Cowen, Brian

Tuesday, 25 May 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 505 No. 3

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Private Members' Business. - Services for People with Disabilities: Motion.

I move amendment No. 1: To delete all words after “That” and substitute the following:More Button

The Deputy is a past master at that himself.More Button

Written Answers. - Children in Society Study.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the report by Treoir, the Federation of Services for Unmarried Persons and their Children, analysing the case for a longitudinal study of children in Ireland; and if...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether there is an information deficit in relation to children in Irish society; if he will commission a national longitudinal study of children; the plans, if any, he has to provide fun...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 and 184 together. My Department has met Treoir to discuss its proposal. Following this meeting, the views of other Departments were sought to establish the level o...More Button

Written Answers. - Dental Services.

Was asked: when the coverage of dental treatment other than extractions under the general medical services card scheme will be extended to patients other than those in the 16 to 34 years and over 65 years age br...More Button

The dental health action plan provides for the extension of dental treatment to all adults with medical card entitlement on a phased basis under the dental treatment services scheme. Under the first a...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Accommodation.

Was asked: if he will prevent the closure in July of the female surgical ward at St. Luke's hospital, Kilkenny; the reason for this policy; when the decision was reached or debated by the South-Eastern Health Bo...More Button

The management of services at St. Luke's Hospital is a matter for the South-Eastern Health Board in the first instance. I understand from the board that St. Luke's Hospital has been engaged over the p...More Button

Written Answers. - Resource Centres.

Was asked: if his Department has received an application from the South-Eastern Health Board for funding in regard to the provision of a resource centre for Lisdowney community, County Kilkenny; if a decision is...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the provision of services for older people in the Kilkenny area is a matter in the first instance for the South-Eastern Health Board. The board states that it has had disc...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Services.

Was asked: if the case will be examined for persons (details supplied) in Dublin 12 to ensure that they receive adequate assistance in view of the fact that they were offered only £1.50 per month assistance from...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the provision of health services in the Dublin area is a matter for the Eastern Health Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of the board to examine this case an...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Services.

Was asked: if additional speech and language therapy facilities will be provided for the Eastern Health Board, Old County Road District, Crumlin, Dublin 12 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The provision of speech and language therapy services in any individual case is a matter for the relevant health board. The Deputy's question has been referred to the chief executive officer of the Ea...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Education Forum.

Was asked: if he will add a representa tive for registered nurse tutors to the nursing education forum in order that their important professional insights can be brought into play in the deliberations of the for...More Button

The membership of the nursing education forum includes a number of registered nurse tutors. At the request of the Irish Nurses Organisation I extended the terms of reference of the forum in order to r...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Was asked: if individuals who return to work after being in receipt of social welfare or unemployment benefit are entitled to their medical cards for three years after returning to work.More Button

As part of budget 1996, the then Government announced that “persons who have been unemployed for at least one year shall retain their medical cards after entering employment.” Persons on the live reg...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospitals Building Projects.

Was asked: when the casualty unit at Dublin Road, Longford, will be extended; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Midland Health Board have recently conducted a major examination of the existing casualty unit at St. Joseph's hospital, Longford. They have consulted widely with all relevant personnel regarding ...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Services.

Was asked: if he will sanction a speech and language therapist for the senior language unit at St. Joseph's school, Dublin Road, Longford.More Button

The recruitment of speech and language therapists is a matter for the relevant health board, in accordance with employment control ceilings set by my Department. I have asked the chief executive offic...More Button

Written Answers. - Tribunals of Inquiry.

Was asked: the reason for the delay in the establishment of a tribunal of inquiry into the circumstances of infection of people with haemophilia with HIV and hepatitis C.More Button

Was asked: when the tribunal of inquiry into the circumstances of infection of people with haemophilia with HIV and hepatitis C will be established.More Button

Was asked: when the Government will be advised on the establishment of a tribunal of inquiry into the circumstances of infection of people with both HIV and hepatitis C; and the reason the commitment given by hi...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in establishing the promised tribunal of inquiry into the circumstances leading to the infection of people with haemophilia with HIV and hepatitis C; and when this tribunal wi...More Button

Was asked: the status of the final terms of reference for the tribunal on the infection of haemophiliacs with HIV and hepatitis C; the reason for the delay in the publication; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

Was asked: when the Government will establish a tribunal of inquiry into the circumstances of infection of people with haemophilia with HIV and hepatitis C; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 147, 149, 158, 173, 192 and 193 together. At its meeting today, the Government approved the text of a draft order providing for the establishment of a tribunal of inqu...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Aid.

Was asked: when a decision will be made on the request for funding from the La Leche League of Ireland.More Button

My Department has recently received a request for funding from the organisation to which the Deputy refers. The request is being considered at present and a decision will be made shortly. The decision...More Button

Written Answers. - Vaccination Programme.

Was asked: if Trivax batch numbers 3753, 3797 and 3732 which were produced by the Wellcome Foundation were administered in Ireland in the late 1960s and early 1970s; the information, if any, he has received from...More Button

Was asked: if the Trivax three-in-one vaccine batches whose numbers range between 3753 and 3797, produced by the Wellcome Foundation were administered in Ireland in the late 1960s and early 1970s and if he will ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 152 together. My Department has no information as to whether the Trivax vaccine batch numbers referred to by the Deputy were administered in Ireland in the lat...More Button

Was asked: and Children the number of children who had a severe reaction to Trivax three-in-one vaccine, batch numbers 84769, 84657 and 84019, which was administered in the Eastern Health Board area in 1972 and ...More Button

In the time available the Eastern Health Board has not been able to undertake a detailed examination of individual vaccination records for the period concerned. The information available indicates tha...More Button

Written Answers. - Diabetes Incidence.

Was asked: the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: and Children the number of people in each of the past five years diagnosed with diabetes; the plans, if any, he has to investigate the increase in these figures; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to ensure that all individuals diagnosed with diabetes receive counselling and are aware of the back up services which are provided through the health boards; and if he will ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 153 to 155, inclusive, together. The statistical information requested by the Deputy is not available on a routine basis in my Department. I have asked the chief execu...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Services.

Was asked: the average waiting time in each of the health board areas for children to receive speech therapy following initial assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is not routinely gathered by my Department. I have asked the health boards to provide this data and I will communicate further with the Deputy when this becomes av...More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to provide additional resources for speech therapy in the Western Health Board region; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The report of the review group on health and personal social services for people with physical and sensory disabilities, Towards an Independent Future, published in December 1996, sets out the require...More Button

Written Answers. - Voluntary Organisations.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties encountered by organisations which are funded through health boards under section 65 of the Health Act, 1953, specifically in relation to the cost o...More Button

The determinations for 1999 made provision for all the relevant increases in respect of pay and non-pay for the health boards own services and for the agencies directly funded by the boards. Specific...More Button

Written Answers. - Cancer Incidence.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to recent studies in the United States of America which indicate that the incidence of cancer is on the decline; the similar studies, if any, undertaken in this country...More Button

National statistics on the incidence of cancer are collected by the National Cancer Registry which was established in 1991. Reports for 1994 and 1995 show that the numbers of new cases of cancer diagn...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospitals Building Projects.

Was asked: when the next phase of the development programme for Mullingar general hospital will be sanctioned; the target date for completion of all essential works; the reason for the delay; and the regional sp...More Button

Was asked: the number of medical and surgical beds at Mullingar general hospital, County Westmeath; the occupancy rate of those beds for November 1998 to February 1999; his view of whether there was overcrowding...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 171 together. The question of reviewing the brief for the phase 2B development of Longford/Westmeath general hospital and drawing up a programme for carrying o...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Board Staff.

Was asked: the assistance, if any, he can give to a person (details supplied) in County Waterford in relation to her pay from the South-Eastern Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The matter referred to by the Deputy is the responsibility of the employing agency, namely the South-Eastern Health Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of the board to investigate this cas...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Services.

Was asked: the number of children in the Midland Health Board area awaiting assessment and treatment by an orthodontist; the waiting time at each centre for this treatment; and the measures, if any, he is taking...More Button

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in the Midland Health Board area and the maintenance of waiting lists is the statutory responsibility of the board. I have had inquiries made...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the number of patients in County Westmeath awaiting hip replacement operations at Tullamore general hospital; the number who have been on this list for more than three months, six months, nine months,...More Button

Figures collected by my Department relate to numbers of people on in-patient hospital waiting lists rather than to the patient's place of residence. Therefore, it would not be possible to give the Dep...More Button

Written Answers. - Mobility Allowance.

Was asked: if he will review the regulations for the mobility allowance to ensure that a family with two wheelchair bound children can avail of this allowance to help with transport costs; and if he will make a ...More Button

The mobility allowance is a means tested scheme that provides financial support to severely disabled people who are unable to walk or use public transport in order to finance the occasional taxi journ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the current situation in regard to proposed improvements to the maternity and neo-natal facilities at Cork university hospital.More Button

A design team has been appointed for the amalgamation of the maternity unit on the Cork University hospital site. The proposed development will replace the existing facilities for maternity and neo-na...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Services.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be called for orthodontic treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in County Kerry is the statutory responsibility of the Southern Health Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of the board to invest...More Button

Written Answers. - Mobile Phone Hazards.

Was asked: his views on the recent study carried out by the Norwegian Radiation Board and the comments made by a person (details supplied) concerning possible ill effects and health hazards associated with the u...More Button

All significant research in this area is monitored by the Department of Public Enterprise with whom my Department liaises in regard to the human health aspects. Medical officers in my Department keep ...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Services.

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 209 of 18 May 1999, the date when the orthodontic review group report was made available to the health boards and to his Department; if the findings of the re...More Button

The report of the orthodontic review group was prepared on behalf of the chief executive officers of the health boards on the recommendation of my Department. A copy of the report was sent to my Depar...More Button

Written Answers. - General Register Office.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan has to wait eight to ten weeks for the General Registry Office in Joyce House, Lombard Street, Dublin 2, to send her a birth certificate by po...More Button

The administration of the registration system and the operation of the general register office is a matter for An tÁrd Chláraitheoir, the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. An tÁrd Ch...More Button

Written Answers. - Drugs Payment Scheme.

Was asked: when he will introduce the new drugs refund scheme as announced some time ago; if his attention has been drawn to the confusion regarding this scheme; if his attention has further been drawn to the fa...More Button

As previously announced, the new drugs payment scheme will be introduced with effect from 1 July 1999. An explanatory leaflet which incorporates an application form has issued to households throughout...More Button

Written Answers. - Epilepsy Services.

Was asked: his response to a request for resources to have regular clinics around the country for people with epilepsy.More Button

As recommended in the report of the Review Group on Health and Personal Social Services for People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities, Towards an Independent Future, published in December 1996, re...More Button

Written Answers. - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the threatened industrial action by employees of SOS, Callan Road, Kilkenny; if his Department will seek a report from the South-Eastern Health Board in relation to ...More Button

SOS, Callan Road, Kilkenny is a voluntary organisation in receipt of a contribution from the South-Eastern Health Board towards its costs. It is an autonomous body independent of the board in relation...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9, who has been a patient in Beaumont Hospital for the past six weeks, will have his heart by-pass operation carried out; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The determination of in-patient appointments is a matter for the hospital authorities in the first instance and is based on clinical assessment of need. I have asked the chief executive officer of Bea...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Services.

Was asked: the number of speech therapists employed in the Southern Health Board area; the average waiting period for speech therapy; his views on whether the service is satisfactory; and if he will make a state...More Button

There are currently 26.7 whole-time equivalent speech and language therapy posts filled in the Southern Health Board community care service. The waiting period from referral date to the beginning of t...More Button

Written Answers. - Blood Transfusion Service.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by a number of hospitals in the Cork region to the proposed removal of the testing of blood products in the Cork Blood Transfusion Service Boar...More Button

Responsibility for the organisation and manage ment of the national blood transfusion service rests with the Blood Transfusion Service Board. Following the report of the Finlay Tribunal of Inquiry, th...More Button

Written Answers. - Assisted Human Reproduction.

Was asked: the in vitro fertilisation services available to those in the Southern Health Board region who wish to avail of this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In vitro fertilisation is not part of the publicly funded health service and people who avail of the service do so in a private capacity. The service is not available in the Southern Health Board regi...More Button

Written Answers. - Epidural Services.

Was asked: if he will approve the necessary funding to enable the Southern Health Board to employ the required staff to provide a full-time epidural service at Tralee general hospital; and if he will make a stat...More Button

The provision of an epidural service is in the first instance the responsibility of the Southern Health Board. There is currently a limited epidural service available at Tralee general hospital, which...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be called for a hip operation.More Button

The question of admission to Cork University hospital in this instance is the responsibility of the Southern Health Board, I have asked the chief executive officer of the board to investigate the posi...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Payment Scheme.

Was asked: if he has modified the effect of the changes to the drug cost subsidisation scheme; if the changes have had an adverse affect on the ability of many families to pay for necessary medication; if he wil...More Button

With effect from 1 July 1999 the drugs cost subsidisation scheme and the drug refund scheme are being replaced by a new scheme, the drug payment scheme, which contains the best elements of the two exi...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the long delays being experienced by many people in the casualty unit of Tallaght and other hospitals; if he will respond to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11...More Button

The provision of treatment in the case referred to by the Deputy is the responsibility, in the first instance, of the Adelaide and Meath hospital, Dublin, incorporating the National Children's hospita...More Button

Written Answers. - Psychological Assessment.

Was asked: when it is proposed to carry out a psychological assessment by the Southern Health Board on a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if his Department will cover the cost of private assessment...More Button

The provision of health services in County Kerry is a matter, in the first instance, for the Southern Health Board. As it would not be appropriate to provide the information sought by the Deputy in r...More Button

Was asked: the number of children awaiting psychological assessment in the Southern Health Board area; the length of time they have been on the waiting list; the proposals, if any, he has to deal with this serio...More Button

The Southern Health Board maintains separate waiting lists for psychological assessment for children with mental handicap and for children suffering a mental illness. Assessments are carried out by cl...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Admissions Procedures.

Was asked: his views on whether the options available to persons who wish to change their next of kin for the purposes of dealing with matters under the auspices of his Department are adequate; the nature of any...More Button

It would be normal practice for hospitals to invite patients to nominate their next of kin when taking registration details upon admission. In relation to operational procedures in place at an individ...More Button

Written Answers. - Suicide Research Group.

Was asked: the number of meetings and progress made by the suicide research group established in mid 1998.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in my Department. The chairman of the suicide research group has being asked to provide the information and I will contact the Deputy d...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 will not receive an essential appointment before June 2000 in view of the target set that waiting times for children would not exceed six months; the...More Button

Since taking office, I am acutely aware of the importance of reducing waiting lists and waiting times, particularly for children. To this end, my Department has allocated £20 million in 1999 to agenci...More Button

Written Answers. - Resource Officers.

Was asked: the status of the nomination of a resource officer with responsibilities in the broad field of suicide in each of the health board areas.More Button

All health boards have now appointed resource officers. The Eastern Health Board appointed a resource officer in April 1999 on a full-time basis for an initial three year period. The person appointed ...More Button

Written Answers. - Consultant Appointments.

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 197 of 5 May 1999 and in view of the fact that the chief executive officers of each health board and of the voluntary hospitals have failed to date to supply ...More Button

My Department has requested the chief executive officers of the health boards and voluntary hospitals to provide the information requested. However, I am arranging to contact the chief executive offic...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Abuse.

Was asked: if special care and counselling will be extended to persons (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who have been informed that certain family members have been sexually abused; if a medical card will b...More Button

Officials of my Department have been in contact with the South-Eastern Health Board in regard to this case and have been assured that appropriate services have been offered to members of the family. T...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Services.

Was asked: if his Department will devise a system where a neurosurgeon will attend to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis in Sligo rather than have them travel to Dublin for the required consultation or t...More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Sligo is the statutory responsibility of the North-Western Health Board in the first instance. Neurosurgery is a highly specialised pro...More Button


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