Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 13 November 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 543 No. 5

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Written Answers. - Community Support Services.

Was asked: if he will provide transport for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.More Button

Responsibility for the provision of services in this case rests with the South-Eastern Health Board. My Department has therefore asked the chief executive officer to investigate the matter raised by t...More Button

Written Answers. - Marriage Registration.

Was asked: the location and physical capacity of each authorised location for the conduct of civil marriage; his plans to extend the number of such authorised locations; if he has satisfied himself that there is...More Button

The administration of the system for the registration of marriages is a matter for An t-Árd Chláraitheoir, Registrar General for Births, Deaths and Marriages, and registrars who operate under his gene...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Service.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school for special needs children (details supplied) in County Limerick has been without a speech and language therapist since April of this year; if...More Button

I have been informed by the Mid-Western Health Board that the board is finding it extremely diffi cult to recruit speech and language therapists. With particular reference to the school in question th...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Doctors.

Was asked: if he proposes to give specific directions to the Health Services Employment Agency to implement fully the terms of the non-consultant hospital doctors agreement of 2000 in relation to the calculation...More Button

The Irish Medical Organisation continues to query the interpretation of that part of the NCHD 2000 Agreement which deals with overtime. As I have previously stated, both I and my officials have attemp...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that the Irish Medicines Board has the necessary resources to implement a new EU directive on the quality of human blood products.More Button

In my parliamentary reply to the Deputy on the 23 October 2001, I advised that detailed discussions are taking place at present involving the Irish Medicines Board, IMB, the Irish Blood Transfusion Se...More Button

Written Answers. - Mental Health Services.

Was asked: his plans to draft a new national strategy on the delivery of psychiatric services.More Button

This issue is being considered in the context of the new health strategy currently being prepared.More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Doctors.

Was asked: his views on a statement by a person (details supplied), that it is easier for doctors in voluntary hospitals to raise and pursue issues with more accessible management than doctors in health boards; ...More Button

Best practice in the management of hospitals is an area which must be kept under review to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of service to patients. In this regard, my Department has bee...More Button

Was asked: his views on a recent statement by a person (details supplied) that in the light of the current economic slowdown, the changes to the health care system envisaged by the manpower forum report could ta...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2001, the Government published the report of the medical manpower forum and the report of the joint steering group on the working hours of NCHDs. The Government a...More Button

Written Answers. - Enterprise Liability.

Was asked: his plans to introduce a standard national incident reporting scheme as the backbone of risk management; and if the reported statement of an officer of his Department (details supplied) reflects his v...More Button

The introduction of enterprise liability as the basis for providing indemnity cover for hospitals and doctors provides a unique opportunity to introduce a national system for the collection and analys...More Button

Written Answers. - Vaccination Programme.

Was asked: the vaccination rates of all EU countries for polio.More Button

I am advised by the National Disease Surveillance Centre that polio immunisation uptake rates in Ireland for the years 1998-2001 are as follows: 1998, 84%; 1999, 86%; 2000, 86%; 2001 (to June), 85%. P...More Button

Written Answers. - Eating Disorders.

Was asked: if he has a strategy on eating disorders; and if so, if he will give details of the strategy.More Button

The working group on child and adolescent psychiatry is currently considering a number of issues, including the needs of persons with eating disorders. The working group has received submissions from ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Doctors.

Was asked: if he has received representations from the Irish Hospital Consultants Association or any other medical organisations regarding Comhairle na nOspidéal allegedly acting outside the statutory agreement ...More Button

I am not aware of any representations having been received by my office in relation to this matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on recent statements made by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry that non-consultant hospital doctors had more designated time for continuous medical education than consultants; and ...More Button

Non-consultant hospital doctors – NCHDs – are doctors in training, who require a significant amount of training time, on the job and through designated training hours, to complete their medical traini...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: his plans to have a palliative service in all major acute hospitals.More Button

Prior to the launch, on 4 October, of the report of the national advisory committee on palliative care, I allocated £3 million – 3.81 million – to the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Aut...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Staff.

Was asked: if he has received from the Irish Medical Organisation objections to the post of nurse facilitator; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In response to a recommendation of the Commission on Nursing, my Department has made funding available to the health boards for the appointment of practice nurse facilitators to assist in identifying ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if he will report on the end of year waiting list figures on an annual basis since 1990.More Button

Was asked: the average waiting period at end of year for acute hospital care in each of the years since 1990.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 288 and 289 together. The current waiting list initiative was introduced in 1993. The total number on public in-patient waiting lists for all specialties, as reported ...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Board Staffing.

Was asked: the number of administrative posts created in each health board each year since 1995; and the number of new medical posts created in that time in each health board.More Button

The numbers of management-administrative and medical personnel employed by each health board are as set out below. The Deputy should note that the grade category of management-administrative also inc...More Button

Written Answers. - Comhairle na nOspidéal.

Was asked: his plans to support an appeal by Comhairle na nOspidéal to be involved at an earlier stage in the planning of hospital services.More Button

I am not aware of such an appeal by Comhairle na nOspidéal.More Button

Written Answers. - Consultant Appointments.

Was asked: his views on the situation where, even though 55% of medical graduates from 1993 onwards were female, only 2% of consultant surgeons are female and only 18% of consultants are female; the reason there...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the report of the Forum on Medical Manpower, published in April of this year, deals extensively with the issue of gender balance in medical staffing. There has been some ...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Manpower Reforms.

Was asked: if he will explain his recent comments at the Irish Hospital Consultants Association annual general meeting which implied that the Irish Medical Organisation was delaying progress on medical manpower ...More Button

The Irish Medical Organisation – IMO – has demanded resolution of a range of issues as a precondition to its participation in the national task force on medical manpower. Despite numerous contacts, at...More Button

Written Answers. - Housing Aid for the Elderly.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be allocated funding under the special housing aid for the elderly scheme.More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Services.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo cannot be called for cataract surgery.More Button

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

Written Answers. - Hospital Charges.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is being billed for theatre services following a procedure in the Mount Carmel Hospital, Dublin.More Button

Mount Carmel Hospital is an independent private hospital. I have no function in relation to the regulation, co-ordination or assessment of private hospitals. I therefore suggest that the Deputy or the...More Button

Written Answers. - Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Was asked: if prospective blood donors will be allowed donate blood at the headquarters of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service in St. James's Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is a platelet donor programme in place in the National Blood Centre at St James's Hospital. The centre also provides facilities for autologous donations i.e. where prospective patients may pre-d...More Button

Written Answers. - Foreign Adoptions.

Was asked: if he will report on the delays and the increase in the waiting lists for foreign adoptions here and particularly in the Eastern Region Health Authority area; the reason for the delays; and the way in...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: the reason for the delay in introducing the proposed orthodontic scheme drawn up by the Eastern Regional Health Authority; and the steps he will take to address this issue.More Button

The grant-in-aid scheme for orthodontic treatment referred to by the Deputy had been proposed by the Northern Area Health Board – NAHB – of the Eastern Regional Health Authority. However, the board ha...More Button

Written Answers. - Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Was asked: if he has received an explanation from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service giving the reasons for it shelving plans to curb blood donations from donors who lived in the UK for a year or more due to th...More Button

Since 31 March 2001, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service – IBTS – has deferred all donors who have spent five years or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996. This deferral has resulted in the loss of 5...More Button

Written Answers. - Domiciliary Allowance.

Was asked: the reason an application by persons (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for a domiciliary allowance was refused; if the decision will be reversed; and if the appeal against this decision and the is...More Button

Responsibility for the assessment of entitlement and payment of the domiciliary care allowance rests with the relevant health board. My Department has therefore asked the chief executive officer, Sout...More Button

Written Answers. - Nursing Home Subventions.

Was asked: if he will examine an application by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for subvention payments; and if this person's means will be assessed and the cost of nursing home care at £16,000 pe...More Button

Written Answers. - Drugs Treatment Centre.

Was asked: if he will honour a commitment given to a drug centre (details supplied) in County Kilkenny regarding a capital grant of £300,000 of which £150,000 has been paid.More Button

In 1998 my Department approved a capital grant of £150,000 towards the drug treatment centre referred to by the Deputy. According to departmental files no commitment was given for any additional fundi...More Button

Written Answers. - Health Board Staff.

Was asked: the arrangements in place for clerical staff to transfer from one health board to another for family or domestic reasons without loss of service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is no formal scheme in place for clerical staff to transfer from one health board to another. However, it is of course open to an officer to apply for employment in any other health board. Shoul...More Button

Written Answers. - Travel Costs.

Was asked: his views on whether it is fair that contributions towards the costs of travelling regularly from west Cork to Dublin for treatment are not made to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

The provision of services in the Cork region is, in the first instance, the statutory responsibility of the Southern Health Board. My Department has, therefore, asked the chief executive officer at th...More Button

Written Answers. - General Medical Services Scheme.

Was asked: the names and addresses of all doctors participating in the general medical services scheme; and if this information is available from his Department in electronic format.More Button

Information requested by the Deputy is not routinely kept in my Department but is available from the primary care units of the various health boards. My Department does, however, have details of the d...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Consultants.

Was asked: the names and location by hospital of all hospital consultants in public and voluntary hospitals here; and if this information is available from his Department in electronic format.More Button

Comhairle na nOspidéal is the body with statutory responsibility for the regulation of posts of hospital consultants. I understand that Comhairle maintains a record of all posts it regulates and that...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: if his Department has retained the services of a person or company (details supplied) since June 1997; if so, the nature of those services; the duration and the fees involved; if this person or compan...More Button

I am having the information sought by the Deputy checked out in my Department and will issue a response direct to him as soon as the position has been clarified.More Button

Written Answers. - Western Health Board Staff.

Was asked: the total numbers employed in the Western Health Board for each of the years 1989 to 2000 under various headings (details supplied).More Button

The staffing levels for the Western Health Board area as requested by the Deputy are as follows: The first year from which the information requested by the Deputy is available on a comparable basis is...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Appointments.

Was asked: the number of consultants appointed in the Western Health Board area in each of the years 1989 to 2000.More Button

Responsibility for the appointment of consultants in the Western Health Board area rests with the Western Health Board. My Department has, therefore, asked the chief executive officer to investigate ...More Button

Written Answers. - Care Attendants.

Was asked: the position regarding the establishment of a pilot programme for care attendants (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As recommended by the Commission on Nursing, a working party, the review group on health service care staff, was set up to establish standard criteria in relation to the education and training of heal...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: the position regarding an application by a person (details supplied) in County Carlow for an appointment at the rheumatology out-patients' clinic at Waterford Regional Hospital; and if he will make a ...More Button

Was asked: his plans to reduce the waiting list for patients wishing to be seen at the rheumatology out-patients' clinic at Waterford Regional Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 312 and 313 together. As the Deputy will be aware, the South-Eastern Health Board is responsible for the provision of services at Waterford Regional Hospital. The boar...More Button

Written Answers. - Community Nursing Homes.

Was asked: when funding will be made available for a nursing home in Ballinrobe, County Mayo.More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

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

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

Written Answers. - Publicity Campaign.

Was asked: if he will initiate a nationwide publicity campaign to encourage people to undertake cardiovascular checks; the number of persons who had pacemakers fitted during the past two years; and his views on ...More Button

As part of the implementation of Building Healthier Hearts, the report of the cardiovascular health strategy group, on 20 September last year Ireland needs a Change of Heart was launched. This mass me...More Button

Written Answers. - Recruitment and Retention of Doctors.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent meeting between the statutory bodies, health boards and the royal colleges to address the recruitment and retention of doctors.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions Nos. 150 to 152, inclusive, 155 and 158 on 25 October 2001 which deals with the issue raised by the Deputy.More Button

Written Answers. - Vaccination Programme.

Was asked: his views on the situation where some parents are sending their children to have the measles vaccines administered individually in the United Kingdom.More Button

Was asked: his views on the situation where general practitioners are being forced to import measles vaccines.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 318 and 319 together. The purpose of the primary childhood immunisation programme is to protect the child population against a range of potentially serious infectious ...More Button

Written Answers. - GP Co-Operatives.

Was asked: his views on the special treatment consultations for out-of-hours work for general practitioner co-operatives.More Button

The method of payment to doctors participating in out-of-hours co-operatives is one of the issues dealt with by sponsors when plans for co-operatives are being developed. As the Deputy is aware, diffe...More Button

Written Answers. - Clinical Incident Reporting.

Was asked: his plans to introduce a form of hospital practice in order to change the methods of reporting medical errors.More Button

The introduction of comprehensive clinical incident reporting will require a major change in attitudes by clinicians and those with responsibility for managing services. Experience elsewhere suggests ...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: the date on which he learned from the Northern Area Health Board that the board's proposed scheme for public-private funding mix for orthodontic care required legislation; the action he has taken to d...More Button

In a letter dated 15 June 2001, my Department received a copy of legal advice acquired by the Northern Area Health Board on the grant-in-aid scheme. The advice was to the effect that the board's propo...More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made by his Department in conjunction with the Dental Council in drawing up a comprehensive scheme as provided for in the Dentists Act, 1985; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Dental Council recently submitted a scheme to my Department for the establishment of a class of auxiliary dental worker to be known as clinical dental technician pursuant to the statutory provisio...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if, further to parliamentary Question No. 95 of 14 June 2001, he will ensure a person (details supplied) in County Sligo will be called for an angiogram; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As I indicated to the Deputy in my response to him on 14 June 2001, my Department asked the chief executive officer of the North-Western Health Board, which has responsibility for the provision of hos...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: if it is necessary to change national policy for the Western Health Board to develop a neurosurgical unit for patients in the Western Health Board area; if he will give approval to the Western Health ...More Button

Was asked: if he will approve funding for the development of a regional neurosurgical unit at University College Hospital, Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 325 and 332 together. In April 1998, my predecessor, the Minister, Deputy Cowen, announced the phase 2 development of University College Hospital, Galway. This will se...More Button

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 432 of 6 November 2001, he will appoint a senior official of his Department to liaise with a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8; and if he will make a stat...More Button

The Deputy will be aware from my response to him on 6 November 2001 that my Department asked the regional chief executive officer of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, which has responsibility for...More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on a recent situation where consultants in accident and emergency medicine are proposing to charge a fee for a consultation in the emergency department.More Button

Under arrangements for public hospital services introduced in June 1991 on foot of the Health (Amendment) Act, 1991, everyone, regardless of income, is entitled to public hospital and public consultan...More Button

Written Answers. - Cross-Infection Mortality Rates.

Was asked: the number of patients who have died from cross-infection in hospitals in 1998, 1999, 2000 and to date in 2001.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is not available to my Department. National information on in-patients in publicly funded acute hospitals is available from the hospital in-patient inquiry sys...More Button

Written Answers. - Primary Care Service.

Was asked: when the first cross-Border out of hours primary care service will be established.More Button

CAWT – Co-operation and Working Together – a group established by the North-Eastern and North-Western Health Boards in the South and the Southern and Western Health and Social Services Boards in the N...More Button

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Was asked: his plans to extend the distribution of medical cards to those under five years of age.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. - Intellectual Disabilities.

Was asked: if he will approve funding of £10,000 to support the continuation, until the year end 2001, of the family support service of an organisation (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a ...More Button

Was asked: if funding will be provided to the Brothers of Charity Service in Ballinasloe, County Galway to reinstate the family support service for children with learning disabilities; and if he will make a stat...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 331 and 333 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) in County Kerry has been informed that he will not receive orthodontic treatment for four years after the date of his first...More Button

I recognise that the waiting times for orthodontic treatment are unacceptably long. At the invitation of my Department, a group representative of health board management and consultant orthodontists r...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1 and the length of the waiting lists for cataract treatment in the Mater Hospital; the steps he is taking to reduc...More Button

Responsibility for the provision of health services to persons living in County Dublin rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has therefore asked the regional chief executive ...More Button

Written Answers. - Liquor Licensing.

Was asked: the action he has taken in response to recommendation one of section B of the Commission on Liquor Licensing interim report on off-licensing; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform established a Commission on Liquor Licensing in November 2000 to review the licensing system. The Commission, inter alia, published an interim report ...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be admitted to Cork University Hospital for a cataract operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Responsibility for the provision of services at Cork University Hospital rests with the Southern Health Board. My Department has, therefore, asked the chief executive officer at the board to investiga...More Button

Written Answers. - National Lottery Funding.

Was asked: if his Department has received an application from the Kerry Counselling Centre, Edward Court, Edward Street, Tralee, County Kerry for a grant from national lottery funding; if so, if he will sanction...More Button

My Department received an application for a grant from the 2001 health and children allocation of national lottery funds on 17 September 2001 from the organisation referred to by the Deputy.More Button

Written Answers. - Orthondontic Service.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive orthodontic treatment.More Button

Responsibility for the provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in County Cork rests with the Southern Health Board. My Department has therefore asked the chief executive officer to inve...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Was asked: when organ transplant surgery will be performed on a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

Responsibility for the provision of hospital services to residents of County Mayo rests with the Western Health Board. My Department has therefore asked the chief executive officer of the board to inv...More Button

Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Service.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the shortage of speech therapists in the South-Eastern Health Board area; the steps he will take to rectify this; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware that, nationwide, there are shortages of speech and language therapists and, in response, my Department commissioned a report from Dr. Peter Bacon and Associates on current and future suppl...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: if he proposes to make the necessary finance available for new wards, theatres, intensive care unit and casualty as well as an increase in nurse and medical posts and bed numbers at Mallow General Hos...More Button

Responsibility for the provision of services at Mallow General Hospital rests with the Southern Health Board. My Department has, therefore, asked the chief executive officer at the board to examine th...More Button

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Was asked: the reason orthodontic service provided under the public orthodontic service has deteriorated in the Western Health Board area in the past five years; the way in which he proposes to rectify this; if ...More Button

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons is the statutory responsibility of the health boards in the first instance. I recognise that the waiting times for orthodontic treatment are ...More Button

Was asked: the level of capital and personnel resources available to each health board area to provide a public orthodontic service; the way in which this compares in each health board area three years ago; his ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a consultant orthodontist has in the past reduced waiting lists from 18,000 to 6,000 in two years; the reason his Department has not been more enthusia...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 344 and 349 together. The provision of orthodontic services is the responsibility of the health boards in the first instance. I have initiated a range of measures to s...More Button

Was asked: the reasons for the waiting times for orthodontic patients requiring attention; the way in which he proposes to deal with this under the public orthodontic programme; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The provision of orthodontic services is the responsibility of the health boards in the first instance. I recognise that the waiting times for orthodontic treatment are unacceptably long. At the invit...More Button

Was asked: if he has accepted a recommendation from the consultancy group dealing with the public orthodontic programme given recently that no aesthetic component would be considered in assessing persons for tre...More Button

Was asked: the guidelines which are being operated under the public orthodontic programme; if these guidelines are the guidelines adopted in 1985 or a modified version of these; his views on whether interpretati...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 346 and 347 together. Orthodontic guidelines were issued by my Department in 1985 and are still in operation. Their purpose is to allow prioritisation of children for ...More Button

Was asked: the methods of monitoring assessments of treatment required for orthodontic applicants which are employed by his Department; his views on whether the extraction of impacted canine teeth should occur o...More Button

The performance of health boards in implementing orthodontic guidelines is being monitored by a health services research contract currently under way in health boards. The decision on whether impacted...More Button

Written Answers. - Cancer Treatment Services.

Was asked: his plans to set up genetic screening for people who are at high risk of developing cancer.More Button

The national cancer forum, which is the advisory body for the development of cancer services nationally, has recently established a sub-group on genetics, with a remit to report to the forum on the de...More Button

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Was asked: his plans to ensure that each of the public hospitals introduces a system of reporting of medication errors.More Button

The Department of Health and Children has provided funding for a pilot medication error reporting system at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital at Tallaght. The hospital's experience with this project wil...More Button

Written Answers. - Vaccination Programme.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the situation whereby the work of the State's main advisory group on vaccines and immunisation is being inhibited due to the medical workload of its members.More Button

The immunisation advisory committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland meet on a regular basis to examine a range of issues relating to immunisation. My Department has received no communica...More Button


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