Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 3 October 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 523 No. 1

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Written Answers. - Abortion Referendum.

Was asked: when the Government will provide a referendum on abortion; if it will be held prior to June 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to put a referendum to the people on the abortion issue before the end of 2000 or the end of the current Dáil; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 490 and 491 together. Following its publication in September 1999 the Green Paper on abortion was referred by the Government to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the C...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Service.

Was asked: if additional speech therapy hours will be approved for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

The provision of health services, including speech and language therapy services, to persons with physical or sensory disabilities is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, the Deputy's ...More Button

Written Answers. - Accident and Emergency Services.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the treatment of a person (details supplied) in County Galway who visited the accident and emergency unit of University College Hospital, Galway, on 16 June 2000; the re...More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Galway in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive offic...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Card Scheme.

Was asked: the reason potassium tablets are not included in the medical card scheme; if his attention has been drawn to the great anxiety it causes to many elderly people who depend on such tablets; and if he wi...More Button

The Deputy will be pleased to learn that potassium chloride tablets are available under the common list of reimbursable items for the general medical services and the drug payment schemes.More Button

Written Answers. - Third Level Fees.

Was asked: the reason he omitted nurses taking the 1999-2000 nursing degree course from financial help; his views on whether this is a discriminatory procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 12 May 2000, I announced a new initiative under which nurses and midwives wishing to undertake nursing and certain other undergraduate degree courses on a part-time basis will have their fees paid ...More Button

Written Answers. - Cardiac Service.

Was asked: the steps he will take to meet recommendations put forward by a person (details supplied) that wider training of the public in chest compressions and cardio pulmonary resuscitation could help save mor...More Button

The importance of bystander cardio pulmonary resuscitation – CPR – in improving survival in cases of cardiac arrest is well established in the international medical literature. The importance of early...More Button

Written Answers. - Consultant Appointments.

Was asked: the steps he will take to speed up consultant appointments in view of the fact some appointments can take up to two years.More Button

A working group comprising representatives of my Department, Comhairle na nOspidéal and the health boards, has made recommendations to reduce the length of time it takes to fill consultant vacancies. ...More Button

Written Answers. - Palliative Care Services.

Was asked: the public hospitals in which palliative medicine is available.More Button

Was asked: the number of palliative medicine consultants operating in the public health services; and the location of each consultant.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 498 and 500 together. There are currently seven consultants in palliative medicine in the State with three based in the Eastern Regional Health Authority and one each ...More Button

Was asked: if he has received complaints that patients who need a consultant in palliative medicine are often too ill to travel long distances to see one.More Button

I am not aware of any specific complaints of the kind mentioned by the Deputy. There are seven consultants in palliative medicine providing specialist services and a further six consultant posts are c...More Button

Written Answers. - Medicinal Products.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on a recent communication sent by the Irish Medicines Board describing herbal medicine as voodoo medicine; and if he will ask the board to withdraw this statement.More Button

The article to which the Deputy refers was included in an information pack sent by the Irish Medicines Board to Members of the Oireachtas and Irish MEPs. This circulation arose as a consequence of the...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the number of surgical procedures carried out in each of our hospitals; and the number that were public and private in each speciality.More Button

The information requested is being compiled at present by my Department and will be forwarded to the Deputy in the near future.More Button

Written Answers. - Cardiac Services.

Was asked: when his Department received an application from the Southern Health Board for funding towards the pilot scheme for the coronary heart attack Ireland register project due to be launched on 1 January 2...More Button

As part of the implementation of the building healthier hearts strategy I am committed to the commencement of a pilot study of a hospital based heart attack register this year. My Department is repres...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Staffing.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Irish Hospital Consultants' Association stated that stressed out consultants, who have been forced by ill health to retire early, may sue his Depar...More Button

The medical staffing of hospitals is being addressed by the medical manpower forum. This should result in an improvement in hospital staffing. Among the issues being addressed is the reconfiguring of ...More Button

Written Answers. - Emergency Services.

Was asked: the steps that are being taken to provide a helicopter emergency medical service.More Button

Was asked: the progress made in discussions with interested parties relating to the establishment of a helicopter emergency medical service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 505 and 621 together. The provision of an air ambulance service for emergency cases which cannot be safely conveyed by road ambulance is provided by the Air Corps and ...More Button

Written Answers. - Psychiatric Service.

Was asked: the steps he will take in view of comments made in the annual report of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals who criticised the training of psychiatrists as being overly dependent on the British model.More Button

I have noted the concerns expressed by the Inspector of Mental Hospitals in his annual report in relation to the training of psychiatrists. Training in psychiatry in Ireland is supervised by the Irish...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: if he will have investigations made into a situation, as reported in a paper (details supplied) on 4 August 2000, that a newborn baby had to be rushed to Birmingham, England, for emergency surgery due...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware the provision of health and social services in the eastern region is now a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority. I have therefore asked the regional chief execut...More Button

Written Answers. - Death Certificates.

Was asked: the plans he has to alter the format of a death certificate in view of recent comments made by a general practitioner who said that the cause of death given for thousands of people every year may be i...More Button

The administration of the registration system is a matter for An tÁrd Chláitheoir (the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages) and for local registrars who operate under his general directi...More Button

Written Answers. - Blood Transfusion Service.

Was asked: if he is concerned at the recent reports that blood donations have dropped by over 10%; and the steps he will take in this regard.More Button

I am advised that there are sufficient stocks of blood available at the Irish Blood Transfusion Service – IBTS – to meet current hospital requirements. Donations levels have dropped in recent weeks du...More Button

Written Answers. - Communications Masts.

Was asked: the action he is taking to alleviate the suffering of those people whose health is adversely affected by their sensitivity to the electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone masts which operate 24 hou...More Button

Was asked: if he has appointed a panel of medical experts to carry out examinations on the affected electro-hypersensitives here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 510 and 614 together. All significant research in this area is monitored by the Department of Public Enterprise with whom my Department liaises regarding the human hea...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Treatment Service.

Was asked: the measures he is taking to prevent heroin abuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Government policy in relation to heroin misuse aims at reducing the number of people turning to drug misuse in the first instance through information, education and prevention programmes and providing...More Button

Written Answers. - Social Services Inspectorate.

Was asked: the number of inspectors currently working in the social services inspectorate; the date they commenced working; the work undertaken by them to date in 2000; and the work to be undertaken during the n...More Button

The social services inspectorate is headed by an acting director, who was recruited on a temporary secondment from the social services inspectorate in Northern Ireland and commenced work on a part tim...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for a second eye test.More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Schemes.

Was asked: the plans he has to increase the assistance to coeliacs to help them purchase foods for a gluten-free diet.More Button

Under the general medical services scheme certain gluten-free foods are available to medical card holders who are coeliacs. These food items include breads, bread mixes, flours and pizza bases. The dr...More Button

Written Answers. - Care of the Elderly.

Was asked: if he will secure statutory funding towards the operational costs of a nursing unit (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

As the Deputy is aware the provision of services for older people in County Mayo is a matter for the Western Health Board. The facility in question is run by a voluntary group and operational costs ar...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for a hip operation in view of the fact that he has already waited more than two years.More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer ...More Button

Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: the current position with regard to providing a new day resource centre, social housing and respite and enterprise units at a site in Belmullet, County Mayo, secured by the Irish Wheelchair Associatio...More Button

The provision of services to people with physical and sensory disabilities is the responsibility of the health boards in the first instance. Priorities for the allocation of funding available for the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Care of the Elderly.

Was asked: when he will increase the subvention for private nursing homes as the shortfall in the subvention rate causes severe financial hardship to relatives nationwide.More Button

Under the Health (Nursing Homes) Act, 1990, the health boards provide subvention to assist persons in meeting the costs of nursing home care. However, it was never intended that subventions would meet...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for orthodontic treatment.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 t...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called to Merlin Park hospital for a hip operation.More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer ...More Button

Written Answers. - Care of the Elderly.

Was asked: the reason the Western Health Board is insisting that a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has to pay £400 by way of a contribution towards works approved under the special housing aid for the e...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the special housing aid scheme for the elderly is administered by the Western Health Board on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Local Government. I asked the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: if he will arrange for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo to be provided with urgent orthodontic treatment in another health board region as the Western Health Board will not treat her until J...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 t...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for orthodontic treatment.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 t...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for treatment.More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer ...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 on the waiting list for the past four years.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 t...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Staff.

Was asked: the number and categories of staff the hospitals in the Western Health Board area are seeking, on a hospital to hospital basis, giving details of the length of time these requests are awaiting ministe...More Button

Applications for approval of posts received from the Western Health Board which have not been finalised by my Department are outlined in the following table. These posts will be considered in consult...More Button

Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: if an appropriate residential placement was obtained for a person (details supplied) with multiple disabilities.More Button

The provision of services to persons with an intellectual disability and those with autism in the Kilbarrack area is the responsibility of the Eastern Regional Health Authority in the first instance. ...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Trials.

Was asked: if the drug trials (details supplied) were properly licensed; if appropriate documentation was provided; the action that is being taken arising from any breach of the law or regulations; and if he wil...More Button

The trials referred to were licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development under the Animals Remedies Regulations, 1996. All documentation in relation to the conduct of the tria...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the inadequate facilities that exist in the mortuary in Sligo General Hospital for pathologists and staff; when the facility will be upgraded; the amounts of moneys ...More Button

The provision of hospital services in Sligo General Hospital is the statutory responsibility of the North Western Health Board in the first instance. However, I understand from the board that a develo...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the application for funding for the Older Women's Network; when a decision will be made; the amount of moneys allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department received an application for a grant from the 2000 health and children allocation of national lottery funds on 30 June 2000 from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. The organisati...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will intervene on behalf of a person (details supplied) in County Sligo and have her called for her treatment in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, in view of the fact that her condition has deteriora...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 regional chief executive ...More Button

Written Answers. - Staff Recruitment.

Was asked: the recruitment procedure for posts as general practitioner in the primary care unit with the South Eastern Health Board; and if his attention has been drawn to any difficulties relating to the recrui...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties relating to the recruitment of staff (GP) to the primary care unit of the South Eastern Health Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 532 and 533 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the current waiting list for bone graft surgery; the number of such procedures that have been carried out in Croom orthopaedic hospital in 2000 to date; and the number currently awaiting surgery in th...More Button

No national statistics are maintained specifically relating to bone graft waiting lists. The provision of medical services at Croom orthopaedic hospital is the statutory responsibility of the Mid-West...More Button

Written Answers. - Complaints Against Doctors.

Was asked: the changes he intends to make to the Medical Practitioners Act, 1978, to make the Medical Council more responsible and accountable in its dealings with complaints from the public; and if he will make...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether an independent body should deal with complaints from the public in relation to medical practitioners rather than the Medical Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together. The Medical Council is the statutory body established to provide for the registration and control of persons engaged in the practice of medicine ...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Treatment Services.

Was asked: if he will give details of the treatment services available to young persons under 16 years of age who are addicted to drugs.More Button

The provision of drug treatment services for young persons under 16 years of age is a matter for health boards in the first instance. Having consulted with the boards I have obtained the following in...More Button

Written Answers. - Cosmetic Surgery.

Was asked: the departmental controls which exist in relation to cosmetic surgery in view of the fact that the cosmetic surgery market in Ireland has grown by 40% in the past year.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to introduce regulations to govern private cosmetic surgery clinics.More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to establish a licensing system for cosmetic surgery clinics here similar to the system operating in the UK.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 538, 561 and 562 together. The regulation of cosmetic surgery is not provided for by law and there is, therefore, no legislative framework within which I, as Minister ...More Button

Written Answers. - Computerisation Programme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a statement (details supplied); and if he will outline his proposals to deal with the problem identified whereby the lack of data in health care systems is a major p...More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the abstract to a presentation by Professor Miriam Wiley, Health Policy Research Centre, the Economic and Social Research Centre – ESRI – at the 17th international...More Button

Written Answers. - Maternity Services.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on com ments by a person (details supplied) that the caesarean section rate of 19% in this country is a matter of great concern and the views of the World Health Organisati...More Button

I am aware that the caesarean section rate has increased in the maternity hospitals over the past ten years. There is no correct caesarean section rate and very many reasons influence what a hospital'...More Button

Was asked: the number of caesarean sections carried out nationally in each of the years 1990, 1995 to 1999, and to date in 2000.More Button

Was asked: the number of caesarean sections carried out in each of the public hospitals in each of the health board areas in each of the years 1990, 1995 to 1999, and to date in 2000.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 541 and 542 together. The number of caesarean section deliveries in each public hospital by health board for the years 1990, 1995-99 and 2000, to the end of August unl...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the number of advisory groups, study groups and inquiry groups he has set up since coming into office; the terms of reference of each of these groups; and the membership of each.More Button

I have established 11 such groups, the details of which are as follows: 1. The Working Group on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Terms of Reference:– To examine the current state of child and adolesc...More Button

Written Answers. - International Agreements.

Was asked: the proposed international multilateral agreements under the auspices of his Department being negotiated or prepared; the international organisation, if any, in each case through whose machinery the a...More Button

Was asked: the international multilateral agreements under the auspices of his Department which have not been signed by the State; the date and place it was opened for signature in each case; the international o...More Button

Was asked: the international multilateral agreements under the auspices of his Department which have been signed but not ratified or acceded to by the State; the date and place it was opened for signature in eac...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 544 to 546, inclusive, together. There are no international multilateral agreements under the auspices of my Department currently being negotiated or prepared. In rega...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the proposals for legislation being prepared under the auspices of his Department where heads have not yet been approved by the Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the proposals for legislation being prepared under the auspices of his Department where heads have been approved by the Government; the expected date of publication; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 547 and 548 together. Details of legislation being prepared where heads have not been approved are as follows: Ratification of the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Ad...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Statutory Instruments.

Was asked: the proposed statutory instruments being prepared in, or under the auspices of, his Department; the proposed effect of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Statutory instruments are being prepared as follows: To establish a health service accreditation agency. The purpose is to maintain and develop the accreditation scheme for hospitals which is currentl...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Legislation.

Was asked: the Acts or sections or other provisions of Acts under the auspices of his Department or for the commencement of which his Department is responsible which have not com menced by reason of the fact tha...More Button

The following is the information requested by the Deputy. Section 50 (7) of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act, 1998 (No. 29 of 1998) has not yet commenced. My Department has received legal advi...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

Was asked: the directives issued under the treaties establishing the European Communities of which any provision coming under the auspices of his Department has not yet been transposed into law; if in each case ...More Button

The following table sets out the EU directives which are currently outstanding and have yet to be implemented by my Department through regulation or legislation and the steps taken by the European Com...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the committees, boards, companies or other bodies under the auspices of his Department which were established pursuant to statutory instrument; if he will give details of the statutory instrument in e...More Button

Was asked: the committees, boards, companies or other bodies under the auspices of his Department which were established otherwise than pursuant to statute or statutory instrument; if there are any proposals to ...More Button

Was asked: the committees, boards, companies or other bodies under the auspices of his Department which it is proposed to establish; if it is intended that each such body will have a statutory basis; and if he w...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 552 to 554, inclusive, together. The bodies under the auspices of my Department which were established pursuant to statutory instrument are: Comhairle na nOspidéal: S....More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: when the Eastern Regional Health Authority will commence orthodontic treatment for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in Dublin 5 is the statutory responsibility of the Eastern Regional Health Authority I have asked the regional chief executive of the heal...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Doctors.

Was asked: if he has received the plan from the Irish sub-committee of the Association of Anaesthetists of Britain in Ireland dealing with the manpower crisis related to anaesthetists in hospitals here; and the ...More Button

Discussions have taken place with representatives of the Association of Anaesthetists and the College of Anaesthetists in relation to anaesthetist vacancies and it has been agreed that these parties w...More Button

Written Answers. - General Medical Services Scheme.

Was asked: if he has received representations from the Southern Health Board regarding the fact that it accepted that asylum seekers were not being adequately cared for under the GMS; and the steps he has taken ...More Button

I have not received representations from the Southern Health Board that the board accepts that the asylum seekers are not being adequately catered for under the GMS scheme. The Irish Medical Organisat...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will have access to hospital treatment to address a lung problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Responsibility for the provision of hospital services in the eastern region now rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has, therefore, asked the regional chief executive of th...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Homes.

Was asked: the average rate of payment of nursing home subvention per patient covered in each of the health boards; the proportion of persons in receipt of nursing home subvention who receive a payment in excess...More Button

Written Answers. - General Medical Services Scheme.

Was asked: the way in which asylum seekers were being added to GP lists without agreement; if he has had examinations made into the possibility that this would be medico-legally fraught as doctors could be treat...More Button

Asylum seekers are generally eligible for medical cards under the GMS scheme on the same basis as other persons and throughout the country the individual health boards have assisted them in different ...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Service.

Was asked: if he will make funds available to COPE to provide speech therapy classes for special needs pupils for the school.More Button

The provision of health related support services to school going children with special needs in the Cork region is the responsibility of the Southern Health Board in the first instance.More Button

Written Answers. - Cancer Treatment Services.

Was asked: the plans he has in relation to expanding breast cancer services in the north-west region; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have received the report of the sub-group of the National Cancer Forum on the Development of Services for Symptomatic Breast Disease. I have considered this report, and while having taken no final d...More Button

Written Answers. - Suicide Incidence.

Was asked: the current position in relation to the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Considerable progress has been made to date in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the task force on suicide. Central to the report was the provision of a national sui...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospitals Building Programme.

Was asked: the timetable for the redevelopment of James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15; if funding will be provided for the full development as originally planned; and if he will make a st...More Button

The responsibility for the redevelopment of James Connolly Memorial Hospital now rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has therefore asked the regional chief executive of the...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will expedite an appointment for an angiogram/angioplast to Cork University Hospital for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Kerry in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Southern Health Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of the bo...More Button

Written Answers. - Personal Assistance Service.

Was asked: if he has received a submission in relation to recognition and improved allowance for personal assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has received a pre-budget submission in support of an independent living fund; and, if so, if he will respond to or comment on the document.More Button

Was asked: if he will have considerations made into the pre-budget submissions of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will have considerations made into the pre-budget submissions of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm the receipt of a submission from the Independent Living Network organisation; if he will ensure that favourable consideration is given to the submission made to have funding for per...More Button

Was asked: if he has received a submission from the Independent Living Network organisation; if he will ensure that favourable consideration is given to the submission made to have funding for personal assistant...More Button

Was asked: if he will approve funding for the establishment of an independent living fund as proposed by the Independent Living Network; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if, further to a meeting he had with representatives of the Gorey Centre for Independent Living Group (details supplied) in County Wexford on 3 July 2000, he is in a position to increase funding as wa...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 568, 576, 577, 580, 616, 617, 622 and 657 together. The establishment of an independent living fund has been proposed by the Centre for Independent Living as a means o...More Button

Written Answers. - Housing Aid for the Elderly.

Was asked: the reasons for the delay in processing an application under the housing aid for the elderly scheme for persons (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will expedite the application in view of ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the reason for the delay in arranging an appointment with a neurologist for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who is under two years of age and requires corrective surgery as a matter of ...More Button

The provision of medical services to eligible persons in County Kilkenny in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in arranging tests at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who is a public patient and has a serious heart complaint; if a waiting li...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 board to investigate the p...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in providing a bed at Waterford Hospital for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who is in need of urgent surgery or attention to her back; the reason she was relea...More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Kilkenny in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executiv...More Button

Written Answers. - Psychological Service.

Was asked: if he will make all of the assessments undertaken by the psychology department of the South Eastern Health Board in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny available to his mother (...More Button

The provision of services to persons with special needs in the Kilkenny region is the responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board in the first instance. I have forwarded the Deputy's inquiry to t...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the reason for the delay within the SEHB in providing care and medical attention in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow who has very poor eyesight and has a cataract problem; and ...More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Carlow in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive ...More Button

Written Answers. - Inter-Country Adoptions.

Was asked: the reason for the delay in completing the adoption assessment in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who wish to adopt a Russian child (details supplied); if he will arrange for...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is likely to be offered breast surgery in view of the fact that she had been awaiting attention for several years; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

Responsibility for the provision of hospital services in the eastern region now rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has therefore asked the regional chief executive of the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: the number of people currently on orthodontic waiting lists in each health board area; the average waiting time for assessment and initial treatment in each board area; the plans, if any, he has to re...More Button

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons is the statutory responsibility of the health boards. Waiting lists for orthodontic treatment are maintained by the health boards. The most r...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the plans he has to deal with the 65% increase in waiting lists in the James Connolly Hospital as reported in the Medicine Weekly dated 13 September 2000.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to deal with the 10% increase in waiting lists in the Mater Hospital as reported in the Medicine Weekly dated 13 September 2000.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to deal with the 3% increase in waiting lists in Tallaght Hospital as reported in the Medicine Weekly dated 13 September 2000.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to deal with the 54% increase in waiting lists at Beaumont Hospital as reported in the Medicine Weekly dated 13 September 2000.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to deal with the waiting lists in the Dublin region which are increasing at an alarming rate, according to figures released by his Department.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 581 to 585, inclusive, together. The responsibility for the provision of services for the hospitals in the Dublin region is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Au...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in calling a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for an operation.More Button

The provision of medical treatment to eligible persons in County Kilkenny in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executiv...More Button

Written Answers. - Homeless Persons.

Was asked: his views on whether special measures need to be introduced to deal with the 27% to 40% of homeless people who suffer from mental illness; the package of measures he intends to introduce in this regar...More Button

On 2 May last, Deputy Molloy, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government, with special responsibility for housing, launched a Government strategy for the adult homeles...More Button

Written Answers. - Long-Term Illness Scheme.

Was asked: when any illness was last added to the long-term illness card; the year each category was included; the reason he has refused to date to include asthma; if he will now do so; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Prior to 1971 there were inadequate provisions to provide for persons who had large medical expenses. In 1971 the long-term illness scheme was introduced, whereby patients received free drugs and medi...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Homes.

Was asked: the procedures and systems in place for ongoing approval, vetting and inspection of private nursing homes catering mainly for the elderly in view of the numerous complaints concerning high charges, lo...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will give details of the waiting lists for knee replacements and orthopaedic operations; if any special initiative is being financed in this regard; the maximum average waiting time at present; ...More Button

The hospital in-patient waiting list data as at 30 June 2000, the latest date for which figures are available, in the format collected by my Department is as follows:More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Advertising.

Was asked: the amount of the annual health budget of £4.38 billion which is spent on newspaper advertisement for staff vacancies in the area funded by his Department; if his Department's approval is required for...More Button

Arrangements for advertising posts in the health sector is a matter for each individual employing agency. My Department's approval is not required for expenditure relating to such advertisements; the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Correspondence.

Was asked: the procedure, system and resources used in his Department for replying to correspondence from Members of the Oireachtas; the staff numbers involved; if the numbers have been reduced since freedom of ...More Button

I wish to advise Deputy Ahern that the standard practice in my Department for dealing with correspondence received from Members of the Oireachtas is as follows. All correspondence is acknowledged in ...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when domiciliary care allowance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick in view of the fact the person was not aware until early June that she was entitled to an allowance of £3...More Button

The assessment of entitlement to a domiciliary care allowance – DCA – in any individual case is a matter for the relevant health board. The respite care grant is an annual grant of £300 which is inten...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will arrange for the admission of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath for a hip operation at Tullamore General Hospital in view of the fact the operation is urgently required; and if...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. - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the number of children within each health board who have been assessed as in need of care and attention and requiring institutional or foster care; the numbers who are within each health board area cu...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Abuse.

Was asked: the number of children within each health board alleged to be victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect whose family circumstances and situation is currently being assessed;...More Button

Was asked: the numbers of children presently in each health board area who are alleged to be victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect and who are presently awaiting assessment; the num...More Button

Written Answers. - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: the names and addresses of all persons appointed to State bodies, semi-State boards and all other institutions under the aegis of his office during the period 16 December 1994 to 26 June 1997.More Button

I am arranging to have forwarded to the Deputy a list of all those appointed to each board under the aegis of my Department during the period 16 December 1994 to 26 June 1997.More Button

Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: the action he is taking to ensure that young adults suffering from autism and other disabilities have adequate services available to them when they reach the age of 18 in view of the fact that such yo...More Button

The provision of services to persons with an intellectual disability and those with autism is the responsibility of the health boards in the first instance. While new additional services specifically ...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he will arrange to meet with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy concerning forthcoming legislation about statutory regulations for certain allied professions; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

The current position in relation to statutory registration for allied health professionals is that discussions are ongoing with the professional bodies representing 13 professions with the aim of agre...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: if he will have discussions with the Department of Finance with regard to removing the need for public hospitals to pay VAT on materials and services needed to run public hospitals in view of the fact...More Button

Health services, which includes public hospitals, are exempt bodies for the purpose of EU and national VAT law. This means that while such hospitals are required to pay VAT on their purchases, includi...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Health Awareness.

Was asked: if he will carry out a public awareness campaign concerning the dangers associated with the giant hogweed plant, heracleum mantegazzianum, which is growing in areas of north Dublin, particularly in th...More Button

Giant hogweed is a noxious invasive weed widely distributed in Ireland. The plant is most commonly found adjacent to rivers and streams. Contact with the sap from the giant hogweed plant can cause bli...More Button

Written Answers. - Meningococcal Disease.

Was asked: the plans he has to address the sit uation where the number of deaths from meningococcal disease doubled in 1999-2000 compared to 1988-89 and 1997-98.More Button

The number of deaths attributed to bacterial meningitis in each of the years referred to by the Deputy is as follows: More Button

Written Answers. - Maternity Services.

Was asked: the plans he has to introduce a standardised audit of severe maternal morbidity in maternity hospitals and units.More Button

Currently, clinical audit is widely carried out in Irish maternity hospitals and units which have been to the forefront of international practice in this area. However, no standardised internationally...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to implement the recommendations of the faculty of paediatrics at the RCPI; and the implications these recommendations will have for paediatric units in Cork, Limerick and Du...More Button

The report referred to by the Deputy was recently received by my Department and is at present being reviewed in the context of future national paediatric medical manpower need and service provision. I...More Button

Written Answers. - Natural Health Industry.

Was asked: the progress made in establishing a regulatory framework for the natural health industry as requested by its representatives; if the issue regarding St. John's Wort has been resolved to the extent of ...More Button

I, as Minister for Health and Children, have proposed that a joint consultative forum be held by my Department with as many of the representative bodies of the various therapeutic providers of non-con...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Regulatory Bodies.

Was asked: the progress in establishing a proper regulatory body for paramedics and in particular podiatrists and chiropodists; if he has received submissions from national organisations in this regard; and, if ...More Button

Talks are taking place with the professional bodies representing 13 professions with a view to agreeing a system of statutory registration for allied health professionals, formerly known as paramedics...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to increase the allowance for dependent children, both over and under 16 years, who have no income; for parents applying for medical cards; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to increase the income limits for medical cards in view of the fact that many medical card holders who are either in low-paid employment or in part-time employment will l...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 608 and 609 together. Under the Health Act, 1970, determination of eligibility for medical cards is the responsibility of the chief executive officer of the appropriat...More Button

Written Answers. - Palliative Care Services.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to provide an adequate number of hospice beds in the Waterford constituency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to establish a state of the art rehabilitation unit in Waterford Regional Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of medical services in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. I understand from the board that a working group on rehabilitation services has be...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Service.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to recruit additional speech and therapy staff in the Waterford area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of health related support services, including speech and language therapy, to persons with physical and sensory disabilities is the responsibility of the relevant health board. The devel...More Button

Written Answers. - Recognition of Marriage.

Was asked: if he will have arrangements made to have the marriage of persons (details supplied) recognised by the State and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The administration of the registration system is a matter for An tArd Chláraitheoir, the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and for local registrars who operate under his general dire...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to extend the agreement on the pay and conditions of environmental health officers, as provided for in Clause 2 (iii) of Annex 1 of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work...More Button

Circular No. 76/97 issued by this Department in December 1997 specifically relates to the issue of superannuation for public service pensioners and states that public service pensioners who retired be...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will have a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath admitted to Tullamore General Hospital for a hip replacement operation as he is suffering great pain.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

Was asked: if he will have a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath admitted as a matter of urgency for a knee surgery to Longford Westmeath General Hospital as she is suffering great pain.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. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: if he will introduce a scheme whereby grant aid is available to the parents of children where orthodontic treatment is required for these children but is not readily available under the present scheme...More Button

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons is the statutory responsibility of the health boards. Waiting lists for orthodontic treatment are maintained by the health boards. The most r...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the number of people awaiting cataract operations in the Mater Hospital, Dublin 7; the steps which he is taking to ensure that no patient will have to wait longer than 12 months; and when a person (de...More Button

The responsibility for the provision of services at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority in the first instance. My Department has asked the chief exe...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the number of long stay beds which were in the District Hospital and Áras Deirbhla Hospital, Belmullet, County Mayo, for each year over the past five years.More Button

Was asked: if ten additional long stay beds were put in place in the District Hospital Belmullet, County Mayo, in view of the fact that funding was sanctioned for this purpose in 1999.More Button

Was asked: if four additional nursing staff and two paramedical staff were appointed to the District Hospital, Belmullet, County Mayo; and the number of staff members employed at the hospital for the years 1998,...More Button

Written Answers. - Property Purchase.

Was asked: the current progress with regard to the purchase of a property (details supplied) in County Carlow in which the Irish Society for Autism has an interest; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand the property has now been bought by the Office of Public Works on behalf of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will arrange an immediate appointment for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny with Cork Regional Hospital in view of the circumstances (details supplied).More Button

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

Written Answers. - Homeless Children.

Was asked: the number of homeless children in the Dublin area.More Button

Written Answers. - National Strategy for Children.

Was asked: if the children's national strategy consultation is complete; and when the report is to be published.More Button

Written Answers. - Measles Incidence.

Was asked: the numbers of children in the Dublin area who had measles reported in 1999 and 2000; if there is an ongoing epidemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The numbers of cases of measles notified to my Department in respect of the Dublin area are as follows: 1999, 99; 2000, to 30 June, 921. While a breakdown of these figures by age is not available, the...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Treatment Services.

Was asked: the estimated number of heroin addicts in the Dublin area; the number receiving treatment; and the plans to offer more widespread treatment.More Button

Various estimates have been made of the number of opiate misusers in the country. Due to the illicit nature of drug misuse it is difficult to get a clear estimate of the extent of the problem. Estimat...More Button

Written Answers. - Cardiac Services.

Was asked: the reason the Irish rate of premature mortality from coronary heart disease is the highest in the EU; the implications of the HOPE study for treatment in this area; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

In July last year, the Taoiseach, Deputy Bertie Ahern, launched the cardiovascular health strategy group report, Building Healthier Hearts. This report showed that the premature death rate from corona...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the number of inspections carried out in the Cork health board area under the child care regulations in 1999-2000; and the outcome in each area.More Button

Written Answers. - Accident and Emergency Services.

Was asked: the number of assaults, provoked and unprovoked, at casualty departments in each of the health board regions.More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the number of patients who present at casualty departments for care and treatment following injuries sustained as a result of assaults, provoked and unprovoked, on...More Button

Was asked: the support given to casualty departments to computerise their data; if he has satisfied himself with the rate of progress to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recognise the importance of the appropriate use of modern technology to assist in the efficient delivery of health care services. In the last five years my Department has provided approximately £55 ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: the moneys which have been spent on renovations and improvements in St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane, County Dublin; the amount of the £13 million announced in 1997 which has actually been expended; the f...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Eastern Regional Health Authority is responsible for the delivery of services by St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane. The £13 million project referred to by the Deputy relates to ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Water Supply.

Was asked: the current situation with regard to water supply in St. Ita's Hospital in Portrane, County Dublin; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there have been further complaints despite a major ...More Button

The maintenance of St Ita's Hospital is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority. I have, therefore, referred this matter to the regional chief executive of the authority to investigate the...More Button

Written Answers. - Maternity Services.

Was asked: the plans he has to provide ante-natal classes for expectant mothers in Dungarvan, County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of ante-natal care is a matter in the first instance for the health board. All expectant mothers regardless of means are entitled to receive free combined care from both the general prac...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Waterford will have an out-patient appointment in relation to his sinus problem in view of the fact he has been on the waiting list since April 1998; and if ...More Button

The provision of medical treatment for eligible persons in County Waterford in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief execut...More Button

Written Answers. - Cardiac Services.

Was asked: the number of bypass operations carried out in each of the acute hospitals; the number of consultants in these hospitals involved in such procedures; the number of private procedures carried out in ea...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, adult cardiac bypass surgery in the public health sector is carried out at three centres, the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Cork University Hospital and since September...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthopaedic Services.

Was asked: the number of orthopaedic operations carried out in each of the acute hospitals; the number of consultants in these hospitals involved in such procedures; the number of private procedures carried out ...More Button

The table below shows the number orthopaedic procedures performed nationwide in 1999. With regard to the number of consultants involved in these procedures, my Department is endeavouring to compile th...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the number of crèches, nurseries and child minders registered with each health board to date; the numbers estimated to be unregistered; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Cancer Treatment Services.

Was asked: his decision on the report of the National Cancer Forum regarding the retention of the breast cancer unit at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo; if this particular unit will not be diminish...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have received the report of the sub-group of the National Cancer Forum on the development of services for symptomatic breast disease. I have considered this re...More Button

Written Answers. - Dental and Optical Treatment.

Was asked: the number of children who have availed of dental and optical treatment in each health board region; the current waiting lists for each treatment in each health board area; the reason children are not...More Button

The provision of dental and optical services and the monitoring and upkeep of the waiting lists is the statutory responsibility of the health boards. The information relating to the number of children...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: if he will ensure that a person (details supplied) in County Sligo is called for orthodontic treatment in the North Western Health Board area in view of the fact that he has been on the list for a lon...More Button

As the provision of orthodontic treatment for eligible persons in County Sligo is the statutory responsibility of the North Western Health Board, I have asked the chief executive officer of that healt...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Staff.

Was asked: the opportunities that are available to a person (details supplied) in County Sligo to pursue a nursing career based on the information provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The annual competition for places on the nursing registration-diploma programmes is conducted by the Nursing Careers Centre. The principles of equity and parity of treatment for all applicants underpi...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Identity Cover.

Was asked: when he will introduce the scheme of enterprise liability for medical negligence claims; if the proposed scheme will apply to historic liabilities, both notified and unnotified; and if he will make a ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to concerns that have been expressed about the scheme of enterprise liability announced recently and in particular the failure of the proposed scheme to provide for his...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 648 and 650 together. The briefing paper on reforms in the arrangements for the provision of medical indemnity cover for clinical negligence gives 1 July 2001 as a tar...More Button

Was asked: the groups, organisations or individuals he has met to discuss the proposed changes to the indemnification of medical and dental practitioners employed in the public health service; if such consultati...More Button

The briefing paper on proposed changes to the arrangements for the provision of medical indemnity cover was circulated to interested parties in early August. The only organisation I have met to date h...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns that have been expressed by some of the medical defence organisations concerning the impact of the rising costs of litigation of their members, and thei...More Button

I am aware of the concerns expressed by the medical profession at the rising costs associated with litigation against hospitals and doctors. My predecessor and the Attorney General met both medical de...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Home Subventions.

Was asked: if he will ensure the Eastern Regional Health Authority favourably considers an appeal for a nursing home subvention payment at a reasonable rate for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8 who has li...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Manpower Forum.

Was asked: the number of times the Medical Manpower Forum has met; when it last met; when the forum's report will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The then Minister for Health and Children, Deputy Brian Cowen, established the Medical Manpower Forum in May 1998. The forum has met on 12 occasions. The forum has been endeavouring to reach a consens...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for a bone scan on his shoulder in view of the fact that he is in severe pain.More Button

The provision of medical treatment for eligible persons in County Mayo in this instance is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for orthodontic treatment.More Button

As the provision of orthodontic treatment for 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. - Home Help Service.

Was asked: the policy of all the health boards on home help; if a relative can be allowed to be paid as a home help; the exact relations excluded from being a home help; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Written Answers. - Disabled Drivers.

Was asked: if his Department or other bodies under the aegis of his Department act on an agency basis for other Government Departments, such as in the case of examination of applicants under the Disabled Drivers...More Button

The situation regarding this matter is as I outlined in my response to the Deputy's Question No. 283 on 10 May 2000. The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations, 1994, w...More Button


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