Writtens Answers Nos. 590-604

Hospitals Data

Gerry Adams

Question:

590. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of procedures carried out in respect of cataract surgeries for each hospital for each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date, in tabular form. [21167/16]

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Question No. 591 answered with Question No. 587.

Psychological Services

Alan Farrell

Question:

592. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the reason primary care psychology services are not provided for children in north County Dublin; the reason the Swords Mater CAMHS has not treated a child from the routine waiting list over the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21170/16]

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not received a reply within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Death Certificates

Brendan Griffin

Question:

593. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health the reason a death certificate is not available in respect of a person (details supplied); if the matter will be investigated so that the next of kin can receive closure; if there is information available in respect of the cause of death; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21171/16]

The Deputy will appreciate that I do not have access to individual patient files or personal information.

I have asked the HSE to look into the matter and to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Professional Qualifications

Brendan Griffin

Question:

594. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on the impact on the livelihood of persons who work in the physical therapy sector of the removal of the professional title "physical therapist" from physical therapy practitioners; if a crossover exam could be put in place to allow them to be included; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21188/16]

By end 2018, the title of physiotherapist is due to be protected, under the provisions of Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, for the exclusive use of registrants of the physiotherapists register. In addition, and in order to eliminate an ongoing risk of title confusion and consequent risks to public safety, I intend to make regulations under the Act to prescribe the title of physical therapist as a variant of the title of physiotherapist thereby protecting both titles.

I also intend to amend the Act to facilitate existing users of the title of physical therapist who are not qualified physiotherapists but who are graduates of the Institute of Physical Therapy and Applied Science or who hold equivalent qualifications to continue to use the title. New and separate grand parenting provisions, which may include provision for an assessment of professional competence for some applicants, will be introduced to permit such practitioners to register, on a once-off basis and for a limited period, in the physiotherapists register.

My Department is preparing the necessary legislation to give effect to the detail of these decisions which have been communicated to the Physiotherapists Registration Board and other interested parties.

Hospital Appointments Status

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

595. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21192/16]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

HIV-AIDS Programmes

Colm Brophy

Question:

596. Deputy Colm Brophy asked the Minister for Health the State budget and strategy in 2016 and in the coming years for HIV prevention among gay and bisexual men; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21198/16]

The National Sexual Health Strategy 2015 – 2020 and Action Plan 2015 – 2016 were launched in October 2015. The National Sexual Health Strategy aims to improve sexual health and well-being and reduce negative sexual health outcomes by ensuring that everyone living in Ireland has access to high quality sexual health information, education and services throughout their lives. The Strategy contains 71 recommendations that address a wide spectrum of sexual health services, from surveillance and prevention, to treatment, counselling and supports, to education and professional development.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has reported that the greatest burden of STIs falls among those aged under 25 years and among men who have sex with men (MSM). Accordingly, the Strategy aims to target ‘at risk’ groups for specific interventions. These interventions include ensuring that all campaigns and interventions targeting those most at risk of negative sexual health outcomes will be inclusive with regard to the diversity of sexual experiences and identities; developing and maintaining positive prevention, access to condoms, testing, targeted education and outreach; and identifying and establishing links with other relevant strategies, particularly those relating to vulnerable and at-risk groups, to ensure their sexual health needs are addressed.

The Sexual Health Action Plan for 2015 - 2016 identified 18 priority actions across clinical services, education, communications and governance / structures. These actions aim to enhance sexual health prevention and treatment services at both population level and also address issues specific to men who have sex with men. The Action Plan commits to the development of a further Action Plan for 2017 - 2020 to complete the implementation of the Strategy.

As the budget allocated to sexual health services is an operational matter I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in this regard.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

John Brassil

Question:

597. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health if he will approve and expedite orthodontic treatment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21206/16]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

National Treatment Purchase Fund

Brendan Griffin

Question:

598. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health when he will introduce the treatment purchase scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21212/16]

Currently, in accordance with Reg 4(1) of the NTPF Board (Establishment) Order 2004, the NTPF carries out activities in respect of data and analytics, audit and quality assurance of waiting lists and pricing under the Nursing Home Support Scheme.

The NTPF supports the management of in-patient, day-case and outpatient waiting lists, by working with the HSE to assist hospitals in developing local demand and capacity planning and providing technical guidance materials to ensure the highest standard of data quality and practice.

The expertise amassed by the NTPF in respect of waiting lists has proven invaluable in assisting the HSE to administer previous waiting list initiatives and in carrying out smaller-scale targeted initiatives in areas such as endoscopy.

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to reduce waiting times. My Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE to deliver on the Programme's waiting list commitments.

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy.

The future role of the NTPF will be considered in the context of wider health reform Programme.

Question No. 599 answered with Question No. 481.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Barry Cowen

Question:

600. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the status of a case (details supplied), including when the person concerned will receive an appointment. [21217/16]

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

601. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if he can provide a person (details supplied) with a date for an operation; and the reason for the delay. [21218/16]

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Billy Kelleher

Question:

602. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the status of the drug Translarna; when he will make a decision as to whether to include it in the reimbursement list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21220/16]

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. Prior to deciding whether to reimburse a medicine, the HSE considers a range of statutory criteria, including clinical need, cost-effectiveness and the resources available to the HSE.

Decisions on whether to reimburse medicines by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds by the HSE, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE conducts the health technology assessment of pharmaceutical products for the HSE, and can make recommendations on reimbursement to assist the HSE in its decision-making process.

The NCPE completed a health technology assessment of ataluren (brand name Translarna) in April and did not recommend reimbursement. The HSE is currently considering the NCPE report.

Question No. 603 answered with Question No. 99.

Hospitals Data

Pearse Doherty

Question:

604. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if he is aware of the fact that of the 4,184 registration applications received by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland between 2015 and May 2016, only 1,632 were successfully added to the register; if a review of the registration process is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21224/16]

I have been advised by the NMBI that the figures referred to in your question are correct. However, it is important that these figures are understood in the context of the explanation provided below in relation to the open cases.

There were 1,947 registration applications categorised as open cases (documentation awaited from the applicant) on 31 May 2016. Many of the applications received are incomplete, whereby required documents remain outstanding and, therefore, the matter cannot be progressed to review/assessment stage until these are received. In addition, many applicants do not fully complete their application form, therefore, leading to further delays in progressing an application through the system.

At the end of 2015, the timeframe for assessment of applications once all required documentation had been submitted was 90 days. As of 31st May 2016, this had been reduced to 45 days.

Summary details regarding number of nurse/midwife registrations is provided below:

Date

Received

Registered

Adaptation

/assessment/aptitude decisions issued

Files closed

2015

2,534

1,039

625

1,494

1/1/16-31/05/2016

1,650

593

681

244

Total for period

4,184

1,632

1,306

1,738

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Board had taken a decision to close files in respect of applicants who did not submit the required documentation within one year of the initial application – this period was reduced to a six month timeframe for applications submitted on or after 1 March 2016.

The NMBI fully recognises the challenges being experienced by health service employers in the public and the private sector and it is meeting and liaising with employers to address the registration issues. The NMBI is also liaising with a large number of recruitment agencies on a daily and weekly basis to support the recruitment and registration process. Senior NMBI staff are also reviewing options for further improving the efficiency of the existing process, whilst still maintaining the standards of education and professional competence required to enable registration. A new streamlined application form and information booklet was also launched earlier this year. Various measures, including enhanced website functionality, additional staff appointments and ongoing process improvement work by NMBI staff are assisting in the management of the increasing volumes of applications received by NMBI. The NMBI must facilitate new nurses and midwives entering the Irish health system as quickly as possible without compromising standards.