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Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: During the discussion on the proposed amendments to the Bill, Deputies referred to injection centres. I assure Deputies, Deputy Wallace in particular, that I intend bringing legislation to the Dáil regarding clean injection facilities. This legislation will be ready for the autumn term. I understand the frustration behind Deputy Ó Caoláin's argument. On Committee Stage,...

Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Report Stage (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I thank all the Deputies who have spoken on the amendment. The proposed amendments, if accepted, would mean that a person in possession of certain controlled drugs could not be prosecuted under the misuse of drugs legislation where the amount could be thought to be for personal use. I fully understand and appreciate the intent behind the proposed amendment. However, overnight, it would...

Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Order for Report Stage (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I move:"That Report Stage be taken now."

Written Answers — Department of Health: Community Care (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: With effect from 1 January 2014, operational and financial responsibility for the Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme was transferred to the HSE. In the circumstances, I have referred this matter to the HSE for direct reply. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy Publication (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: The Department of Health is developing a new National Drugs Strategy, which will take effect in 2017, when the current policy expires. A Steering Committee has been established to oversee the process and to advise on how the new Strategy should address problem drug use, including the structures through which this should be done and incorporating key performance indicators to measure the...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: Buprenorphine-naloxone is a medicinal product, authorised as a substitution treatment for opioid drug dependence within a framework of medical, social and psychological treatment. It is currently being provided to a cohort of patients involved in a piloting and feasibility study. The report of an implementation group established by the HSE to determine the conditions to govern the...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 664 and 666 together. As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Addiction Treatment Services (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: The HSE has appointed a National Addiction Clinical Lead to strengthen the development and implementation of clinical governance structures in the HSE addiction services and in respect of services that receive funding from the HSE. The Clinical Lead also supports and advises on the delivery of national policy objectives and the actions of the HSE National Service Plan, which include...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Traveller Community (21 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 668 and 669 together. As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes (19 Jul 2016)

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. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Traveller Community (19 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: My Department does not currently have plans to update the All Ireland Traveller Health Study. The Department of Justice and Equality is leading on the development of a new National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy. The Strategy aims to provide a set of specific actions that need to be taken to bring about a real improvement in quality of life for Travellers and Roma. It is intended...

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy Implementation (19 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: The Government is committed to supporting a health-led rather than criminal justice approach to drugs use including legislating for supervised injecting facilities. Drafting of a Bill to provide enabling measures for the licensing of such facilities is at an advanced stage. The Bill and the subsequent Ministerial regulations made thereunder, will allow for the licensing, provision and...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Services Staff Recruitment (19 Jul 2016)

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. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Select Committee on Health: Business of Committee (14 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the members of the select committee for allowing me to be here to proceed with Committee Stage of the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill, which has gone through the Seanad and the Dáil. For those who have not followed the proceedings in both Houses, the purpose of the Bill is to control certain substances that are legal but which will be put on the controlled substance list in the...

Select Committee on Health: Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016: Committee Stage (14 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the committee for its support for the Bill. I hope that once the Bill is passed it will be enacted in the autumn.

Select Committee on Health: Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016: Committee Stage (14 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: Deputy Chambers referred to the pilot scheme that is in place. A total of 80 people are on suboxone. It is intended to examine all avenues under the national drugs strategy in terms of education, recovery and the various issues involved. In the course of that process many of the issues raised in the committee, and in the Dáil and Seanad, will be examined. I intend to do that as part...

Select Committee on Health: Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016: Committee Stage (14 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I have had conversations about it with officials of the various Departments involved. Although the drug is available on a pilot basis, it is not one that can be freely administered because there are some people for whom it may not be suitable. I have been advised that it is a substance that may not suit everybody on methadone. That issue has to be developed further before any decision can...

Select Committee on Health: Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016: Committee Stage (14 Jul 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I agree with Deputy Louise O'Reilly that more needs to be done. We all live in communities, whether urban or rural, where drug addiction is a problem. The Deputy is correct that more needs to be done about the scourge of drugs and the unfortunate people who use them, as well as the drug trade and gangland criminals. I intend to do more as part of the ongoing process and, as I stated in both...

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