Respite Care Services

Questions (259)

John McGuinness

Question:

259. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an extra six hours of respite care will be approved in the case of a person (details supplied); if he will expedite the matter [41293/13]

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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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointment Status

Questions (260)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

260. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a hospital appointment will become available in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41315/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The management of inpatient and daycase waiting lists for patients awaiting public health care is based on the principle that after urgent and cancer patients are treated, then clinically assessed routine patients should be seen in chronological order (i.e. longest waiter first). 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.

Cochlear Implants

Questions (261)

Gerry Adams

Question:

261. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce a bilateral cochlear implant programme in 2014 [41326/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Beaumont Hospital is the centre for delivering Ireland’s national cochlear implant programme, with surgical provision for patients under six years being carried out in the Children’s University Hospital Temple Street. Since the programme commenced in 1995, over 700 patients have received cochlear implants. Beaumont Hospital carried out ninety cochlear implants in 2012 (42 children and 48 adults).

The HSE has developed a proposal, in liaison with Beaumont Hospital, to introduce a bilateral cochlear implant programme in Ireland. It is planned that the programme will be located in Beaumont Hospital. This is a complex development and the HSE has engaged with many stakeholders in the proposal development. Introduction of bilateral cochlear implantation will involve additional staff, equipment and capital works and will be dependent on additional funding being made available to support its commencement. The proposal is being considered as part of the 2014 Estimates process.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (262)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

262. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the primary care centre projects announced on 17 July 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41327/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The delivery of primary care infrastructure is a dynamic process and must take account of changing circumstances including the feasibility of implementing the delivery of the centres by means of lease, direct- build or PPP. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is working with the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) to progress Primary Care Centre Public Private Partnership. The HSE has appointed design teams and technical advisors for the project. The HSE & NDFA have completed an indicative Public Sector Benchmark (PSB) which was presented to the Project Board for consideration of affordability in early September.

The NDFA as a centre of expertise will be responsible for the delivery of the Primary Care PPP programme on behalf of the HSE, including the management of the procurement phase and the provision of financial advice including a Value for Money assessment. It has been reviewing the processes involved in procurement of PPP projects with a view to streamlining the process and delivering projects more quickly. 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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (263)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

263. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health his views the implications of the funding cut to St. Michael's House, as outlined by its directors, including the reduction in staffing across the organisation in day services, clinical services and administration, contraction of residential and respite services, closure of residential services for one Sunday each month, cessation of rent subsidy, cessation of the trainee allowance, reductions in transport, no new residential places or long-term respite and reduced day service for school and training centre leavers; if he has met the directors and the relevant Health Service Executive officials to discuss the matter; and if he will make special budgetary provision or take other steps to avert the crisis. [41336/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

St Michael's House received over €70 million in 2012 in funding from the HSE to provide a range of services to approximately 1,660 children and adults with an intellectual disability in over 170 centres in the Greater Dublin Area and Navan Co. Meath.

The HSE and St Michael's House work in close collaboration with regard to the funding and delivery of services to people with an intellectual disability. As a voluntary agency, St Michael’s house are obliged to work within the resources available to them and in that regard have introduced significant efficiencies over recent years to remain within budget. The HSE has advised that these changes to date have not resulted in service contraction.

The Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) sets out measures relating to productivity, cost extraction and reform which together intends to achieve a required pay bill reduction of €150m identified in the HSE Service Plan 2013. The agreement provides a framework and opportunities for managers within the health services, including agencies such as St Michael's House, to reduce their costs associated with agency and overtime and a wide range of other pay costs, particularly through measures such as additional working hours and revised rates in respect of overtime.

The HSE has advised the Department of Health that the recent application of additional budget cuts under the HRA has presented a significant challenge to St Michael's House. A process is now underway between the HSE and St Michael’s House to identify the impact of these budget reductions on services. In this respect, I understand that the following are under discussion:

- St. Michael’s House proposal of Sunday closing and revised transport arrangements are under consideration in consultation with those families who may be in a position to accommodate this.

- the HSE are unaware of any issues concerning respite.

- appropriate staffing levels and skill mix are under consideration in line with HRA.

- patient charges are being reviewed by St. Michael’s House in line with national regulations.

The HSE are working with St. Michael’s House and other service providers to fully address the needs of school leavers in 2013 by reconfiguring existing resources.

The Department of Health has received assurances from the HSE that both organisations are committed to working within the terms of the HRA to ensure that services are impacted upon only as a measure of last resort.

National Lottery Funding Applications

Questions (264)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

264. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health if his Department has received an application for a national lottery grant from an organisation (details supplied) in County Cork; and when a decision will be made in respect of this application. [41337/13]

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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.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (265)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

265. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health if he will investigate the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will consider launching an inquiry into the way the home help service is being run by Rehab Group. [41396/13]

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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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Appeals

Questions (266)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

266. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41397/13]

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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.

Hospital Services

Questions (267, 268)

Finian McGrath

Question:

267. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health the position regarding an operation in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [41523/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

268. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health if medical records will be provided in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5 [41524/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 267 and 268 together.

The management of inpatient and daycase waiting lists for patients awaiting public health care is based on the principle that after urgent and cancer patients are treated, then clinically assessed routine patients should be seen in chronological order (i.e. longest waiter first). 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.

As the Deputy is aware the issue of the release of medical records is a matter for the hospital concerned. However, if a patient or a relative has a concern or wishes to make a complaint, they should contact the Medical Records Office. If the issue cannot be resolved to the patient's or relative's satisfaction, they will be connected with the Patient Representative's Office, which can offer information and support and can investigate and help to resolve the matter. Alternatively, the complaint may be made directly to the HSE via the "your service your say" form. When an individual is not satisfied with the response they receive, they may wish to take their complaint further by seeking a review from the HSE’s Director of Advocacy or the Office of the Ombudsman.

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service matters they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.