16. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to change the need for compulsory medical examinations for serving Defence Forces members over 40 years of age; the rationale for compulsory medical examinations for persons over 40 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20435/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I can assure the Deputy that the health and safety of the men and women of the Defence Forces is a high priority for me. Given the robust nature of military life and the unique physical and psychological demands it places on individuals, it is necessary that the members of the Defence Forces are physically and mentally prepared to meet the challenges of all military operations. The State has a duty of care to ensure that each individual ...

77. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel who receive private health cover as part of their terms and conditions of service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18317/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The provision of medical services within the Defence Forces is a combination of primary care, secondary care and an occupational medical service designed to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them and to treat any medical conditions arising, which would inhibit their capacity to undertake such duties. 
Medical Services provided to members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF...

118. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if each of the Defence Forces medical officers involved in the use of malaria chemoprophylaxis hold additional qualifications in tropical disease and medicine; and if so, the additional qualifications in each case. (Question 5770/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am informed by the military authorities that all Defence Forces Medical Officers have a clinical commitment to patients, and as such could be involved in the preparation and examination of personnel for overseas deployment which may include the assessment of suitability for and prescription of malaria chemoprophylaxis.
All Defence Forces Medical Officers must possess at a minimum the professional qualifications of Medical Bach...

66. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the general medical qualifications held by each of the Defence Forces medical officers involved in malaria chemoprophylaxis. (Question 4988/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): All Defence Forces Medical Officers must possess at a minimum the professional qualifications of Medical Bachelor (M.B.), Bachelor of Surgery (B.CH), Bachelor in the Art of Obstetrics (B.A.O) or equivalent.  They must hold current, full registration with the Medical Council of Ireland. By date of entry into the Defence Forces they must also have had three (3) years post graduate experience. 
I am informed by the military authori...

770. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if director medical branch instruction number 52 amendment number 1 of 24 August 2016 is still relied upon by the Defence Forces for vaccinations and other preparations for overseas deployments. (Question 53529/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Military Authorities have advised me that Director Medical Branch (DMB) Instruction No. 52 ‘Vaccinations And Other Preparations For Overseas Deployments’ Amendment No. 1 dated 24 August 2016 is still current and used for reference for overseas deployments. 
 ...

57. Deputy James Browne asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to commission an independent review of mental health services for the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7103/17 asked on 15 Feb 2017 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Mental health services are part of the range of medical services provided so as to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them and to treat any medical conditions arising which would inhibit their capacity to undertake such duties. The mental health support services, available to members of the Permanent Defence Force, range from psychiatric and psychological services to the P...

32. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recruitment measures that have been employed to deal with the shortage of medical officers in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33846/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am advised that Department Officials are currently finalising Terms & Conditions in consultation with RACO (Representative Association of Commissioned Officers) in relation to the recruitment of external Medical Officers. In addition, a new scheme for training medical graduates in military medicine is currently being finalised.
 Terms & Conditions for suitably qualified members of the Permanent Defence Fo...

32. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to continue prescribing Lariam for members of the Defence Forces; the alternative medications available and used; the number of members of the Defence Forces, in the past or currently serving, who have reported negative health effects which they attribute to the use of Lariam; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16899/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As I have made clear, the health and welfare of the Defence Forces are a priority for me and this informs my approach to the issue of Lariam. 
Malaria is a serious disease which killed approximately 438,000 people in 2015, with 90% of deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa as reported by the World Health Organization. It is a serious threat to any military force operating in the area. Anti-malarial medicat...

693. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will provide resources to cover the costs for physiotherapy sessions incurred by a serving member of the Defence Forces (details supplied). (Question 14711/16 asked on 08 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The function of the Medical Corps of the Defence Forces is to provide medical services to serving members of the Defence Forces. It is not the function of the Medical Corps of the Defence Forces, nor has it the capacity, to provide medical services, including physiotherapy services, to former members of the Defence Forces. The person referred to by the Deputy was discharged from the Defence Forces on 10th October 2015.
 ...

18. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence his plans to make changes in the provision of medical services to members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43291/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): In 2009 PA Consultants recommended a programme of major change in relation to Defence Forces Medical Services. As recommended by the consultants, a number of working groups were set up to progress the various change projects identified. The working groups were tasked with identifying the practical steps which needed to be taken to achieve implementation of the PA report recommendations for the medical service. Following the completion of the work of t...