Written Questions Andrew Doyle

These Header-Facebook-Written-Answersare the written answers received by Andrew Doyle TD to
questions asked of Ministers and Departments on various subjects.

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Department of Health

Medical Card Eligibility

 

Andrew Doyle (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health if an agreement has been made between the United Kingdom and Ireland so that if an Irish citizen who has worked long term in the UK, and held a UK medical card, is then automatically entitled to an Irish medical card when they return home to retire. [7878/16]

Kathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)

Under Regulation (EC) 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems, persons insured in any EU Member State, together with persons insured in any EEA Member State (Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein) or in Switzerland, are entitled to receive health care services in Ireland at the cost of that member state provided they are not subject to Irish social security legislation. Persons in this category are entitled to full eligibility and receive a medical card as evidence of their entitlement. The applicant is only required to demonstrate to the HSE that they qualify under the EU Regulations and there is no requirement to submit income details and details of savings.

The applicant must produce the appropriate E or S-form, completed by their Member State confirming the healthcare entitlement for which that state is liable. The position regarding the UK is that, under a reciprocal agreement, the EU S form is not required, however, proof of receipt of a qualifying payment from the UK authorities should be provided with the application to the HSE.

The HSE has responsibility to establish if an applicant is subject to Irish social security legislation. A person is considered subject to Irish social security legislation if s/he is in receipt of a contributory Irish social welfare payment or engaged in work in Ireland and subject to PRSI. If a person is considered subject to Irish social security legislation, the person will not qualify for a Medical Card under EU legislation or the reciprocal agreement, but may qualify for a means-tested medical card under national legislation.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Inter-Country Adoptions

 

Andrew Doyle (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

  1. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of applicants who registered with Arc Adoption Agency for the purposes of inter-country adoption and who are now pursuing the refund of their registration fee since the liquidation of the agency in 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6592/16]

James Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)

As is Deputy is aware Arc Adoption ceased operating in November 2015. Arc Adoption called a creditors meeting on the 9th February 2016 for the purposes of voluntarily winding up the company and appointing a Liquidator. If former clients are owed money from Arc Adoption they should contact the appointed liquidator.

I am aware that there is an issue regarding the repayment to clients of refundable registration fees they are owed by Arc Adoption. I am advised that my Department has no legal responsibility for repayment of these fees. Arc Adoption is a company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital and operates on a “not-for-profit basis”. These fees were paid as part of an agreement between Arc Adoption and its clients and my Department was not party to this agreement. However I gave a commitment to examine the issue. This is a complex matter which I am currently considering.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport Data

 

Andrew Doyle (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

  1. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of passports and identity cards he has issued in 2016 to date; if the ten-day turnaround for re-issuing passports has been met in 2016; if he will employ more seasonal staff to deal with the backlog of passports if the volume of applications increases; if there has been an increase in the number of applications from outside the Republic of Ireland between January and April 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6623/16]

Charles Flanagan (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Laois, Fine Gael)

From 1 January to 11 April the Passport Service has issued a total of 179,885 passport books and 6,598 passport cards. This represents a significant increase in applications for passport books compared to the same period last year.

The target turnaround period of ten days applies to those applications submitted in person at the Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork and through the An Post Passport Express service. All applications which were submitted in person at the Passport Offices met the guideline turnaround times. The Passport Service has processed 119,831 applications via the Passport Express service so far this year. Of these 58,436, or almost 50% of applications, have been processed in ten working days or less. Passport Express applications are currently being processed within 11/12 working days.

To respond to the anticipated increase in seasonal demand the Passport Service has recruited additional Temporary Clerical Officers who will work a total of 5,122 weeks this year. This represents an increase of approximately 15% in the number of weeks sanctioned over last year. Application processing work has been redistributed across passport offices in recent weeks and staff re-deployed from other areas of the Department as needed to respond to the increased workload. The Passport Service will continue to closely monitor the situation, including with respect to the deployment of resources, to ensure that the impact of the high volume of demand on turnaround times is minimized.

The number of applications received from outside the state for the first quarter of 2015 was 43,369 and it is 49,397 over the same period in 2016. This represents an increase of almost 14% which is in line with the broader growth in demand.

It should be noted that the ten day turnaround time for the An Post service is a target rather than a stated guarantee. I strongly recommend that citizens apply for passports at least six weeks in advance of any planned travel.