Medical Card Appeals

Questions (235)

John McGuinness

Question:

235. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an application for a medical card now under appeal will be expedited and approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow. [33622/13]

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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. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.

Air Ambulance Service Provision

Questions (236)

Jim Daly

Question:

236. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Health the number of health centres of excellence that are in the country; the number of these that have operating helipads for delivery of patients by air ambulance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33625/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medical Card Appeals

Questions (237)

John McGuinness

Question:

237. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an application for a medical card now under appeal will be expedited and approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow. [33642/13]

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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. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Issues

Questions (238, 239, 240)

Gerry Adams

Question:

238. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health his plans for the role and function of the National Treatment Purchase Fund; if the NTPF is in a direct relationship with the Health Service Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33667/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

239. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if the chief executive officer of the National Treatment Purchase Fund has recently resigned; if he has plans to replace the CEO; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33668/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

240. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if management of the National Treatment Purchase Fund has been in consultation with staff at the NTPF about their future role within the organisation or the public service; if staff have been offered redeployment opportunities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33669/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 238 to 240, inclusive, together.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund Board was established in 2004 (S.I. No. 179 of 2004). Membership of the Board of the NTPF, as well as accountability and reporting arrangements are set out in its Establishment Order; the SI provides for a Board of nine members which reports to the Minister.

In July 2011, I announced changes to the remit of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), namely that its role would be changed to support the mission of the Special Delivery Unit (SDU), which aims to unblock access to acute services by improving the flow of patients through the system. The NTPF is now fully aligned with the SDU and is targeting waiting lists strategically and assisting in the performance management of hospitals to reduce waiting times for patients. The NTPF capability is a core part of the SDU's performance improvement role.

The NTPF has been working to rationalise its internal structures and to establish new functional areas that reflect its evolving role. These include data and analytics reporting, data audit and quality assurance and performance improvement. Where appropriate, redeployment opportunities in other agencies have also been identified and I understand that a number of staff have taken these up.

The Acting CEO of the NTPF resigned with effect from 5 July last and the HSE National Director designate of Acute Hospitals has been appointed as Acting CEO of NTPF. The NTPF's future will be considered further in the context of the structural reforms set out in Future Health - A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015.

Diabetes Strategy

Questions (241)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

241. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 220 of 23 May 2013, the reason the Health Service Executive has not contacted me to outline the specific locations of staff recruited under the national integrated care diabetes programme in the mid-west region; if the HSE will do so as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33675/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand that the Health Service Executive responded to the Deputy in relation to this matter on 2nd July 2013.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (242)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

242. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health his plans regarding funding for the provision of art assist devices for persons with peripheral arterial disease in view of the fact that this type of therapy is currently not covered by the Health Service Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33689/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) conducted a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) for severe peripheral arterial disease at the request of the Health Service Executive (HSE). This HTA was published on the 26th of June 2013. Arising from the findings of the HTA, HIQA’s advice to the HSE was that, despite some promising results on the effect of IPC in people with severe peripheral vascular disease (who are not suitable for revascularisation), further high quality studies are required to reliably demonstrate its effectiveness. They also advised that until such evidence is generated in the context of well designed research studies, the efficacy of this treatment remains unproven.

Within the Irish healthcare system there has been limited use of IPC to treat patients with critical limb ischaemia. Following the publication of this HTA report there will be engagement and discussion with prescribing clinicians regarding its findings.

Speech and Language Therapy

Questions (243)

Pat Deering

Question:

243. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health the reason there is an extra long waiting period for access to speech therapy in the County Carlow area, more so than any other area; if there is an appropriate level of resources in place to tackle the waiting list in County Carlow; and when additional staff will be taken on to tackle this problem. [33695/13]

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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.

Symphysiotomy Report

Questions (244)

Clare Daly

Question:

244. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the reason he has been involved in meetings with so-called representative groups of symphysiotomy victims but has failed to meet with Survivors of Symphysiotomy; if the Walsh report has been furnished to these groups; and when it will be furnished to others and made public. [33699/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy is aware, my Department has commissioned an independent research report in relation to the practice of symphysiotomy in Ireland. It is my intention to brief the Government on the report prior to its publication and I also intend to meet with representatives from all of the symphysiotomy support groups prior to the release of the report. The independent research report has not been forwarded to any group.

Care of the Elderly

Questions (245)

Jim Daly

Question:

245. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Health his plans to establish a forum on long-term residential care to plan for the ongoing and future requirements of Ireland's aging population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33711/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question Number 674 of 28 May 2013.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (246)

Martin Ferris

Question:

246. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will receive a hearing aid. [33720/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive Community Audiology service administers and monitors hearing tests for adults who are at risk for hearing loss. Appointments for the audiology service are sent in a strict chronology according to clinical priorities and date of receipt of referral. The HSE has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Respite Care Services

Questions (247)

Michael Colreavy

Question:

247. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Health if there is flexibility within the respite care programme to offer domiciliary respite to those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33755/13]

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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.

Patient Files

Questions (248)

Robert Troy

Question:

248. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that all relevant patient files are released from the now closed surgery (details supplied) in County Westmeath in view of the fact that patients are now finding it difficult to renew/review their medical cards as their new GPs do not have their files from their previous GPs. [33834/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.