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Written Answers — Department of Health: Addiction Treatment Services (8 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: With effect from 1 January 2014, operational and financial responsibility for the Kildare West Wicklow Community Addiction Services Ltd. was transferred to the HSE. In the circumstances, I have referred this matter to the HSE for direct reply.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes (6 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: The South Western Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force is responsible for working with communities in County Kildare in order to co-ordinate the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy in the area. As the specific issue raised by Deputy 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: Addiction Treatment Services (6 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: Reflecting the Government's commitment to a health-led response to drug use, an additional €3m in funding has been provided in the 2017 budget to increase support for interventions aimed at improving the health outcomes of those affected by addiction. In relation to Kildare and West Wicklow, the Department of Health has provided Drugs Initiative funding of €102,820 to the...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Medicinal Products Prices (6 Dec 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.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use (Regulations) Bill 2016: Second Stage [Private Members] (1 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: This Bill is about three words, families, compassion and hope. It is about families on a daily basis who have to comfort their loved ones who, because of a serious illness, live a nightmare on a 24-7 basis. Sometimes politicians are not seen as being compassionate or having compassion in abundance. However, a new pathway, the new politics we all hear a great deal about from all sides, has...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospital Services (1 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I am not the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris. I have been asked to take the Commencement matter on his behalf. However, I am a woman and given that I have five children and have been obliged many times to go to accident and emergency units for gynaecology, I understand. I know how important it is to have a service up and running. On behalf of the Minister, I thank Senators Colm Burke...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Hospital Services (1 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I understand the Senators' frustration and concur with some of the things they have said. My response did not specifically identify some of the issues they raised. However, things are happening in Cork University Hospital. Let us not be in any doubt that the Government is committed to providing a better service for women, particularly in gynaecology. The money that is being set aside and...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Medicinal Products Availability (1 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I am glad to be here this morning to take this Commencement Matter on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Harris. I thank the Senator for raising this issue. PKU and HCU are lifelong conditions, with serious dietary restrictions for people who have them. Essential clinical nutritional products, specifically for PKU and HCU, as well as some low-protein foodstuffs, are reimbursed under the...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Medicinal Products Availability (1 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I am sorry that the answer has not fully cleared up the issues the Senator raised. I will meet the Minister, Deputy Harris, today and I will raise her concerns with him. I have personal experience of somebody at home who had a child who needed special food and because of the cost it was difficult for them to get it.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Traveller Community (1 Dec 2016)

Catherine Byrne: Healthy Ireland is our national framework for action to improve the health and well-being of the people of Ireland. Healthy Ireland takes a whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approach to improving health and well-being and the quality of people’s lives and provides an overarching approach to addressing health inequalities among Travellers. The Government is committed to...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes Availability (1 Dec 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.

Topical Issue Debate: Traveller Accommodation (30 Nov 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I do not have answers to some of the specific questions posed by Deputy O'Brien. I have taken note of them and will revert to him as soon as possible. I thank the Deputy for his comments and observations and assure him that I am committed to ensuring Traveller accommodation needs are met in a safe and suitable manner. As is appropriate in the aftermath of such an appalling tragedy, the...

Topical Issue Debate: Traveller Accommodation (30 Nov 2016)

Catherine Byrne: I thank Deputy O'Brien for raising this crucial matter and I welcome the opportunity to address the Deputy on it. Arising from the tragic circumstances at Carrickmines in October 2015 and the loss of so many families and loved ones, a number of actions were implemented in the aftermath of the tragedy, along with ongoing engagement over the past 12 months with the bereaved and those affected...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Health Services Funding (30 Nov 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.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Legislative Measures (30 Nov 2016)

Catherine Byrne: The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2016 was passed by the Oireachtas on the 27th July 2016. The primary purpose of the Act is to protect public health by bringing certain substances which are open to misuse and known to be traded on the illicit market under the scope of the Misuse of Drugs legislation, thereby aiding the law enforcement activities of An Garda Síochána. These...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Drug Treatment Programmes Availability (29 Nov 2016)

Catherine Byrne: On 12 October 2016, I announced the allocation of an additional €3m in the 2017 Budget to increase support for interventions aimed at improving the health outcomes of vulnerable groups, in particular those affected by addiction, through establishing a supervised injecting facility in Dublin City centre and providing more detox places. The additional funding will be used to address...

Written Answers — Department of Health: National Drugs Strategy (29 Nov 2016)

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. Prevention and Education programmes constitute a significant part of the Government's response to the drug problem, particularly among...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Medical Products Supply (29 Nov 2016)

Catherine Byrne: In May 2015, the HSE undertook a demonstration project to assess and evaluate the suitability and impact of using a pre-filled Naloxone injection, which is designed for non-medical administration in Ireland. Naloxone is an anti-dote used to reverse the effects of opioid drugs like heroin, morphine and methadone, if someone overdoses. I launched an Evaluation Report on the HSE’s...

Questions on Proposed Legislation (24 Nov 2016)

Catherine Byrne: More than 9,000 people are in receipt of methadone, with more than 3,500 on it for longer than ten years. A pilot project involving Suboxone is under way and will be rolled out across the country. There is room now in the budget to extend the use of Suboxone, but it cannot be given to everyone. Only certain people can take it because it can have long-term effects for those with medical...

Written Answers — Department of Health: Addiction Treatment Services (23 Nov 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.

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