Respite Care Services

Questions (654)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

654. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health if he will provide two weeks respite care urgently to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9740/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

HSE Staffing

Questions (655)

Robert Troy

Question:

655. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if it is still the case that the Health Service Executive workers automatically become permanet in their position after they have been working for the HSE for more than five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9779/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (656, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 664, 665, 666)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

656. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will provide up to date figures detailing the number of prostheses users by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9783/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

657. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the total spend, the number and detailed breakdown of sanctioned orders for prostheses by the Health Service Executive from 2008 to 2012 by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9784/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

658. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the criteria by which officers with responsibility for sanctioning prostheses are appointed and the respective qualifications by discipline required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9785/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

659. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the length of time taken to sanction orders for prostheses and associated appliances by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9786/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

660. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will provide in tabular form the number of persons on waiting lists for prostheses and associated appliances by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9787/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

661. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will provide the criteria used by county/regional offices in making decisions to sanction spending on prostheses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9788/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

662. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will provide up to date figures detailing the number of orthotic patients by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9789/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

663. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the total spend by the Health Service Executive on orthotics from 2008 to 2012 by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9790/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

664. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the current length of time taken to sanction orders for orthotics and associated appliances by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9791/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

665. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will provide in tabular form the number of persons on waiting lists for orthotics and associated appliances by county/region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9792/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

666. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the criteria used by county/regional offices in making decisions to sanction spending on orthotics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9793/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 656 to 666, inclusive, together.

People with disabilities may be eligible for medical/surgical aids and appliances from the Health Service Executive (HSE) including prosthetics and orthotics, which facilitate and/or maintain mobility and/or functional independence. The basis for this provision is in the Health Act, 1970. Medical Card holders and Long-Term Illness Card holders received prosthetics and orthotics where it is deemed appropriate and specific to their diagnosed illness or disability. Assessments are carried out by a range of multi-disciplinary staff. Approval is prioritised to ensure that people with the most urgent assessed needs have their needs met first. As with all health services, approvals must remain within the annual budget for prosthetics and orthotics.

The information requested by the Deputy is not available to my Department. However, I have asked the HSE to provide directly to you, the information it has available in relation to prosthetic and orthotic service provision.

Hospital Procedures

Question No. 668 answered with Question No. 640.

Questions (667)

Jack Wall

Question:

667. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health the position regarding urgent eye surgery in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9799/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Should the patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he/she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved. In relation to the specific query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Question No. 668 answered with Question No. 640.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage

Questions (669)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

669. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will include polio as a qualifying illness under the long term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9801/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There are no plans to extend the list of conditions covered by the Long Term Illness Scheme. Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €144 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals incurring ongoing expenditure on medicines. In addition, people who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the Health Service Executive can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. Those who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of general practice consultation.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage

Questions (670, 719)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

670. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he will allow polio sufferers to be assessed for a medical card based on medical need only; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9802/13]

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Eoghan Murphy

Question:

719. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Health his plans to allow Polio survivors to qualify for a medical card automatically and if he is considering categorising Polio as an illness under the long term illness scheme. [10243/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 670 and 719 together.

Medical cards are not awarded to any particular group of patients on the basis of a specific medical condition.

Under the provisions of the Health Act 1970, eligibility for health services in Ireland is based primarily on residency and means. There are currently two categories of eligibility for all persons ordinarily resident in Ireland i.e. full eligibility (medical card) and limited eligibility (all others). Full eligibility is determined mainly by reference to income limits and is granted to persons who, in the opinion of the Health Service Executive, are unable to provide general practitioner, medical and surgical services to themselves and their dependents without undue hardship. There is no automatic entitlement to a medical card for persons with any specific illness. There is a provision for discretion to grant a card in cases of "undue hardship" where the income guidelines are exceeded. The HSE set up a clinical panel to assist in the processing of applications for discretionary medical cards where there are difficult personal circumstances.

There is an emergency process for a person who is terminally ill, or in urgent need of medical attention and cannot afford to pay for it, that provides a card within 24 hours while the normal application process is completed. Once a letter from the patient's GP or consultant is received stating that the person is terminally ill and the required personal details are provided, an emergency card is issued to that person for a six-month period. There are no plans to extend the list of conditions covered by the Long Term Illness Scheme.

Vaccine Damage Compensation Scheme

Questions (671)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

671. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the date on which he will be introducing a vaccine damage compensation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9803/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The issues contained in the Report of the Vaccine Damage Steering Group are complex. They need to be considered in the wider context of how best to address the long term health and social needs of people who may have experienced adverse outcomes from all healthcare interventions.

Food Labelling

Questions (672)

Denis Naughten

Question:

672. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health if his Department will be present at the Codex Committee on Food Labelling in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, from 14 May 2013 to 17 May 2013; his position on the establishment of new calorie count information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9809/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The CODEX Committee meeting in May 2013 will be attended by officials from both Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the FSAI. The FSAI will be leading the EU delegation at this meeting. The Department of Health continues to attend meetings of the Irish Codex Advisory Committee. The Department will meet with the FSAI prior to the May meeting to ensure that Irish health policy is reflected during those discussions. In 2012, my Department requested the FSAI to conduct a national consultation on the display of calories on menus. Over 95% of respondents expressed their support for this initiative. I then wrote personally to a range of fast food restaurants requesting that they display calories on menus on a voluntary basis. Recent monitoring information from the FSAI, found that almost half of the 19 fast food restaurants, coffee shops and catering companies are now displaying calories on menus. I consider that this will help consumers to make healthier eating choices. To assist the companies concerned, the FSAI has published technical instructions for Irish food business operators. It is also in the process of developing a software tool to help Irish companies to count the calories in dishes that are on menus for more than 30 days per year. The FSAI is currently conducting a large telephone survey and quality assessment evaluating the uptake of calorie menu labelling by Food Service Businesses in Ireland. The final survey results will be ready for publication in March 2013.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Payments

Questions (673)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

673. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the annual spend from the National Treatment Purchase Fund from 2009 to 2012 for the treatment of bilateral cochlear implants abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9817/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

No spending has been incurred by the National Treatment Purchase Fund during the period 2009 to 2012 for such treatment.

Medical Card Applications

Question No. 675 answered with Question No. 617.

Questions (674)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

674. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if he will review an application for a medical card in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare whose financial circumstances have changed since their original application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9831/13]

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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.

Question No. 675 answered with Question No. 617.