Wednesday, 4 May 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
150. Mr. McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the funding which has been allocated to the south east advocacy network for 2004 to date; if the group is on a contract; if so the timeframe involved; if there is a report due from its work; if so, when; the way in which advocacy groups can apply for funding; the qualifications their representatives need and the reason funding is granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13966/05]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. T. O’Malley): The Health Act 2004 provided for the Health Service Executive, which was established on 1 January 2005. Under the Act, the executive has the responsibility to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. This includes responsibility for the contracting of works by and the allocation of moneys to non-governmental organisations. Accordingly, my Department has requested the chief officer for the executive’s south-eastern area to investigate the matter raised and to reply directly to the Deputy.
151. Mr. Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if she will report on the outcome of the contact between her Department and a firm (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13974/05]
152. Mr. Perry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to concerns expressed recently in the medical press by an obstetrician regarding the threat to private obstetrics here as a result of a reported withdrawal by the State of a cap on claims above €500,000; her views on whether the withdrawal of this cap will lead to the closure of private maternity services in the remaining private maternity facilities in the State; the steps she will take to ensure that this does not happen; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13979/05]
Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): The supports which the Government put in place in 2004 with the objective of keeping the cost of professional indemnity cover for consultants’ private practice at an affordable level remain. These supports mean that most consultants need only purchase indemnity cover for the first €1 million of the cost of any one claim against them. In the case of consultant obstetricians the limit is set at €500,000. In addition the aggregate annual exposure of any individual consultant obstetrician is set at €1.5 million. Beyond these limits the State, through the clinical indemnity scheme, will assume liability for qualifying personal injury claims. In accordance with a Labour Court recommendation issued at the end of 2004, these limits will be reviewed later this year. I am satisfied that these measures have achieved the objective of keeping indemnity cover affordable for consultants in private practice.
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