Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 23 May 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 519 No. 5

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Written Answers. - Hospital Appointments.

Was asked: when a second rheumatologist will be appointed to Waterford Regional Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will sanction an additional rheumatologist for the population of Carlow-Kilkenny community care area in view of the fact that only one rheumatologist is dealing with patient services in the sout...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 and 180 together. A consultant rheumatologist was appointed by the South Eastern Health Board and took up duty on 1 February 1997. The further development of rheum...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the steps he will take to have a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath admitted to Tullamore General Hospital in view of the fact she is in need of surgery; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Westmeath is the statutory responsibility of the Midland Health Board in the first instance. My Department has asked the chief executiv...More Button

Written Answers. - Pharmacy Licence.

Was asked: the plans he has to uphold the appeals against the decision by the chief executive officer of the Western Health Board not to approve a licence for a community phar macy in Knock, County Mayo; and if ...More Button

The Health (Community Pharmacy Contractor Agreement) Regulations, 1996, specify the criteria to be used by a chief executive officer of a health board when determining applications for community pharm...More Button

Written Answers. - Mobile Phones.

Was asked: the action, if any, he will take following the publication of the Stewart report outlining the dangers of mobile phones and masts to young people; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All significant research in this area is monitored by the Department of Public Enterprise with whom my Department liaises regarding the human health aspects. However, I have asked my Department's chie...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: if he will approve funding to the Western Health Board to provide private orthodontic treatment to children currently on the public orthodontic waiting list on a contract basis; and if he will make a ...More Button

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in the Western Health Board area is the statutory responsibility of that health board. Waiting lists for orthodontic treatment are maintaine...More Button

Was asked: when he will implement the agreed proposals currently with his Department to introduce a national set of criteria for orthodontic assessment in light of the current inequalities there are between vari...More Button

The report on orthodontic services which was made to the chief executive officers of the health boards has been under discussion between my Department and representatives of the chief executive office...More Button

Written Answers. - Vaccination Programme.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to have investigations made into the link between the MMR vaccine with autism and bowel problems in people who were vaccinated with MMR; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

Was asked: if his Department are examining international studies which suggests a link between autism and the MMR vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 174 and 175 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Staff.

Was asked: if he will provide an estimate of the number of nurses who will benefit from his decision to provide £15 million from next year to pay for nurses undertaking degree courses.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the Commission on Nursing has signalled that the future benchmark qualification for entry to the nursing profession will be a degree in nursing studies. There are currently...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be given an appointment for an urgent operation at Tullamore general hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The responsibility for the provision of services in Tullamore general hospital rests with the Midland Health Board. I have, therefore, asked the chief executive officer of the board to investigate thi...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that medical card holders who suffer incontinence are not permitted an adequate supply of pads/nappies to meet their needs under the terms by which the Depa...More Button

The provision of incontinence products to medical card holders is a matter for the relevant health board. If the Deputy has a particular instance in mind where there has been an inadequate supply of i...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Promotion Materials.

Was asked: if videos are available to local youth groups who wish to assemble a library of community accessible drug related videos providing information on opiates and the risks associated with injection techni...More Button

Was asked: if funds are available in his Department to establish a community accessible drug related/health promotion library by a group (details supplied) in Dublin 9.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 178 and 179 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Alternative Medicines.

Was asked: his views on an article (details supplied) regarding the issue of St. John's Wort which was presented to members of the Oireachtas; if he will indicate the view of the Irish Medicines Board in this re...More Button

My views on the article to which the Deputy refers are similar to those of the Irish Medicines Board which is the expert authority in these matters in this country. The article in question was include...More Button

Written Answers. - Personal Assistance Service.

Was asked: the current position in relation to the retention and payment of personal assistants by persons with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when it is proposed to provide a permanent and ongoing system for the payment of personal assistants to enable those with disabilities to achieve a higher quality of life and participate in society an...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 182 and 220 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign.

Was asked: if he has received an application from an organisation (details supplied) seeking grant assistance for its local awareness campaign on breastfeeding; when a decision will be made to assist this group ...More Button

I recently met members of La Leche League of Ireland and agreed to make £6,000 available to it for a national breastfeeding awareness campaign. I have made arrangements with the organisation regarding...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24 can obtain the required keyhole surgery given the fact that this person has to undergo a range of medicines which have difficult side affects; and if he c...More Button

The responsibility for the provision of services at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, incorporating the National Children's Hospital, now rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons on the waiting list for cataract operations in the Western Health Board area on 31 March 2000; the number of cataract operations carried out between January 1999 and June 1999 an...More Button

The provision of services in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer of the board to supply the statistical infor...More Button

Was asked: the waiting time currently being experienced for mammograms in the North Western Health Board area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The mammography service currently provided in the Northern Western Health Board area is for women who are referred to the hospital by their general practitioner based on risk factors identified in the...More Button

Written Answers. - Autism Services.

Was asked: the support available from his Department for a summer camp for the twelve children with autism attending the two special classes at Navan and the five children with autism in the community for whom a...More Button

I understand from the North Eastern Health Board that a proposal for a summer camp in County Meath was jointly developed by the board and the Meath representatives of the North Eastern Autistic Suppor...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the number of people waiting for ENT consultations or surgery at Tallaght hospital; and the plans he has to cut waiting times.More Button

The ENT in-patient waiting list figures for the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, incorporating the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, as at 31 March 2000 are as follows: ENT Waiting List 31st March 2...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Home Subventions.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to increase the subvention for nursing homes; and the further plans, if any, he has to change to means guidelines for nursing home subventions.More Button

Written Answers. - Health Centres.

Was asked: if tenders have been sought for the new Roundstone Health Clinic; the date they were sought; the closing date; the name of the developer; when the building project is due to start and finish; and if h...More Button

I have been advised by the Western Health Board that tenders have not yet been sought in respect of the Roundstone health centre. However, this project will be funded under the national development pl...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the location of the stroke units in the North Eastern Health Board area; if there is access for patients in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The North Eastern Health Board area has a wide range of services available on an out-patient/community basis, but does not have a dedicated stroke service available. Patients are generally accommodate...More Button

Written Answers. - Cancer Treatment Services.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 57 and 69 of 5 April 2000, the current position in relation to the need to provide additional cancer treatment services with particular reference to the needs o...More Button

There has been considerable development in the care and treatment of patients with cancer over the last number of years. Since the launch of the national cancer strategy in November 1996, and the anno...More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to establish a national advisory committee on children and young people; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if it is the intention of the Government to establish an interdepartmental committee on children and young people with a view to co-ordinating a comprehensive, streamlined approach to all matters rela...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 193 and 194 together. An interdepartmental group, at assistant secretary level, is currently preparing a national children's strategy. The strategy will broadly reflec...More Button

Written Answers. - National Lottery Funds.

Was asked: if national lottery funding will be approved for a group (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

My Department received an application for a grant from the 2000 health and children allocation of national lottery funds on the 28 April 2000 from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. The organ...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for orthodontic treatment in view of the fact he has been waiting for some time.More Button

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 that health board ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: when a full reply will issue to Parliamentary Question No. 172 of 18 April 2000 (details supplied) in view of the fact that the earlier reply did not deal with the specific issue; and if he will make ...More Button

I understand that the overall circumstances of the case have been addressed in correspondence to the Deputy from the Western Health Board. In relation to the specific issue of the availability of a be...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Accommodation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, due to bed shortages at Wexford General Hospital, the utilisation of day beds to accommodate in-patients is now the norm; if his attention has further...More Button

The provision of services in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. The Deputy will be aware that a national review of bed capacity is now under way. As part ...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Services.

Was asked: if requests to the Midland Health Board by a carer for dressings, aids and appliances will be responded to positively as in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath who is medically...More Button

The provision of dressings and certain aids and appliances to medical card holders is a matter for the relevant health board. The Midland Health Board has indicated that the person concerned is in rec...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford, who is in severe ill health arising out of an accident and who requires specialist orthopaedic assessment and treatment, can have an earlier appointme...More Button

The provision of medical services in this instance is the responsibility of the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has asked the chief executive officer of the authority to investigate t...More Button

Written Answers. - DPG Scheme.

Was asked: the reasons for the delay in processing an application under the disabled persons grant scheme by a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if, in view of her medical circumstances, he will ex...More Button

The assessment of an application for a grant under the DPG scheme in any individual case is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, the Deputy's question has been referred to the chief ex...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Services.

Was asked: the reasons the parents of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny are expected to pay for DMSA scans in view of the fact that they are medical card holders and not in a position to continue to...More Button

The provision of medical services in this instance is the responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer of the board to investigate the positio...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the location of radiotherapy and chemotherapy units around the country; the plans he has to facilitate the treatment of patients who need radio and or chemotherapy in their own health board region; an...More Button

The national cancer strategy, which was published in November 1996 and followed in March 1997 by a three year action plan for its implementation, identified two principle objectives, to take all measu...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Ownership.

Was asked: the reason for the continuing delay by his Department in completing the agreement with the management of Portiuncula hospital and the Western Health Board; the budget to be provided to the Western Hea...More Button

Discussions are ongoing between my Department, the Western Health Board and the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, as owners of Portiuncula Hospital, in relation to finalising arrangeme...More Button

Written Answers. - Respite Care.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the crisis situation that exists in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Sligo in relation to respite care allowance; if he will intervene on his behalf...More Button

The individual case referred to by the Deputy concerns the eligibility criteria for payment of the respite care grant. Respite care is one of the most important services required by carers. In recogni...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: when HIV screening programmes will be available in Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of HIV services in Sligo is a matter for the North Western Health Board in the first instance. I assume the Deputy is referring to the introduction of the routine antenatal testing progr...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Services.

Was asked: if he will intervene on behalf of a person (details supplied) in County Sligo and provide her with financial assistance for the nasal CPAP system, which she will need to use for the rest of her life, ...More Button

The provision of aids and appliances, including a nasal CPAP system, in any individual case is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, the Deputy's question has been referred to the chief...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 132 and 134 of 11 May 2000 in relation to hospital admission lists and outpatients waiting lists, there are similar statistics available for our EU partners...More Button

I am not aware of the availability of comparative EU statistics for hospital waiting lists. Such comparisons would be difficult to draw in view of differing definitions, criteria for placement on a wa...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Was asked: if there is any appeal system or flexibility for persons who are issued with invoices for hospital stays and are just above the income guidelines for medical cards and cannot pay; the person or body i...More Button

The determination of eligibility for medical cards is the responsibility of the chief executive officer of the appropriate health board. I have, therefore, referred the question to the regional chief ...More Button

Was asked: the facilities or services provided free to parents of young children; if he will introduce free general practitioner or medical cards for all children up to (i) one year and (ii) two years in view of...More Button

Entitlement to health services in Ireland is primarily based on means. Under the Health Act, 1970, determination of eligibility for medical cards is the responsibility of the chief executive officer o...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: if he will clarify the situation with the urology or kidney units in Temple Street and Crumlin Hospitals which are reportedly closing down; his views in this regard; the alternative arrangements being...More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that there are no plans to close down urology or kidney units in Temple Street Hospital and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children. Approval for the appointment of two addit...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Payment Scheme.

Was asked: if he will examine the drugs payment scheme introduced in 1999 in relation to complaints from coeliac sufferers who cannot get many of the gluten free dietary products on the new list which were previ...More Button

The drug payment scheme, with a threshold of £42 per month per individual or family, was introduced on 1 July 1999 and replaced the drug cost subsidisation scheme and drug refund scheme. The primary a...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: if he will approve the application for funding by an organisation (details supplied) in Kilkenny in recognition of the valuable service provided by them to mothers, schools, maternity hospitals and he...More Button

I am not aware of an application for funding being received in my Department from the organisation in question. However, I understand that a request has been made to the South Eastern Health Board by ...More Button

Written Answers. - Ophthalmic Service.

Was asked: the reason for the delay in arranging an eye test for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who is a public patient and has not had her eyes tested for two and a half years; and if he will ex...More Button

As it is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board to provide ophthalmic services to eligible persons in County Kilkenny, I have asked the chief executive of that board to investi...More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway has been left waiting for so long for an appointment at the Mater Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of medical services in this instance is the responsibility of the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has asked the chief executive officer of the authority to investigate ...More Button

Written Answers. - Aids and Appliances.

Was asked: the reasons proper special footwear has not been supplied to a person (details supplied) in County Carlow in view of his ongoing complaints regarding the quality of the product; if he will ensure that...More Button

The provision of aids and appliances, including special footwear, in any individual case is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, the Deputy's question has been referred to the chief ex...More Button

Written Answers. - Pharmacy Licences.

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 159 of 23 February 2000, the report is available from the SEHB; the reasons the chief executive officer has not replied directly as indicated in the reply; th...More Button

The position is that following his reconsideration of the matter as directed by my predecessor, the chief executive officer of the South Eastern Health Board again decided that a definite public healt...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the reason he was unable to detail the hospital waiting lists as at 31 March 2000; if he will now state the hospital waiting lists for the first quarter of 2000 in respect of each hospital and in resp...More Button

The in-patient hospital waiting lists as at 31 March 2000 in the format collected by my Department are on the following tables. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the numbers on waiting lists have...More Button

Written Answers. - ADHD Services.

Was asked: the plans his Department has to put in place a dedicated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder service in each health board area given that parents of sufferers of this disease are stating that the...More Button

Was asked: the stage of the work group that is examining attention deficit hyperactivity disorder within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 221 and 222 together. A working group is currently being established by my Department to review child and adolescent psychiatry and to finalise a plan for the further ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in Tallaght, County Dublin will have his knee operation given that it was postponed in October 1999; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The responsibility for the provision of services at Beaumont Hospital is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority in the first instance. My Department has asked the chief executive officer o...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the proposals regarding the provision of new community welfare offices in Dungarvan, County Waterford in view of the unsuitability and condition of the current premises; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The provision of community welfare offices in Dungarvan is a matter, in the first instance, for the South Eastern Health Board. I have been advised by that board that its proposed upgrading at St. Jos...More Button

Was asked: if he will examine the feasibility of extending the Dunabbey House facility in Dungarvan, County Waterford, to allow patients to be cared for at that location after they lose their mobility.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the provision of services for older people in County Waterford is a matter for the South Eastern Health Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of the South Eastern...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Safety Authority.

Was asked: if he will require the publication of inspection reports on food outlets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In January 1999, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, FSAI, was formally established with a primary function to ensure that food produced, distributed or marketed in Ireland reaches the highest stand...More Button


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