Tuesday, 15 February 2022
Department of Health
778. To ask the Minister for Health the costs associated with his, the Secretary General's and any other departmental staff attendance at a wellness expo in Dubai; the costs related to subsistence, travel and accommodation for each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8023/22]
The costs of my recent trip to Dubai were managed carefully by my Department and the local Irish Embassy and in my view represent good value for money. It is important that as Ireland opens up to the world again, that Ministers and officials are able to travel abroad in support of the country's interests at important international events.
In the case of my trip the programme included support for Enterprise Ireland's clients attending the Arab Health Conference, participation in the Health and Wellness Week at the Dubai Expo and a number of other engagements.
My Department purchased economy class flights for the four members of the delegation at a total cost of €2,995.24.
The Irish team at the Dubai Expo have arrangements in place with a number of hotels for the duration of the Expo. The delegation stayed at a hotel recommended to my Department based on value for money, availability, and suitability in terms of the programme for the visit. Local transport was organised on the same basis.
In total the local costs for accommodation and transport for the delegation of four came to AED 26,115.40, which equates to circa €6,250.
Current circulars in relation to civil service travel and subsistence, including the rates that apply to Dubai, are available publicly on the Payroll Shared Service Centre's website: pssc.gov.ie/ts-circulars-and-guidelines/#.