Hospital Services

Questions (250, 251)

Gerry Adams

Question:

250. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm the commitment given by the Health Service Executive at the meeting of the Dublin North East Health Forum on 23 September 2013 that the chronic and acute pain management clinic will be reinstated and included in the service plan and budget for 2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, County Louth, and that an acute and chronic pain management consultant will be appointed to manage same in 2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. [41276/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

251. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he will request the Health Service Executive to specify acute and chronic pain management consultant in the job description when advertising for position of anaesthetic staff for Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, County Louth, in order to reinstate the acute and chronic pain management clinic following the commitment given by the HSE to include said clinic in the service plan and budget for 2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. [41277/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 250 and 251 together.

A Chronic Pain Service was developed in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda during 2012. This Service was not part of the Service Plan for the Louth Meath Hospital Group, but rather an adjunct service provided by a Consultant Anaesthetist who had the appropriate skills and a particular interest in the provision of such a service. The service ran from February 2012 to December 2012 and ceased when the Consultant left the employment of the hospital. The HSE has been unsuccessful in recruiting a clinician with the same expertise and it is not therefore possible to provide this service at this time. Further recruitment of Anaesthetic staff is planned in November 2013 and endeavours will be made to secure this expertise in that context.

As discussed at the meeting of the Dublin North East Health Forum on 23rd September 2013, the provision of all services, including specialist clinics for the management of acute and chronic pain, must be considered in the context of the development of the HSE National Service Plan. The Deputy will also recall from my response to his previous Parliamentary Question on this matter that the reorganisation of public hospitals into groups will allow hospitals to work together, in concert with their primary and community care colleagues, to provide high quality, safe and appropriate services which address the evidence-based needs of their populations across the whole Group, using the services and resources of all of the hospitals in the Group.

Nursing Home Accommodation

Questions (252)

Gerry Adams

Question:

252. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he will give a commitment to include the €9 million in budget 2014 following on from the commitment given to provide a new 100-bed unit at St. Mary's-Boyne View Nursing Home in Drogheda to cater for residential care for our elderly citizens, in view of the removal of long-stay beds and respite beds from the Cottage Hospital in Drogheda. [41278/13]

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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.

Health Services Staff Data

Questions (253)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

253. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if he will provide details of the number of specialist palliative care home care nurses nationally, whole time equivalents, and in each Health Service Executive region; the areas where there are deficits and vacancies in the numbers of such nurses measured against national policy and the size of the deficit in each case; his plans to address such deficits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41280/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medical Card Appeals

Questions (254)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

254. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health the actions being taken to address the backlog in the medical card appeals office; the actions being taken to speed up the length of time it takes the appeals office to inform persons of the appeal allowing them to reactivate a person's medical card for the duration of the appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41281/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The length of time it currently takes for medical card appeals to be processed may vary depending on the complexity of the appeal and this can average between 4 to 12 weeks. It is important to point out that many of these appeals cases are reviews of existing medical card holders and in that instance there is no immediate impact on the client as they continue to hold the medical card until the appeal decision is made. There is no significant delay on the part of the Appeals Service in advising PCRS of appeals received.

Hospital Procedures

Questions (255, 256, 257, 258)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

255. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of hip replacement operations that have been carried out in the past three to nine months on public patients at Letterkenny General Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41287/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

256. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of hip replacement operations that have been carried out in the past three to nine months on private patients at Letterkenny General Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41288/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

257. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of public patients currently waiting for joint replacements and the length of time waiting at Letterkenny General Hospital [41289/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

258. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if he will provide information on the allocation of theatre time to carry out joint replacements on public patients at Letterkenny General Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41290/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 255 to 258, inclusive, together.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2013, 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 queries raised by the Deputy, I have asked the Health Service Executive to investigate the situation and respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.