131. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health when a permanent general practitioner will be assigned to Waterville, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8878/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - General Practitioner Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.
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132. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the funding that has been spent on the National Treatment Purchase Fund in 2016 and 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8879/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - National Treatment Purchase Fund Payments)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As set out in the NTPF Audited Annual Financial Statements for 2016, the total expenditure by the NTPF in 2016 was €34,287,621, made up of €30,387,932 for patient care, and €3,899,689 for administrative expenses. 
The NTPF did not have a direct role in the commissioning of patient treatments in 2016. The procurement of treatments was carried out by the HSE and the role of the NTPF was administration of the payments to the hospitals.
The 2017 Annual Fin...

133. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the amount that was spent in private hospitals here and outside the State in relation to the NTPF in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8880/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - National Treatment Purchase Fund Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The NTPF has provided the following information in relation to their expenditure on Private and Voluntary Hospitals, both inside and outside the State, in the years from 2011 to 2016.
 Year  Expenditure 2016    €30,387,932 2015 €21,345,689 2014 €0 2013 €4,262,636 2012 €22,999,528 2011 €56,784,944 


Please note that the NTPF 2017 and 2018 Annual Financial Statements have not yet been completed and therefore the Department is not ab...

134. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the amount that has been spent by the HSE to pay for procedures under the cross-border healthcare directive and the treatment abroad schemes in each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8881/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Cross-Border Health Initiatives)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare provides rules for the reimbursement of patients’ of the cost of receiving treatment abroad, where the patient would be entitled to such treatment in their home Member State (Member State of Affiliation) and supplements the rights that patients already have at EU level through the legislation on the coordination of social security schemes (Regulation 883/04).  The Directive seeks to ensure a c...

146. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the number of persons offered an opportunity to attend an assessment with a person (details supplied); the number that responded; the number that attended on the day; the number that have been subsequently put forward for surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8915/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Hospital Appointments Administration)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 146 and 147 together.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
 ...

147. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if children with scoliosis attending from Temple Street Children’s University Hospital have been offered access to assessment and surgery through a mechanism (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8916/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Hospital Appointments Administration)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 146 and 147 together.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
 ...

159. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Health Service Executive shall not make the reimbursement of the costs of cross-border healthcare under EU regulations subject to prior authorisation except in circumstances in which it has been made subject to prior authorisation under regulation 12; the exceptions under regulation 12; the date the exceptions were made; the reason for the exceptions, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8957/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Cross-Border Health Initiatives)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together.
The Cross Border Directive provides rules for the reimbursement of patients of the cost of receiving treatment abroad, where the patient would be entitled to such treatment in their home Member State and supplements the rights that patients already have at EU level through the legislation on the coordination of social security schemes (Regulation 883/04). The Directive seeks to ensure a clear and t...

160. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his views on whether in the ordinary course of requiring medical treatments that the spirit of the cross border EU regulations not to require prior authorisation is being thwarted by the information on the HSE website; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8958/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Cross-Border Health Initiatives)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together.
The Cross Border Directive provides rules for the reimbursement of patients of the cost of receiving treatment abroad, where the patient would be entitled to such treatment in their home Member State and supplements the rights that patients already have at EU level through the legislation on the coordination of social security schemes (Regulation 883/04). The Directive seeks to ensure a clear and t...

216. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the start-up costs incurred by the reactivation of the National Treatment Purchase Fund in 2017. (Question 7944/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - National Treatment Purchase Fund)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The overall NTPF allocation of funding includes €5m which is set aside to meet administration costs each year. The level of administrative funding has remained the same in each of the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. No additional administrative funding has been allocated to the NTPF in 2018 in respect of the resumption of patient treatment commissioning.
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176. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the legislative steps required to change the competent authority for patient radiation safety from his Department to HIQA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7667/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Departmental Functions)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The transfer of competent authority functions to HIQA, including the provisions required for inspections and enforcement within Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom, may be provided for in regulations made pursuant to the European Communities Act 1972 provided they fall within the principles and policies of the Directive. 
Accordingly, it is proposed to amend Section 8 of the Health Act 2007 in the transposing regulations, that is, the European Union (Basi...

177. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if SI 125/2000 and SI 478/2002 will remain in place until new legislation is introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7668/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Legislative Process)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Statutory instrument 478/2002 remains in place until revoked by the transposing regulations, that is, the European Union (Basic Safety Standards for Protection Against Dangers from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018. My Department is working to finalise the regulations in the coming weeks.
I am informed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment that the Radiological Protection Act 1991 (Ionising Radiation...

221. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the transposition of EURATOM 2013/59 into law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7665/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Radiation Monitoring Systems)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 221 and 222 together. 
My Department is responsible for the transposition into Irish law of Council Directive 2013/59 EURATOM laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation (Basic Safety Standards Directive). 
The Directive consolidates and updates existing EURATOM provisions for protection against the harmful e...

222. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the primary legislation and-or statutory instruments required for the enactment of EURATOM 2013/59 into law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7666/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Radiation Monitoring Systems)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 221 and 222 together. 
My Department is responsible for the transposition into Irish law of Council Directive 2013/59 EURATOM laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation (Basic Safety Standards Directive). 
The Directive consolidates and updates existing EURATOM provisions for protection against the harmful e...

191. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills will be implemented in order to allow those attending private colleges to receive SUSI grants; if so, when students of colleges (details supplied) can expect to receive grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6939/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Oireachtas Joint Committee Recommendations)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The recommendations of the report have been considered in light of the wider Higher Education funding landscape including the Cassells Report and with regard to on-going priorities for funding in the Higher Education area. Many of the recommendations in the report will impact on the Higher Education budget and therefore the Department is not in a position to advance them at this time. 
As committed to in the Programme for Government, the...

339. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health when the fair deal fees for individual HSE nursing homes will be published or laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas (details supplied); and his views on the importance of providing transparency with regard to fees payable for public nursing home care. (Question 6732/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Nursing Homes Support Scheme)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): The HSE published on their website the cost of care in public nursing homes in October 2016. My Department has been in recent contact with the HSE regarding publication of more up to date figures. The HSE have advised that compilation work is ongoing and the weekly cost of care for individual public nursing homes will be published in the coming months.
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676. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps he has taken to ensure the housing assistance payment rates are in line with market rents in Cork city; if a review has been conducted recently (details supplied); if there is a review scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7271/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 676 and 677 together.
The Homeless HAP Place Finder Service operating in the Dublin local authorities, and in Cork City Council, is a targeted support for homeless households who are finding it difficult to secure HAP tenancies. The Place Finder Service has been successfully utilised by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) across the Dublin local authorities since February 2015, ...

677. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to extend the 50% homeless rate of HAP to support those leaving homelessness available in the Dublin region to the Cork and other regions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7272/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 676 and 677 together.
The Homeless HAP Place Finder Service operating in the Dublin local authorities, and in Cork City Council, is a targeted support for homeless households who are finding it difficult to secure HAP tenancies. The Place Finder Service has been successfully utilised by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) across the Dublin local authorities since February 2015, ...

1. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health to outline his views on whether the HSE will be within budget in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6586/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - HSE Funding)

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Will the Minister for Health outline his views on whether the HSE will be within its budget in 2018? I am asking in view of the commentary by the director general of the HSE and the concerns consistently expressed from this side of the House on the aspirational elements of the budget that incorporate savings identified. Clearly, these elements will not be delivered. Indeed, it is already being said that the targets will be singularly challenging to deliver and that some...

22. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health when the proposed trauma strategy will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6396/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Trauma Steering Group was established by Government to bring about better outcomes for the 1,600 patients who suffer a major trauma in Ireland every year. The Steering Group was clinically led, chaired by Professor Eilis McGovern, and with key input from patients, and its recommendations are evidence based. The vision for a national trauma system set out in this major report is to prevent unnecessary deaths, to reduce disabilities and to significa...

62. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his plans in 2018 to address the long-standing need for the provision of a neuro-rehabilitation unit to serve counties Cork and Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6394/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Accommodation Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

72. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the reason it was necessary to write to the Director General of the HSE in January 2018 regarding the executive’s budget for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6397/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Ministerial Correspondence)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I approved the NSP 2018 on its own merits and, as required under legislation, assessed it by reference to relevant legislative provisions, the letter of determination, the policies and objectives of the Government and the HSE’s approved Corporate Plan. It is the responsibility of the HSE to manage the entire budget and to set out in its Service Plan what can be delivered in the coming year within the funding available. My letter in January was respond...

75. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health when he will bring forward the proposed changes to the nursing home support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6398/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): When the NHSS commenced in 2009, a commitment was made that it would be reviewed after three years. The Report of the Review was published in July 2015. Arising out of the Review, a recommendation was made to examine the treatment of business and farm assets for the purposes of the financial assessment element of the Scheme. The programme for a Partnership Government has also committed to reviewing the NHSS to remove any discrimi...

80. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if the 18-month target for outpatient waiting times announced in 2015 is still departmental policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6395/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Emergency Departments Waiting Times)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting times for patients is one of the Government’s key priorities. Consequently, the HSE Outpatient Waiting List Action Plan 2017 contained a specific target to reduce by 50% the number of patients who would be waiting 15 months or more for outpatient appointments by the end of October 2017. The Plan aimed to remove over 95,000 patients from the Outpatient Waiting List. This target was met with almost 100,000 patients coming off the lis...

193. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the measures in place to ensure that persons that are medical card holders are having their medical needs met without charge (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6512/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Medical Card Administration)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): With reference to the provision of public hospital services, including consultant services, x-rays and blood tests, the Health Act 1970 (as amended) provides that all persons ordinarily resident in the country are entitled, subject to certain charges, to public in-patient and out-patient hospital services. The Act also provides that persons with full eligibility, i.e. those with a medical card are eligible for all these services without charge.
Persons...

115. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) is being considered for a new school on a greenfield site in view of its increasing pupil numbers and the fact that its lease is out in 2022; if so, the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6132/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm that my Department received a major capital application from the school to which the Deputy refers for the development of a new school building.
A project for the school has not been included in my Department’s 6 Year Capital Programme and it is, therefore, not possible to provide an indicative timeframe for the delivery of a major project for the school at this time.
In regard to the increasing enrolements, I wish to advis...