Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Health

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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294. To ask the Minister for Health his views on the mandatory inclusion of defibrillator equipment in all secondary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46922/14]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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My Department has no information on the utilisation of defibrillators nor the operational issues associated with them. There is currently no structured public access defibrillation programme in operation in Ireland that specifies the conditions for providing defibrillators in public places.

The Public Health (Availability of Defibrillators) Bill 2013 that is currently at Committee stage outlines a scheme that would require the owners of particular types of premises or venues to install and maintain defibrillators so that they would be available for public use. The Bill sets out the requirement to provide defibrillators in a range of settings and for events which have a regular attendance in excess of 100 persons per day. It was agreed that there are a number or questions that need to be considered when designing a public defibrillation programme for Ireland and Government approval was therefore granted for the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) of a Public Access Defibrillator Programme for Ireland.

The health technology assessment of public access defibrillation conducted by HIQA has examined the clinical and cost-effectiveness of different configurations of any potential public access defibrillation programme. No information is available on the exact numbers of AEDs that are currently in use in Ireland and no information is currently available on the locations of these devices, what proportion are maintained and functional, and how many are available for use by the public.

The Expert Advisory Group on Public Access Defibrillation has now concluded its investigations and a report has been forwarded to the Department of Health which is currently under consideration.


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