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7 Nov 2006 : Column 1199W—continued

Peru

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the government of Peru on (a) sexual equality and (b) tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. [99240]

Mr. McCartney: We have an ongoing dialogue with the Peruvian Government, both bilaterally and through the EU, on a range of human rights issues. While we have not had any recent discussions on the specific issues to which the hon. Member refers, we will continue to monitor all aspects of the human rights situation in Peru and make representations to the Peruvian Government when appropriate.

Rocket Attacks (Middle East)

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of trends in the (a) frequency and (b) severity of rocket attacks into southern Israel from Northern Gaza in the last week of October 2006. [100222]


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1200W

Mr. McCartney: According to the UN Office forthe Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between 18-31 October, at least 46 home-made rockets and three anti-tank rockets were fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip towards targets inside Israel. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said on3 November, we call for an immediate end to the launching of rockets against Israeli civilian targets, and to all forms of violence. Violence serves only to undermine the prospects for peace in the region.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the (a) specific objectives, (b) proportionality and (c) effectiveness in achieving objectives of Israeli military strikes on Northern Gaza on 1 and 2 November; and what representations she(i) has made and (ii) is planning to make in respect of those attacks. [100277]

Mr. McCartney: On 1 November the Israel Defence Force (IDF) launched military operations in Northern Gaza. The IDF have said these are limited operations against targets in the Gaza Strip to suppress the smuggling of weapons, counter Qassam rockets and to secure the release of Corporal Shalit.

As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said on 3 November

We maintain that Israel has a right to defend itself but any action should be proportionate and in accordance with international humanitarian law. Our embassy in Tel Aviv has raised this with the Israeli Government.

Sri Lanka

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the breakdown of peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers in Geneva; which obstacles have blocked the progression of these talks; and what support the Government will commit to achieve lasting peace in Sri Lanka. [99598]

Mr. McCartney: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Sudan

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the progress of the East Sudan peace talks; and what support the UK Government are providing to those talks. [94408]

Mr. McCartney: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1201W

Syria

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she last met the Syrian Foreign Minister; and when a Minister from her Department last met a Syrian counterpart. [95938]

Dr. Howells [pursuant to the reply, 26 October 2006, Official Report, c. 2076W]: I regret that an inaccurate answer was given to part of the hon. Member’s question. The answer given states that the last official ministerial contact with Syria was when my noble Friend the right. hon. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean visited in 2003. In fact the last official contact with a Syrian ministerial counterpart was when Baroness Symons visited Syria in 2004.

Northern Ireland

Adverse Drug Reactions

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the (a) number of adverse drug reactions occurring in the Province in each of the last five years and (b) costs resulting from such reactions in each year. [99781]

Paul Goggins: Information on the number of people who suffered adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals is not available. Information is available on those who were admitted to hospital and had a diagnosis of an adverse reaction to drugs.

Table 1 details the number of admissions to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of adverse reactions to drugs, for each year between 2001-02 and 2005-06 (the latest financial year for which data are available). It should be noted that any individual could have been admitted to hospital more than once over the course of a year or over a number of years and would therefore be counted more than once in the table.

Table 1
Admissions( 1) due to adverse reactions to drugs( 2)

2001-02

1,766

2002-03

1,520

2003-04

1,605

2004-05

1,654

2005-06

1,651

(1) Discharges and deaths are used as an approximation to admissions.
(2) Drugs refers to drugs, medicaments and biological substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic use.
Source:
Hospital Inpatients System.

Table two details the cost of episodes arising in a hospital day case or inpatient environment, which were specifically identified as including adverse reactions to medication.

Table 2
Cost (£ million)

2002-03

2.2

2003-04

2.5

2004-05

2.9


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1202W

These figures may not reflect the complete cost for all treatments resulting from adverse reactions to medications as they may not have been specifically identified within the hospital coding system. The above costs do not include related treatments in primary, community and outpatient settings.

Cost information for other years is not available.

Alcohol-related Crime

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland have been convicted of crimes in which alcohol has been a contributory factor in each of the last three years. [95530]

Mr. Hain: It has not been possible to answer this question before the end of the current parliamentary session.

Asbestos-related Illnesses

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of people in the Province who suffer from asbestos-related illnesses. [99789]

Paul Goggins: Information on the number of people diagnosed with asbestos-related illness in Northern Ireland is not available. However data on the number of hospital in-patients in Northern Ireland with a diagnosis of asbestos-related illness are available.

For this analysis asbestos-related illnesses have been defined, using the tenth revisions of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), as Mesothelioma, Pneumoconiosis due to asbestos and other mineral fibres, and Pleural Plaque including pleural thickening with the presence of asbestos.

During 2005-06 (the latest year for which data are available), the total number of admissions(1) to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of these asbestos-related illnesses was 465. Of these 191 related to mesothelioma admissions.

Figures for admissions for asbestos-related lung cancer cannot be obtained as this cancer is clinically indistinguishable from the more commonly occurring lung cancers unrelated to occupational exposure. However statisticians in the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain estimate roughly equal numbers of asbestos-related lung cancers as there are mesothelioma cases.

Assets Recovery Agency

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much in cash and assets has been seized in Northern Ireland by the Assets Recovery Agency in each year since its formation. [97934]


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Mr. Hain: It has not been possible to answer this question before the end of the current parliamentary session.

Attacks on NHS Staff

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of (a) verbal and (b) physical violence against NHS staff occurred in each health trust in the Province in each of the last three years. [99757]

Paul Goggins: Details of (a) verbal and (b) physical violent incidents against Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) staff since April 2004 are set out in the following Tables A and B.

Details prior to April 2004 are not recorded centrally.

Table A: Total number of verbal incidents
Trust 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07( 1)

Altnagelvin

121

121

28

Armagh and Dungannon

34

21

28

Belfast City

149

71

50

Causeway

15

54

44

Craigavon and Banbridge

104

150

62

Craigavon Area Hospital

63

30

52

Down Lisburn

157

149

67

Foyle

151

210

67

Greenpark

41

7

2

Homefirst

60

77

79

Mater

45

81

62

Newry and Mourne

65

108

73

North and West Belfast

42

94

29

NI Ambulance Service

17

31

35

Royal

97

159

65

South and East Belfast

126

126

38

Sperrin Lakeland

84

75

169

Ulster

106

76

34

United

144

144

31

(1 )Figures are incomplete and only available for the six-monthly period 1 April 2006 - 30 September 2006.


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Table B: Total number of physical incidents
Trust 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07( 1)

Altnagelvin

60

64

23

Armagh and Dungannon

174

198

118

Belfast City

132

95

41

Causeway

60

110

92

Craigavon and Banbridge

87

91

30

Craigavon Area Hospital

79

66

33

Down Lisburn

517

455

301

Foyle

177

322

104

Greenpark

42

14

5

Homefirst

471

433

270

Mater

135

157

111

Newry and Mourne

44

46

21

North and West Belfast

746

662

287

NI Ambulance Service

74

38

45

Royal

114

119

63

South and East Belfast

250

257

165

Sperrin Lakeland

242

110

451

Ulster

275

240

82

United

144

112

59

(1) Figures are incomplete and only available for the six-monthly period 1 April 2006 - 30 September 2006.

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