TITHE AN OIREACHTAIS
HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS
Work Programme 2004
JOINT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND CHILDREN
AN COMHCHOISTE UM SHLÁINTE AGUS LEANAÍ
JOINT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND CHILDREN
WORK PROGRAMME 2004
In accordance with Standing Order 84(4) of Dáil Éireann and Standing Order 69(4) of Seanad Éireann the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children hereby presents its work programme for 2004.
The Orders of Reference of the Joint Committee
The Orders of Reference of the Joint Committee empowers it to consider:
(i)such public affairs administered by the Department of Health and Children as it may select, including, in respect of Government policy, bodies under the aegis of that Department;
(ii)such matters of policy for which the Minister for Health and Children is officially responsible as it may select;
(iii)such related policy issues as it may select concerning bodies which are partly or wholly funded by the State or which are established or appointed by the members of the Government or by the Oireachtas;
(iv)such Statutory Instruments made by the Minister for Health and Children and laid before the Houses as it may select;
(v)such proposals for EU legislation and related policy issues as may be referred to it from time to time, in accordance with Standing Order 91(4);
(vi)the strategy statement laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister in charge of that Department pursuant to section 5(2) of the Public Service Management Act, 1997, and shall be authorised for the purposes of section 10 of that Act;
(vii)such Annual Reports or Annual Reports and Accounts, required by law and laid before either or both Houses of the Oireachtas, of bodies specified in paragraphs 2(a)(i) and (iii), and the overall operational results, statements of strategy and corporate plans of these bodies, as it may select;
Provided that the Joint Committee shall not, at any time, consider any matter relating to such a body which is, which has Been, or which is, at that time, proposed to be considered by the Committee of Public Accounts pursuant to the Orders of Reference of that Committee and/or the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act, 1993;
Provided further that the Joint Committee shall refrain from inquiring into in public session, or publishing confidential information regarding, any such matter if so requested either by the body concerned or by the Minister for Health and Children; and
(viii)such other matters as may be jointly referred to it from time to time by both Houses of the Oireachtas,
and shall report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas.
Accordingly, the items listed in this Work Programme will be considered by the Joint Committee within the parameters defined by it’s Orders of Reference, as amended from time to time.
Order of Consideration of Items and amendment of Work Programme.
It should be noted that the issues listed above for inclusion in the Joint Committee’s Work Programme are not set down in an order of priority. The Joint Committee will decide on individual areas for review in light of its assessment of a particular need during the year. In that context it is also probable that other relevant issues, not included in the Work Programme, may arise from time to time, which will require urgent attention by the Joint Committee. In these circumstances, it shall, if necessary, amend this work programme to include further items or delete or revise existing items. Any such amendment of this work programme shall be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as may be following such amendment.
Joint Committee: Items for consideration
•Ireland’s National Diabetes Strategy.
•Review of progress made in implementing the recommendations contained in the former Joint Committee on Health and Children’s Report on the Provision of Orthodontic Services in Ireland.
•Regional Balance in the Health Services to include the provision of Emergency Care, Para-Medical Care and Nationwide Preventative Programmes.
•Review of progress made in implementing the National Health Strategy.
•Review of progress made in implementing the Health Targets contained in the Review of the National Anti Poverty Strategy (NAPS).
•Review of the Drug Payment Scheme (DPS).
•Proposed deregulation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Enterprise and Small Business).
•Progress made in the publication of the Final Report of the Dunne Inquiry.
•Progress made in reforming and restructuring the Health Service with particular regard to the Brennan and Hanly Reports.
•The cost of insuring medical professionals and the introduction of Enterprise Liability into the Public Hospital System.
•Consideration and publication of the Report of the Sub-Committee on Alcohol Misuse by Young People.
•Such other matters as may be referred by both Houses.
•Such other matters under the Orders of Reference of the Joint Committee as it may decide.
Safety of Blood Products.
•Possibility of contracting a new variant CJD from blood products through blood transfusion.
•Review of progress made in implementing the recommendations contained in the Finlay Report.
•Findings of the Independent Review Group on Centralised Blood Testing.
•Review of progress made in implementing the recommendations concerning the future practice of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) contained in the Lindsay Tribunal of Inquiry Report.
•Review of the Hepatitic C Compensation Tribunal (Amendment) Act 2002.
•Role of the Department of Health and Children in ensuring the safety of blood products.
•Report of the Ombudsman into the payment of Nursing Home Subventions.
•Hospital Waiting Lists, particularly for Cardiac Surgery and Hip replacements.
•Nursing Issues to include issues regarding Public Health Nurses and Community Psychiatric Nurses.
•Progress made in establishing a Heart/Lung Transplant facility for Cystic Fibrosis patients.
•Present and future needs of the Rheumatology Services.
•Present and future needs of the Neurological Services (both Neurology and Neuro-Surgery).
•Progress made in implementing the recommendations contained in the Report entitled ‘Development of Radiation Oncology Services in Ireland’.
General Medical Service.
•Specialist Training for GPs treating patients who are at risk of committing suicide.
•Specialist Training for GPs treating patients with mental illness and for patients with alcohol and/or drug addictions.
•The particular issues affecting Inner City and Rural General Practices.
Skills shortages in the Health Services.
•Recruitment and retention of qualified speech and language therapists by Health Boards.
•Recruitment and retention of qualified Social Workers by Health Boards.
Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
•AIDS/HIV and S.T.D.s.
•Meningitis to include a Review of the Vaccination Programme.
•Ensuring sustained containment of the SARS Virus.
Treatment of Addictions.
•Availability of appropriate referral treatment for alcohol, drug and other substance abuse addictions.
Health Services for the Elderly.
•Community Care Facilities available for Elderly People.
•Mortality Rates among the Elderly.
Health Services for People with Disabilities.
•Provision of Residential and Respite services for persons with a mental or physical handicap.
•Progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Departments assessment of service needs (1997-2001) for persons with a mental handicap or intellectual disability.
•Progress made in providing life-long health services to people with autism and related disorders (in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Education & Science).
Men and Women’s Health Issues.
•Update on the ‘Plan for Women’s Health’ announced in 1997.
•Progress in implementing the recommendations contained in the Report of the Maternity and Infant Care Group Scheme (April, 1997) and general maternity care Issues.
•Incidences of and treatment available for Post Natal Depression.
•Screening and treatment available for Prostrate Cancer.
•Screening and treatment available for Cervical Cancer.
•Screening and treatment available for Breast Cancer to include a review of the national roll-out of the ‘Breast Check’ Programme.
•Establishment of a National Cancer Screening Register.
•Possible links between the use of mobile phones and the location of masts and certain forms of cancer.
•Skin Cancer and preventative Health Measures.
Health Education and Promotion.
•Education Programmes for young people on Alcohol and Drug Misuse (in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Education and Science).
•Health and Smoking Issues, to include a review of the effectiveness of the proposed ban on smoking in all public places, including pubs and restaurants.
•Rising levels of obesity in Irish people.
•Suicide Rates among Irish Men.
•Nature and understanding of Depression in Irish society.
•Community care facilities for people recovering from a mental illness to allow them re-integrate back into society.
•Benefits of the Water Fluoridation Process and the public concerns about possible risks and side effects to include a further review of the Report of the Forum on Fluoridation.
•Review of progress made in implementing the recommendations contained in the National Children’s Strategy.
•Health Services for Children.
•Foreign and Domestic Adoptions.
•Levels of Autism and related disorders among Irish Children.
•Abuse of Children — review of the 1987 guidelines on procedures for the identification, investigation and management of child abuse.
•Residential Child Care in Ireland — progress made in implementing the provisions contained in the Child Care Act, 1991.
•Review of the Family Support Services Provisions contained in Part 2 of the Child Care Act, 1991.
•Implementation of the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child.
•Current vaccination policy and practice, poor take-up rates and public concerns regarding risks and adverse effects.
•Rising levels of childhood obesity and the possible link with TV advertisements promoting nutritionally deficient, highly calorific foods.
Scrutiny of EU Business.
•Scrutiny of EU legislative proposals pertaining to the Department of Health and Children.
Strategy Statement and the Strategic Management Initiative.
•The Joint Committee will consider the S.M.I. documents relating to the Department of Health and Children in detail during the year and report annually on progress made by the Department.
Subject to Standing Order 78A and Standing Order 62A, the Committee may decide to undertake travel as necessary in the context of the matter under consideration.
Select Committee on Health and Children
Under Paragraph (1) of its Orders of Reference (Dáil Eireann) the Select Committee will consider such Bills and Estimates pertaining to the Department of Health and Children as shall be referred to it by Dáil Éireann from time to time.
Batt 0’Keeffe , T.D.
5 February, 2004.