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Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospitals Building Programme (26 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the Senator. I am here on behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy McGrath, as this matter falls under his remit. I take this opportunity to discuss developments at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire here in the Seanad. The Government recognises the excellent rehabilitation programme the National Rehabilitation Hospital delivers and the hospital’s...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospitals Building Programme (26 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: This will support staff to deliver quality care and treatment in a facility which affords dignity, respect and privacy to all. The Government is committed to advancing neuro-rehabilitation services in the community, and the redevelopment of the National Rehabilitation Hospital is central to achieving that. The National Rehabilitation Hospital provides complex specialist rehabilitation...

Seanad: Smoking Ban: Motion (25 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: I thank all the Senators who have spoken on this issue, Senators Reilly, Buttimer, Wilson, Ó Domhnaill, Coughlan, Dolan and McFadden. This issue affects all our lives whether personally or in our families or extended families. The Bill aims to protect our children. We can have no greater gift than our children and we should keep that in perspective when we speak about this. Senator...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Promotion (24 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: While there are no specific plans along the lines requested by the Deputy, there are a number of existing instruments directly relevant to this area. Existing legislation stipulates that energy drinks that contain caffeine in excess of 150 mg/l must be labelled 'High caffeine content - not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women' in the same field of vision as...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes (24 Apr 2018)

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: Hospital Services (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: On behalf of the Minister, Deputy Harris, I thank Deputy Fleming for raising this Topical Issue. I hope the reply that has been provided to me reflects the points that have been made by the Deputy, some of which I have noted on paper. I will read the reply before coming back to the Deputy on any further points he may have. I assure the Deputy that, as the Minister for Health has stated...

Topical Issue Debate: Hospital Services (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: I assure the Deputy that I was taken aback by one aspect of the script when I was reading it on behalf of the Minister. The Deputy mentioned that the report was received last September. I think there is some justification for some of the issues he has raised. There is nothing as bad as a hospital and its patients being left with uncertainty. I promise the Deputy that I will do my utmost...

Topical Issue Debate: Hospital Staff Recruitment (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: Again, I thank the Deputy for raising this very important issue. Respite care availability is an issue with which all public representatives deal on a daily basis. I am sorry that this is the second time that Deputy O'Keeffe has had to raise this issue in the House. I have been present on both occasions to deliver the departmental response. I emphasise to the Deputy that when I deal with...

Topical Issue Debate: Hospital Staff Recruitment (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: I apologise that the Minister is not here. I do not know where he is but I have been asked to respond.

Topical Issue Debate: Hospital Staff Recruitment (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: He is gone missing but I do not know where he is. I am sorry that he is not here. On behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, I thank Deputy O'Keeffe for raising this issue. The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of health and personal social services, including those at facilities such as St. Patrick's community hospital, Fermoy. Fermoy Community...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Long-Term Illness Scheme (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: The Minister for Health, Deputy Harris is in the Dáil taking questions on health. The Minister apologises to the Senator for his absence but I will deal with the issue on his behalf. I thank Senator Byrne for raising this matter in the Seanad. The long-term illness, LTI, scheme was established under section 59(3) of the Health Act 1970, as amended. The conditions covered under the...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Long-Term Illness Scheme (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: I cannot give such a commitment. The Minister will have to decide whether there will be a review or not. I come across this issue quite a lot as a public representative. I am aware of it from members of my own family who have rheumatoid arthritis, which affects people as they get older and can lead to very disturbing inability to be able to move around. I will convey the Senator's views...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Services (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) publishes the Standards of Care and Ethical Guidelines, which articulate a professional consensus about the psychiatric, psychological, medical and surgical management of gender dysphoria. The guidelines are designed to help professionals understand the parameters within which they may offer assistance to those with gender...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Addiction Treatment Services (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: The group referred to by the Deputy does not come under the remit of the Minister.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Strategies (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: Since the launch of Healthy Ireland, expenditure on its implementation from within the budget of the Department of Health has been the following: Year Expenditure 2013 €89,315 2014 €586,470 2015 €607,707 2016 €1,156,405 2017 €996,837 2018 €22,307 In addition to the expenditure noted above, other expenditure arising within the Department could...

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy (19 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: The national drug strategy, Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery. A Health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2015, aims to protect the public from threats to health and wellbeing related to substance misuse by preventing early use of alcohol and other drugs among young people, influencing behaviours and challenging social norms and attitudes. Substance misuse prevention...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Internet Safety (18 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: In accordance with Section 10 on governance of the Codes of Practice concerned, the Department of Health's involvement in them will include the designation of a monitoring body and the maintenance and publication - either by the Department or the monitoring body - of a register of signatories to these codes. Section 10 also stipulates that the monitoring body shall produce an annual...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Medicinal Products (18 Apr 2018)

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.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug and Alcohol Task Forces (17 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 654 to 656, inclusive, and 659 and 848 together. Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem in their areas and in coordinating action at local level, so that there is a targeted response to the problem of substance misuse in local communities. Every effort has been made to protect the budgets of Drug and...

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy Implementation (17 Apr 2018)

Catherine Byrne: The national drug strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery – a health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025, recognises that drug and alcohol use is a complex issue requiring an inter-departmental response, focused on promoting healthier lifestyles within society.  The strategy recognises that poor living conditions and high levels of unemployment...

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