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Topical Issue Debate: Hospital Staff Recruitment (13 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I wish to make a number of comments. Deputy Gallagher has requested a meeting with the Minister and I will certainly pass on that request. It is my understanding from the reply that every effort is being made to fill the post but, unfortunately, it has not yet been filled. The Deputies have clearly indicated their concerns in respect of the service in Letterkenny University Hospital. As a...

Topical Issue Debate: Hospital Staff Recruitment (13 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I offer the apologies of the Minister who, unfortunately, cannot be present. I do not know specifically where he is but I have been asked to take this matter on his behalf. In 2007, in recognition of the particular and unique geographical circumstances applying to Donegal, the Department set out a clear policy direction approved by Government that the Letterkenny breast cancer service...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Wind Energy Guidelines (13 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I am taking this matter on behalf of the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. I thank Senator Leyden for raising this issue. Since May 2016, the Minister has liaised closely with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Denis Naughten, having regard to his responsibility for renewable energy policy, on the focused review of the 2006...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospital Staff Recruitment (13 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: No.

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospital Staff Recruitment (13 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The Minister apologises for his absence. I will relay the Senator's concerns about the failure on occasion of Ministers to appear in the Chamber to deal with Commencement matters. A paediatric insulin pump service was initiated in May 2015. The service is based in Sligo University Hospital, with outreach clinics in Letterkenny University Hospital. The Saolta University Healthcare Group...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospital Staff Recruitment (13 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I have taken a note of it and will ask the Minister to communicate with the Senator on the matter.

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy (12 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: Government is committed to putting a new National Drugs Strategy in place from 2017 onwards, when the current policy expires. A Steering Committee with an independent chair has been established to advise me on the development of the new National Drugs Strategy. I understand that the Steering Committee is continuing with its deliberations with a view to presenting its final report to me...

Topical Issue Debate: Social and Affordable Housing (11 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I will be taking this matter on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Simon Coveney. A range of measures is being taken under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness to increase housing supply overall, with the aim of creating a functioning and sustainable housing system which can meet housing demand at more affordable prices. The plan is divided into five pillars, with...

Topical Issue Debate: Social and Affordable Housing (11 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the Deputy for his contribution and appreciate his concerns. I had a huge interest in the matter as a member of a local authority during the time that affordable housing was being issued. Many young people got their first kickstart into buying a home for themselves that way. These issues are included in the policy of the €5.3 billion that has been allocated by the...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Medicinal Products Data (11 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 508 and 509 together. I think it is very important to monitor trends in the prescription of psychotropic drugs in Ireland including to children and young adults. It is also important to ensure that prescribing policies are evidence based thereby ensuring safe use of these medicines. The Deputy will be aware that all medicines have side effects....

Written Answers — Department of Health: Primary Care Services Provision (11 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Topical Issue Debate: Youth Services (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I understand the frustration of the Deputies. I am not familiar with the situation. Is the new youth worker from Tusla or is the youth worker leaving on 31 March?

Topical Issue Debate: Youth Services (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I come from a community and voluntary background and I know how important it is to provide youth services, in particular youth cafes and clubs. None of that could happen without volunteers. I wish to acknowledge that many people in communities across the country are volunteering, but we cannot leave them on their own. I will relay the message from the Deputies to the Minister of State,...

Topical Issue Debate: Youth Services (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I have.

Topical Issue Debate: Youth Services (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I will read the reply that has been given to me on behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, but I do not know whether it will satisfy the Deputies.

Topical Issue Debate: Youth Services (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: In the 1970s and 1980s, I had the privilege of bringing children from my own local youth club on holidays to Rathangan on many occasions. As a result, I know Rathangan very well. We were always well accepted by the community even though we were from the inner city. We always gelled with the people there. It was a lovely place to go. Even though it was not a very long drive to Rathangan,...

Topical Issue Debate: Medical Aids and Appliances Provision (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I am taking this matter on behalf of the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris. I thank Deputy Butler for raising this issue. Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. The HSE has statutory responsibility for the provision of services for people with intellectual,...

Topical Issue Debate: Medical Aids and Appliances Provision (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: In respect of the specific case identified by the Deputy, in subsequent correspondence today with officials in the Department of Health and following consultation with the HSE, I am informed of the following. It is the responsibility of the prescribing clinician to ensure that a comprehensive assessment relevant to each service user’s needs is completed prior to prescribing an item of...

Topical Issue Debate: Medical Aids and Appliances Provision (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I will bring the remarks made by the Deputy in her opening statement, particularly that the floor hoist offered would not fit into the child's room, to the attention of the Minister, Deputy Harris. I do not think the cost of a piece of equipment should inhibit any child having a proper standard of health service within his or her home. I do not think a cost of €2,700 is a huge...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government: Social and Affordable Housing Funding (6 Apr 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The Programme for a Partnership Government gave a commitment to strengthen the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, SICAP, and to reactivate the RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) Programme. It is anticipated that the re-cast RAPID programme will roll out in 2017. The logistical and other arrangements for that programme are...

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