98. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason former Army servicemen have not received an increase in their Army service pension in the past nine years; his plans to increase their Army service pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6848/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The last occasion that public service pensions, including Defence Forces pensions, were increased was on 1 September 2008. Up until then, public service occupational pensions, including Defence Forces pensions, were generally adjusted in line with, and from the same operative date as, relevant pay increases applied to other corresponding public servants. In the intervening years since end-2008, the Deputy will be aware that th...

103. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 288 of 25 October 2017 and 568 of 12 December 2017, the status of the Reserve Defence Force lieutenant to captain fixed promotion scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7388/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As I outlined in my recent reply the Lieutenant to Captain promotions in the RDF, referred to by the Deputy, are being processed. I anticipate that they will be completed in the near future.
 ...

356. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) can no longer purchase Versatis medicated plasters on the medical card; if this decision will be reconsidered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6847/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 356, 364, 396 and 405 together.
Medicines play a vital role in improving the health of Irish patients. Securing access to existing and new and innovative medicines is a key objective of the health service. However, the challenge is to do this in an affordable and sustainable manner. The medicines bill for the community drugs schemes – primarily the GMS, Long Term Illness and Drugs Payment schemes and the High Tech Arran...

372. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number and names of medical products which were covered by the medical card but were subsequently not covered by the card in the past ten years; the number of persons with a medical card purchasing these medications with their cards; the reason for the removal of medication from the medical card programme; the estimated monetary savings made in each such cases, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6938/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Medical Card Drugs Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

563. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress of phases 1 and 2 of a construction project (details supplied) in County Mayo; when the construction of the running track around the development, which is part of phase 2, will commence; the date on which phase 2 of the project, including the construction of the running track, will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6814/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Sports Facilities Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Phase 1 of this development, in which Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology is a partner, comprises a Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre together with a Training Centre for Outdoor Pursuits at Lough Lannagh. Mayo County Council’s estimated cost of this phase is €11.095m. Castlebar Swimming Pool is in the 2000 round of the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) and in October 2015, Mayo County Counc...

27. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans for the expansion of the emergency aeromedical service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6424/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Air Ambulance Service Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to the expansion of the Emergency Aeromedical Services. In that context, the Department is engaging with the National Ambulance Service and a charity that delivers pre-hospital emergency care with a view to the establishment of a community based, charitably funded Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in the South. Over recent months there have been extensive discussions between all the parties to ag...

213. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for removal of tonsils at university hospital Galway; the average wait time for the procedure; the status of an appointment for same for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6575/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

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 managing...

252. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the details of the subsea AEC2 fibre optic cable system that is intended to be laid off the west coast, coming ashore in Clew Bay, County Mayo; his plans to extend secondary cables and or connections off the main cable to service Clare Island or Inishturk and other communities on the mainland with broadband; if this potential project is supported by his department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6536/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I welcome news of Aqua Comms DAC (“Aqua Comms”) recently announced commercial plans to lay and operate a new subsea cable system connecting New Jersey, U.S.A., to Ireland, and Denmark.
My understanding is that the HAVFRUE subsea cable is the first new undersea cable traversing the North Atlantic to connect mainland Northern Europe to the U.S. in nearly two decades. Aqua Comms will market and sell capacity servi...

83. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to parliamentary Questions Nos. 288 of 25 October 2017 and 568 of 12 December 2017, the status of the Reserve Defence Forces lieutenant to captain fixed promotion scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6384/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The matter referred to by the Deputy is currently being progressed.
 ...

369. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of staff who will be employed at the primary care centre in Claremorris, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5527/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Primary Care Centres Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy. 
 ...

480. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a person (details supplied) has not received a GLAS payment; the date on which the application was received; if further information is required in order to proceed with the payment; the dates connected with same; when the payment will be processed and issued to the person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5718/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - GLAS Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The person named was approved into GLAS 3 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2017. 
An issue arose regarding a Natura action on the application. This issue has now been resolved. The case will now clear the first stage of the validation checks and will move to the final set of checks this week.  Once the case clears all validations the 2017 advance payment will be made. GLAS payments are issuing on a weekly basi...

196. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the bed capacity at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo; the number of beds that are vacant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5028/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Hospital Beds Data)

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.
 ...

226. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of agency nursing staff being utilised to staff existing vacancies in community healthcare organisation area 2, CHO2. (Question 4833/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 229 to 232, inclusive, together.
I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

227. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the services that have been curtailed in order to adjust downwards staffing levels to a safe service. (Question 4834/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 229 to 232, inclusive, together.
I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

228. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health if HSE circular 10/2017 has been implemented; and the evidence of same. (Question 4835/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.
 ...

229. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the policy that community health care organisation area 2, CHO2, is using regarding the recruitment of nursing staff; and if CHO2 is using a policy of one out, one in. (Question 4836/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 229 to 232, inclusive, together.
I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

230. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason community healthcare organisation area 2, CHO2, is choosing to ignore circular 10/2017. (Question 4837/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 229 to 232, inclusive, together.
I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

231. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of nurses who have been recruited, processed and appointed on a temporary and permanent basis in the community health care organisation area 2, CHO2, area, respectively. (Question 4838/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 229 to 232, inclusive, together.
I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

232. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of agency nurses working in community health care organisation area 2, CHO2, who have been converted to direct employment; and the costing associated with the employment of agency compared to directly employed staff. (Question 4839/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Nursing Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 229 to 232, inclusive, together.
I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

379. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of HSE staff in County Mayo in the community and primary care section, including but not limited to speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and other therapy services, who have taken maternity leave or long-term sick leave in the past five years; the sections and-or departments these staff worked in; the length of time that staff were absent; the corresponding number of staff who were recruited and-or appointed to provide cover for the duration of the original staff members’ absences, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4080/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - HSE Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.
 ...

380. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the recruitment policies, including if there is maintenance of panels of suitable candidates, for temporary staff to cover long-term absences of Health Service Executive staff from the workplace due to, but not limited to, maternity leave or sick leave; the budget allocated to both County Mayo and nationally for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4081/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - HSE Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.
 ...

381. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who qualify for adult respite care in County Mayo; the criteria used to determine if a person qualifies for respite care; the way in which the list is maintained; the number of adults are receiving respite care in County Mayo; the care that is provided; the waiting times for the receipt of such care in County Mayo; if the waiting time is dependent on particular factors, for example the severity of the condition of the care recipient and or their time on the waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4091/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Respite Care Services Data)

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.
 ...

415. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the home care waiting list in County Mayo; the number of these persons who are in a hospital, nursing home or respite facility; the details of the system of placement or grading of persons on the waiting list based on medical need; the estimated waiting time for persons on the list before they receive home care; the number who were on the home care waiting list in County Mayo from January 2017 to January 2018, by month, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4227/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 to 417, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

416. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of staff employed by the HSE in County Mayo in the home care department; the number of agency staff that are also employed to provide home care through the HSE in County Mayo; the number of HSE and agency staff involved in the direct provision of home care to persons; the average number of persons that HSE and agency staff call to each day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4228/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 to 417, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

417. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that are receiving home care services in County Mayo; the number of persons receiving home care seven days per week, five days per week or fewer than five days per week; the number of persons receiving more than one visit per day; the average time allocated to persons for each visit; the criteria used to determine the amount of time in terms of both hours and number of days that each person receives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4229/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 to 417, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...