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Seanad: Commencement Matters: Early Childhood Care and Education Funding (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I apologise, but I will be talking all four Commencement matters.

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Early Childhood Care and Education Funding (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the Senator. Some of the issues she has raised do not relate to the question that was submitted, so I may not have the answers here, but I will comment on some afterwards. On behalf of the Minister, Deputy Katherine Zappone, I am very pleased to provide an update on the measures which are being put in place to make child care more affordable for families from September. I will also...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Early Childhood Care and Education Funding (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The Senator raised other issues which were not mentioned in the matter submitted but I have taken note of them, in particular the question about the system. I will raise the matter of the review of child care to the Minister's office straight away when I leave here. There is, as the Senator said, a substantial amount of funding being put in place over the next number of years for child...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: School Curriculum (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I thank Senator Warfield for his remarks. I am taking this matter on behalf of the Minister for Education and Skills, who cannot be here this morning. I thank the Senator for providing this opportunity to outline to the House the position on the teaching of the LGBT+ aspects of the social, personal and health education, SPHE, and the relationships and sexuality education, RSE, curriculums...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: School Curriculum (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The Senator has spoken on a personal basis about what it is to be different from other people, or to identify as different from other people. My thoughts on it are very clear. Anybody who lives in a country and any child who goes to school has the right to be educated on all sexual relationships, no matter what relationship that is. We are living in a very different country from that in...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: School Curriculum (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I will be taking this matter on behalf of Minister, Deputy Harris. The issue of orphan medicines, with very small patient populations, and the price barriers for health systems in supplying them to patients, is worldwide. Orphan product manufacturers have exclusive patents and are monopoly suppliers. They can, and frequently do, seek extraordinary prices for these products. The HSE seeks,...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: School Curriculum (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I agree with Senator Colm Burke that if somebody can have medication that will keep him or her out of hospital and be less of a cost to the State, that needs to looked at as well. As I stated in the reply, there are currently nine products under consideration, with a five year cost of €120 million, of which eight were referred since May. The Minister, Deputy Harris, expects that the...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: School Curriculum (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I apologise for the Minister, Deputy Harris, who could not be here. I commend those carers who are over 66 years of age and, indeed, all carers who are caring for loved ones at home. This 24-7 duty of care is one that faces many families throughout the country and I understand the difficulties carers face financially, physically and emotionally, particularly for those who are older carers....

Seanad: Commencement Matters: School Curriculum (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I have great sympathy for the issue Senator Byrne has raised. I know what it was like when my two brothers looked after my Mam, who had dementia and other ailments, before she passed away. It is unconditional love - that is the only way of putting it. They were not paid for their services but they did it because she was their mother and they were able to have her at home and give her as...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Services Provision (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Tobacco Control Measures (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The survey published by the Health Service Executive relates to the relative increase in consumption of roll-your-own tobacco up to 2014 which has also been identified by the Tax Strategy Group. Tobacco Free Ireland, the Report of the Tobacco Policy Review was endorsed by Government and published in 2013. It set a target for Ireland to be tobacco free (smoking prevalence <5%) by 2025. One...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Addiction Treatment Services (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 537, 766, 768 and 770 together. People who present to the HSE for addiction treatment for gambling are offered the same range of interventions as those who present with a drug and alcohol addiction, or a mental health concern, including an initial assessment, a comprehensive assessment, and individual counselling. Counselling and rehabilitation services...

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The overall objective of the National Drugs Strategy is to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs through a concerted focus on the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research. Periodic reviews of progress across the five pillars of the Strategy are carried out through the Oversight Forum on Drugs, which is chaired by...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes Availability (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Substance Misuse (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 588 to 591, inclusive, 592, 596 to 599, inclusive, 601 and 602 together. As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Proposed Legislation (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 593 and 594 together. Following an Expert Group recommendation that the same regulatory framework which applies to methadone should apply to products containing buprenorphine/naloxone or buprenorphine for opioid substitution treatment (OST) an Opioid Substitution Implementation Group (OSIG) was established by the HSE in 2013. The purpose of this Group was...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Services Staff Training (13 Jul 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.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes Places (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: The HSE maintains the Central Treatment List, which is a register of all clients in receipt of opioid substitution treatment for problem opiate use in Ireland. As at 31 May 2017, the latest month for which figures are available, 9,638 individuals were in receipt of opioid substitution treatment outside of the prison setting.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Traveller Projects Funding (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 608, inclusive, together. As these are service matters they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Screening Programmes (13 Jul 2017)

Catherine Byrne: I propose to take Questions Nos. 609 and 610 together. €2.96 million was made available to the Department of Health from the Dormant Accounts Fund in 2016, which included provision of €1.46 million for a Mobile Health Screening Unit and €0.45 million to support an Intercultural Health Project for Refugees. The objective of the Mobile Health Screening Unit is to provide an...

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