HSE Funding

Questions (714)

Alan Farrell

Question:

714. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the amount of Health Service Executive funding that has been provided to a charity (details supplied) since 2005. [8431/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

This matter has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

Questions (715)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

715. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the supports available to a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8441/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Deputy has raised a query regarding an individual case. The HSE has responsibility for the administration of treatment in this case and delivery of services. The matter has therefore been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Eligibility

Question No. 717 answered with Question No. 664.

Questions (716)

Seán Fleming

Question:

716. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health if a medical card will be approved for persons who are in receipt of payment from the community welfare officer while their application for jobseeker's allowance is being approved in view of the fact that in many situations there will be significant medical bills to be paid while they are waiting for the social welfare payment to come through and a medical card is required in these situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8450/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive for a report on the issue raised by the Deputy. I will revert to the Deputy on the matter as soon as possible.

Question No. 717 answered with Question No. 664.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (718)

Seán Fleming

Question:

718. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon will be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8511/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Improving access to outpatient services is a key priority for the Government. Building on work already undertaken by the HSE, the NTPF has now taken over the reporting of outpatient waiting time data. For the first time, clear and comprehensive data is available on www.ptr.ie. The collation and analysis of outpatient waiting time data in a standardised format will reveal the distribution of long waiters across all hospitals. In the first instance, this will allow the SDU and NTPF to target their resources towards those patients who are waiting longest and ensure that they are seen and assessed. A maximum waiting time target has now been set of 12 months for a first time outpatient appointment by 30 November 2013.

In parallel with reducing the numbers of longest waiters, the SDU will also work with the HSE Clinical Programmes to reform the structure, organisation and delivery of outpatient services to ensure that the right patient is seen and assessed by the right health professional at the right time.

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Universal Health Insurance Provision

Questions (719)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

719. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the date on which in 2013 free general practitioner visits will be made available to those on the long term illness scheme as stated in Budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8520/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government commits to reforming the current public health system by introducing Universal Health Insurance with equal access to care for all. As part of this, the Government is committed to introducing, on a phased basis, GP care without fees within its first term of office. Primary legislation is required to give effect to Government commitment to introduce a universal GP service without fees.

Legislation to allow the Minister for Health to make regulations to extend access to GP services without fees to persons with prescribed illnesses is currently being drafted by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department and it will be published shortly. Implementation dates and application details will be announced in due course.

An annual budget of €15 million was provided for the first phase of the roll out of GP care without fees.

Hospital Services

Question No. 721 answered with Question No. 649.

Questions (720)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

720. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the date on which the Haemochromatosis programme, that has been in place in Dublin since 2007, will be rolled out countrywide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8530/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I agree that a model of care needs to be established for haemochromatosis patients that would provide equal access in the most cost-effective manner possible. In this regard the HSE's National Clinical Programme for Blood Transfusion has reviewed services nationally for haemochromatosis patients with a view to providing a service that reflects best international practice in terms of patient care and value for money. I understand that discussions are ongoing with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and other relevant parties such as GPs to examine options for the improved care of haemochromatosis patients and I look forward to hearing the outcome of these discussions.

Question No. 721 answered with Question No. 649.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (722)

Robert Dowds

Question:

722. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Health the number of persons nationally who have been waiting for the completion of an assessment of need, under the Disability Act 2005 and regulations, for more than six months. [8617/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Acquired Infections

Question No. 724 answered with Question No. 649.

Questions (723)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

723. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the number of patients who die as a result of hospital acquired infections; the measures that are being taken to reduce these incidents and if these measures apply equally to private hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8619/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

At the outset I would like to state that MRSA is at its lowest recorded level in six years.

Routine data is not available on deaths from hospital acquired infections (HCAIs); in certain cases such infections may be a contributing factor to a particular death but not the primary cause, hence the difficulty in giving definitive statistics on the issue. Prevention of HCAIs and infection of hospital patients with antimicrobial-resistant organisms (AMR) is a key patient safety and clinical quality initiative for the Irish health care service.The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) / HSE Clinical Advisory Group on HCAIshas established a national clinical programme for the prevention and control of HCAIs and AMR. The overall aim of the programme is that every health care worker and all parts of the health care system recognise that the prevention and control of HCAI and AMR is a key element of clinical and non-clinical governance and that our health care systems have processes in place to ensure safe health care is reliable delivered irrespective of the health care setting.

The clinical programme's remit includes the development of national clinical guidelines, provision of patient and public information on HCAIs, campaigns on hand hygiene, hospital and community antibiotic prescribing, prevention of medical device related infections, inter-sectoral AMR control and the continuing development of bloodstream infection surveillance in conjunction with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

Recent publication of 14 hospital hygiene inspection reports by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) under its National Infection Prevention and Control Standards indicate general satisfaction with hygiene compliance but underline improvements required in certain facilities.HIQA will conduct further inspections during 2013 in a subset of these facilities and the relevant hospitals will continue to be supported in implementing quality improvement plans to further comply with the Standards. Additional hospitals will also be inspected.

I am satisfied that the measures in place to control and prevent HCAIs and AMR in health facilities are yielding the required results (for example the drop of 55% in MRSA rates in the last six years) and that ongoing work programmes will continue to address this central challenge for all health service providers. At present, the Health and Information Quality Authority's remit does not extend to the private sector.Officials of my Department are currently working on the Licensing of Health Facilities Bill which will provide for a mandatory system of licensing for public and private health service providers.The legislative proposals are being prepared broadly in line with recommendations made in the Report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance and are designed to improve patient safety by ensuring that healthcare providers do not operate below core standards which are applied in a consistent and systematic way.The intention is to have a proportionate system which has the confidence of the public.Standards and other requirements will be enforceable through inspection and imposition of sanctions as necessary.Licensing will be targeted at areas which are not currently subject to regulation.It is expected that outline proposals for the new system of licensing should be finalised in the near future.

Question No. 724 answered with Question No. 649.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (725)

Tom Fleming

Question:

725. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a decision will issue on a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8639/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Primary Care Centre Provision

Questions Nos. 727 to 729, inclusive, answered with Question No. 649.

Questions (726)

Derek Nolan

Question:

726. Deputy Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Health the progress made in advancing potential primary care centres (details supplied) in County Galway having regard to agreements between the Health Service Executive and general practitioners for operation of same and further to particularise locations of each centre having regard to suitability and availability of sites; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8670/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Gort and Tuam, Co Galway are two of the 35 potential locations for primary care centres for development by way of PPP as announced in the July 2012 Infrastructure Stimulus Package. Of the 35, approximately 20 will be offered to the market subject to a) agreement between the local GPs and the HSE on active local GP involvement in the centres and b) site suitability and availability. The HSE is currently analysing the available sites in each location and engaging with the GPs in each location to determine their interest in participating in the primary care centre development. While it is not possible, at this time, to give start and completion dates for any of the individual 20 potential locations, the best estimate is that these primary care centres will be completed by late 2016.

Questions Nos. 727 to 729, inclusive, answered with Question No. 649.

Health Services Staff

Questions (730)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

730. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the proposal to hire health care assistants in hospitals; if it is still active or has it been shelved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8695/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE National Service Plan 2013 states that there will be a focused approach to the management of the staffing resource in order to deliver on the service objectives of the plan. This will involve, amongst other measures, the systematic review of rosters, skill mix and staffing levels, particularly the tight control of higher-cost staffing arrangements.

As this is a service matter for the HSE, I have referred the Deputy's question to the Executive for direct reply.

National Lottery Funding Applications

Questions (731)

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

731. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding an application for a grant in respect of an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8718/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department has received an application for funding from the 2013 National Lottery allocation from the organisation in question. This is one of a large number currently being assessed by my Department, and the Deputy will be informed of the outcome of the application as soon as a decision has been made.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions Nos. 733 and 734 answered with Question No. 649.

Questions Nos. 735 and 736 answered with Question No. 671.

Questions (732)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

732. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 will have to wait until 10 October 2014 to see a consultant respiratory physician at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, despite their persistent respiratory difficulties. [8729/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Improving access to outpatient services is a key priority for the Government. Building on work already undertaken by the HSE, the NTPF has now taken over the reporting of outpatient waiting time data. For the first time, clear and comprehensive data is available on www.ptr.ie. The collation and analysis of outpatient waiting time data in a standardised format will reveal the distribution of long waiters across all hospitals. In the first instance, this will allow the SDU and NTPF to target their resources towards those patients who are waiting longest and ensure that they are seen and assessed. A maximum waiting time target has now been set of 12 months for a first time outpatient appointment by 30 November 2013.

In parallel with reducing the numbers of longest waiters, the SDU will also work with the HSE Clinical Programmes to reform the structure, organisation and delivery of outpatient services to ensure that the right patient is seen and assessed by the right health professional at the right time.

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Questions Nos. 733 and 734 answered with Question No. 649.
Questions Nos. 735 and 736 answered with Question No. 671.