics collected on the incidence and trends of suicides in each of the years from 1985 to 1995.More Button

Limerick East): The number of reported suicides for each of the years 1985 to 1995 by age group and sex is set out in the following table:More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Handicap Services.

Was asked: with regard to the rights of people with a disability as referred to in the reply to Question No. 59 of 6 November 1996 by Deputy Callely, if his attention has been drawn to the totally inadequate fun...More Button

Written Answers. - Healthy Eating Policy.

Was asked: his policy on healthy food eating, the promotion of such healthy eating and the difficulties of such promotions in view of the current crises in the beef and pork industries; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Limerick East): Over the last five years, a nutritional health promotion framework for action has been implemented by my Department to improve the nutritional status of the Irish population and help r...More Button

Written Answers. - BSE Report.

Was asked: whether an article (details supplied) relating to BSE is factually correct.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a report submitted to the chief medical officer of his Department entitled Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - a study of its epidemiology and its relevance to public...More Button

Was asked: the pressure, if any, which was brought to bear on a person (details supplied) to resign from his position due to his public comments on BSE; and whether the individual is barred by the relevant healt...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) had warned that vertical transmission of BSE between cow and calf was likely prior to its acceptance by the scientific community in July 1996; and if this individual's r...More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 135, 136, 137 and 138 together. I am aware that a copy of the material prepared by the individual in question was sent to the chief medical officer of ...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Was asked: the role, if any, his Department can play in granting a medical card to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3, who has been refused a medical card by the Eastern Health Board on appeal; and if he wi...More Button

Limerick East): Under the Health Act, 1970, medical cards are issued to persons who, in the opinion of the chief executive officer of the appropriate health board, are unable, without undue hardship, ...More Button

Written Answers. - Investigation into Death.

Was asked: if his Department has received a complaint from a person (details supplied) in Dublin 18 regarding the circumstances of her husband's death; if so, if the complaint was thoroughly investigated; and th...More Button

Limerick East): Representations have been made to my Department on behalf of a person regarding the circumstances of her husband's death at a Dublin hospital. Inquiries have been made of the hospital...More Button

Written Answers. - Property Sale.

Was asked: the plans, if any, the Eastern Health Board has to sell properties (details supplied) in Dublin 7 to the tenants thereof.More Button

Limerick East): The property refered to by the Deputy, which is owned by the Eastern Health Board, is located at 7 Marine Villas, Grangegorman, Dublin 7, and was formally in use as a staff residence f...More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Handicap Services.

Was asked: if he has put in place a plan of action to help the 1,500 mentally handicapped persons with no day services and the 1,450 who are without residential services.More Button

Was asked: if he will give a commitment to the parents and friends of the handicapped that his five year plan will not be affected by a public sector embargo; whether the attention of his Department has been dra...More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has over the next five years to provide the 1,500 residential places required for those with a mental handicap as per the database in his Department and in view of the plans outl...More Button

Was asked: if he will ensure new funding for 1997 for his five year plan in respect of the much needed 1500 residential places for those with a mental handicap; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Labelling of Foodstuffs.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that under the current Food Labelling Bill, there is no requirement to label genetically engineered food as such.More Button

Limerick East): As the Deputy is aware, the labelling of foodstuffs is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Enterprise and Employment. The Deputy may also be aware that negotiations on...More Button

Written Answers. - Carer Services.

Was asked: whether the rise in spending on the health service by 7 per cent, as stated in the Government Estimates, will go in some way to support carers in the home.More Button

Limerick East): In so far as services for the elderly are concerned, the Estimate agreed for 1997 allows for continuation of such services already in place plus development of initiatives partially be...More Button

Written Answers. - Pesticide Related Illnesses.

Was asked: if he will consider developing a register of illnesses thought to be due to pesticide exposure.More Button

Limerick East): I have no plans at present for such a register.More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Handicap Services.

Was asked: the number of new residential places provided for those with a mental handicap in each of the years 1994 to 1996; the reason there was such a drop in new places provided in 1996 on a national basis; t...More Button

Written Answers. - Psychiatric Patients.

Was asked: the number of patients in psychiatric units; the plans, if any, he has to provide support services within the community for these people; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): The number of patients accommodated in acute psychiatric units and psychiatric hospitals at the end of 1994, the most recent year for which published figures are available, was 5,581.More Button

Written Answers. - Home Help Scheme.

Was asked: the number of families availing of the home help scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to extend the home help service provided to the elderly and disabled.More Button

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 155 and 163 together. Details of the number of families availing of the home help scheme, as on 15 December, 1996 in each of the health boards are set...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim will be called to the Meath Hospital, Dublin 8, to have uro-dynamic studies carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): I have had inquiries made of the Meath Hospital and I have been advised by the hospital that the person referred to by the Deputy is due to be admitted on 6 January 1997 and a letter t...More Button

Written Answers. - Nurse Absenteeism.

Was asked: the level of nurse absenteeism over the past three years.More Button

Limerick East): Under current personnel policy, individual health agencies are responsible for the management of health services, including the employment of staff, and related staff matters. Data in ...More Button

Written Answers. - Foreign Adoptions.

Was asked: whether he accepts that the advice which he received and on the basis of which he refuses to recognise a Paraguayan simple adoption decree is now unreliable, having regard to the preliminary views of ...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Nursing Units.

Was asked: the stage of planning of the proposed nursing units for the elderly at Virginia and Ballyconnell, County Cavan; if funding will be provided for these projects in the 1997 capital budget allocation to ...More Button

Limerick East): The provision of long-stay nursing units in County Cavan is, in the first instance, a matter for the North-Eastern Health Board. The North-Eastern Health Board informs me that both pr...More Button

Written Answers. - Motorised Transport Grant.

Was asked: if he will review the case of a person (details supplied) in County Offaly who applied some time ago for a motorised transport grant.More Button

Limerick East): The assessment of entitlement to a motorised transport grant in any individual case is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, the Deputy's question has been referred to t...More Button

Written Answers. - Home Help Scheme.

Was asked: the number of persons employed as home helps in each health board area; the rate of pay per hour in each health board area; and the maximum number of hours allowed each week for home help.More Button

Limerick East): The salary scale for full-time home helps with effect from 1 October 1996 is in the range of £205.92 — £218.01 per week. This is the same rate as applies in the health services group ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the action, if any, he proposes to take on the long waiting list for artificial limb fittings in the Cork area.More Button

Limerick East): This is one of the services which has been examined by the Review Group on Services for People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities. The report of the review group will be published ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the difficulties being experienced by general practitioners in the Southern Health Board area in referring patients to alcohol and drug treatment centres.More Button

Limerick East): The Southern Health Board is responsible for the delivery of health services, including mental health services, in its functional area. The report of the study group on the developmen...More Button

Written Answers. - Community Hospitals.

Was asked: his response to the plans for community hospitals submitted by the Southern Health Board.More Button

Limerick East): As the Deputy is aware, the development of community hospitals in the Southern Health Board region is, in the first instance, the responsibility of the board. I have received a copy o...More Button

Written Answers. - Indicative Drug Target Saving Scheme.

Was asked: the savings recorded in the different health board areas under the 50/50 cashback scheme of drug savings.More Button

Limerick East): The indicative drug target saving scheme, agreed with the Irish Medical Organisation, has been in operation since 1993. The purpose of this scheme is to encourage rational, safe and c...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will give details of the number of patients awaiting cataract operations; and the action, if any, he proposes to take in this regard.More Button

Limerick East): The total number of patients on the public in-patient waiting list for cataract operations at the end of September 1996 was 1,794. The Deputy will be aware that I have made available ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the additional services, if any, planned for Ennis General Hospital, County Clare; if so, when such services will be put in place; and when additional beds will be provided.More Button

Limerick East): I am aware of the important role which Ennis General Hospital plays in the delivery of hospital services to the people of County Clare and I am committed to further improving these ser...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Care Act.

Was asked: the progress, if any, made in the implementation of the Child Care Act, 1991; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Health of Travelling Community.

Was asked: the progress, if any, made in drawing up a national policy for a health strategy to improve the health status of the traveller community; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Limerick East): The report of the Task Force on the Travelling Community contains a wide range of recommendations for the provision of services, including health services, to the travelling community....More Button


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