176. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health to outline his plans to introduce the opt-out process for organ donation; the process involved in the implementation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20299/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Organ Donation)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Government approved the preparation of a General Scheme and Heads of a Human Tissue Bill last year. The proposed legislation will include provisions for a soft opt-out organ donation system and the establishment of an Organ Donor Register to record the decision of individuals to opt-out of organ donation.
If an individual registers their wish to opt-out of organ donation, the family will not be approached to discuss organ donation following their d...

177. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if the HSE is publishing a social care operational plan in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20300/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Disability Services 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 ...

228. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which the implementation of recommendations from the mobile telephone and broadband task force report is assisting persons in County Kildare who experience poor mobile telephone and broadband coverage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20297/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Telecommunications Services Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I recognise the frustration felt by Irish consumers where telecommunications networks are not always delivering the services people expect. Accordingly, I specifically included in the Programme for Government a commitment to a Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce.  The Taskforce worked with key stakeholders to produce a report in December 2016, available on my Department’s website, which contained 40 actions to...

242. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the next round of sports capital grants will open for sports organisations; if changes will be made to the scheme in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20298/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Sports Capital Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin) (Deputy Brendan Griffin): The 2017 round of the Sports Capital Programme attracted a record 2,320 applications.  In November and December last, Minister Ross and I announced €60 million in allocations to a record 1,800 projects under the 2017 round. A review of the 2017 round of the programme has now been finalised and published on my Department’s website, www.dttas.ie. This review highlights  aspects ...

152. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a site (details supplied) will be considered as a new secondary school for south County Kildare. (Question 19718/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Site Acquisitions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I would like to thank the Deputy for the details supplied in this instance. In the event a new school is required, the Department will examine all potential options, including those in state ownership.
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179. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the case of a child (details supplied) who has not been able to secure a place in second level school for the past two years will be examined. (Question 20152/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - School Placement)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, including those with Autism, in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education.  
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appropriate educational interventions, delivered by fully ...

264. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the status of a medical card application by a person (details supplied). (Question 19680/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy.
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358. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the amount earned from the car park of Tallaght hospital in 2017; and the amount for 2016. (Question 20149/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Hospitals Car Park Charges)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.
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359. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the HSE car park income for 2017 for each hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20150/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Hospitals Car Park Charges)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In March, I requested that the HSE carry out a review of hospital car parking charges, with the aim of establishing clear national guidelines in this area. The review will involve the relevant stakeholders and will take account of the income generated by charges, the impact of any reduction in car parking income on hospital services and the views of patient advocacy groups. The HSE expects that the review will be completed by mid 2018.
In relation to ...

360. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 466 of 27 February 2018, if the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres in Connolly and Tallaght hospitals are still on schedule to open in mid-July 2018 and 2019. (Question 20151/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I would like to refer to the Deputy’s previous Parliamentary Question No. 466 of 27 February 2018. Unfortunately, due to an administrative error, incorrect dates for the opening of the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres were provided to the Deputy in that reply. My Department is arranging for the Dáil record to be corrected and I apologise for this error.
The Paediatric Outpatients & Urgent Care Centres at Connolly Hospital and Tallaght...

367. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been refused medication on a medical card. (Question 20204/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Medical Card Appeals)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Medicines play a vital role in improving the health of Irish patients. Securing access to existing and new and innovative medicines is a key health service objective. However, the challenge is to do this in a safe and sustainable manner. Treatment must be appropriate and proportionate and clinical decision-making, such as prescribing, should be based on both patient needs and sound medical evidence.
Lidocaine 5% medicated plasters are licensed for loc...

154. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the maximum age for a person to commence fostering children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19170/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Foster Care)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, approved revised Policy, Procedures and Best Practice Guidance for Foster Care Committees in February of last year. 
I can confirm that one of the issues that arose during consultation, and which has been addressed in the revised document, concerns the previous guidance in relation to the age of applicants. The guidance in relation t...

155. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children in foster care; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19171/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Foster Care Data)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, most recent figures indicate that there were 6,161 children in care at the end of February 2018. Of the children in care, 92% were in foster care nationally; there were 4,037 (65%) children in general foster care, 1,646 (27%) in relative care and 357 (6%) children were in a residential care placement, with the remaining children in other care placements appropriate to their assessed needs.
Fo...

103. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a date has been set for a meeting of the high-level forum on community employment supervisor pensions; if his attention has been drawn to the anger and frustration of community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors; his views on the fact that their contribution to improving the life chances of scheme participants and to their overall local communities is not being properly recognised at the end of their careers in spite of a Labour Court ruling in their favour; his further views on whether the Government may be undermining the Labour Court by ignoring its recommendation; and the steps he will take to resolve the matter. (Question 18580/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Community Employment Schemes Supervisors)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 103, 109 to 111, inclusive, and 120 together.
I would refer the Deputy to my response to PQ 54985/17 of 16 January 2018 and PQ 13684/18 of 27 March 2018.
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235. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied). (Question 18690/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual. 
The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managi...

236. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of patients waiting for outpatient surgery in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital who have had their initial appointments changed to a later date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18691/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for the Government. In April the Inpatient and Day Case Action Plan was published to reduce the overall number of patients waiting for treatment. This is a joint Action Plan with the HSE delivering 1.14 million hospital operations or procedures and the NTPF delivering 20,000 Inpatient Day Case treatments and 4,000 Gastro Intestinal Scopes. 
The Outpatient Wait...

237. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of patients waiting for outpatient surgery in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital who have had their initial appointments changed to a later date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18692/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for the Government. In April the Inpatient and Day Case Action Plan was published to reduce the overall number of patients waiting for treatment. This is a joint Action Plan with the HSE delivering 1.14 million hospital operations or procedures and the NTPF delivering 20,000 Inpatient Day Case treatments and 4,000 Gastro Intestinal Scopes. 
The Outpatient Wait...

238. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of patients waiting for outpatient surgery in Tallaght hospital who have had their initial appointments changed to a later date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18693/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for the Government. In April the Inpatient and Day Case Action Plan was published to reduce the overall number of patients waiting for treatment. This is a joint Action Plan, with the HSE delivering 1.14 million hospital operations or procedures and the NTPF delivering 20,000 Inpatient Day Case treatments and 4,000 Gastro Intestinal Scopes. 
The Outpatient Wai...

443. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the options available to support a person buying a second home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18581/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - House Purchase Schemes)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness is firmly focused on increasing supply and the priority for Government attention is to support those in society with the greatest housing access and affordability challenges. In that context, the focus is on meeting the housing needs of those in the lower income categories, particularly those in need of social housing supports and other househ...

129. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if a consultation process has commenced relating to the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise as previously indicated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18139/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Hospitals Policy)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I am committed to securing and further developing the role of the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise as a constituent hospital within the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. Since 2014, the focus has been on supporting the hospital to develop and enhance management capability, implementing changes required to address clinical service deficiencies, and incorporating the hospital into the governance structures within the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. 
Si...

384. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if the situation of a person (details supplied) will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17635/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Disability Services 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 ...

385. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined. (Question 17637/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Disability Services 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 ...

497. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason funding has not been received by a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17636/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Tourism Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The matter raised by the Deputy would appear to be an operational matter for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.  Accordingly, I have referred the question to the agency for further information and direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.
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50. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if new hospitals built in Dublin under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 will be located in areas of easy access for persons from the wider Leinster area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17103/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospitals Building Programme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The National Development Plan is a ten year plan which will provide the capital funding to develop dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The aim is to both increase capacity in the hospital system and provide a better separation of scheduled and unscheduled care, in line with the recommendations of Health Service Capacity Review and the Sláintecare Report. They will provide increased, protected capacity for e...

92. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the way in which the clinical staffing levels for the community psychiatry of old age mental health services in CHO7 compare to that recommended under A Vision for Change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17102/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Mental Health Services Staff)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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