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By J. Brock (FINN)

A meeting of Legislative Assembly took place in the court and Assembly Chamber of the Town Hall at 0900hrs on Thursday, 27 March 2014. Present were MLAs Cheek, Edwards, Elsby, Poole, Rendell, Short and Summers. MLA Hansen is away on Assembly business. Also present was the Speaker of the House the Hon Mr Keith Biles, the Chief Executive, the Hon Mr Keith Padgett, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Mrs Nicola Granger, the Attorney General and the Clerk of Council the Hon Mrs Claudette Anderson-Prior, MBE.

The meeting began with the confirmation of the report on the Legislative Assembly session held in the FI Chamber of Commerce Function Room on Thursday, 26 February 2014.

Papers Lain on the Table

Copies of subsidiary Legislation published in the Falkland Islands Gazette since the last sitting of legislative Assembly and laid on the table pursuant to Section 35.1 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance 1977.

The following papers were laid on the table by the Hon the Chief Executive Mr Keith Padgett:

1. Coins Order 2014 2. Stanley Common Megabid Spoil Tip Regulations 2014 3. Falkland Islands Government Financial Statements and Audit Reports laid on the table in Accordance with the provisions of Section 37 of the Finance and Audit Ordinance for the year end 30 June 2013 4. Annual Government Statement Falkland Islands Government Currency Fund, Insurance Fund, Pensions Old Scheme Fund, Capital Equalisation Fund; and for the year ended 31 December 2012, the Retirement pensions Equalisation Fund

Questions for Oral Answer

Question No 4 of 2014 by The Honourable Gavin Short:

Can the Honourable Mike Summers please state if there is a policy in place for assisting families in repatriation persons who pass on whilst overseas for medical treatment?

Answer by the Hon Mr Mike Summers, MLA:

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, there is not a written policy in place for the repatriation of a person who has died overseas. The Falkland Islands Government Office in London makes all the arrangements between the hospital, funeral home and Brize Norton and covers all the costs for the person who has deceased in the United Kingdom. Generally these arrangements take between 2 and 3 weeks to put in place. The arrangements for a person who has deceased in Chile arent as clear.

And I think perhaps the Honourable Members question is to make sure there actually is a written procedure in place and having discovered that there is not and I would be happy to undertake that such work should take place in due course.

GS: I thank the Honourable Member for his reply. It was indeed the purpose for my question to see whether there was such a procedure in place for people who pass on while outside the Islands for treatment at Government expense. I thank him for his reply.

Question No 5 of 2014 by The Honourable Gavin Short: Can the Honourable Mike Summers please indicate if there is a policy for patients to be accompanied overseas at FIG expense when they are sent for medical treatment or diagnosis? If there is a policy please explain what it is and if it differs between those sent to South America and the United Kingdom?

Answer by the Hon Mr Mike Summers, MLA:

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members there is a policy in place regarding relatives accompanying patients overseas. It is set out in the Medical Treatment Overseas Policy which was last approved by Executive Council in December of 2013 and therefore is relatively current. A further amendment has since been made to this policy to codify the arrangements for both parents of severely disabled children to accompany their child in specific circumstances.

There is no difference to the arrangements between those with South America and with the United Kingdom.

GS: I thank the Honourable member for his reply.

Question No 6 of 2014 by The Honourable Gavin Short:

Thank you Mr Speaker and I do apologise to the Honourable Member as it seems I have a vendetta against him.

Can the Honourable Mike Summers please confirm whether it is true that the time the Opticians will spend in the Falklands has been reduced and if so, why was this visit shortened.

Answer by the Hon Mr Mike Summers, MLA:

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, we are always happy to provide information to the Assembly and to Members of the Public. And I welcome the Honourable members questions.

In respect of Opticians there is a visit by the Opticians for five weeks starting on the 8th of May and finishing on the 10th of June 2014. The last visit was shorter and was curtailed even further because of a delay on the air-bridge.

Generally there are three visits a year depending on the Opticians availability and the needs of the service. The next visit will be closely monitored to ensure that it is meeting the needs of all of those who need to see an Optician.

GS: I thank the Honourable member for his reply and this question was  as all three were  driven by questions that were posed to me by the public. So I thought it was better to ask them in the House and get them out in the public.

So I do thank him for his replies.

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