General Medical Services Scheme Payments

Questions (495)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

495. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Health to set out the medical tests and examinations that are not covered by the medical card scheme for which a general practitioner is entitled to charge a fee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14694/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Paragraph 11 of the General Medical Services (GMS) contract outlines the duties and obligations of the General Practitioner (GP) and the services to be provided by him/her. The key determinant of what is comprehended relates to whether the service/treatment is considered to be "proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a general practitioner and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree or kind which general practitioners cannot reasonably be expected to possess".

Paragraph 27 of the contract states "the medical practitioner shall not demand or accept any payment....in reward for services provided by him under this contract ". It should also be noted that the contract stipulates that fees are not paid to GPs by the HSE in respect of certain medical certificates which may be required, for example, "under the Social Welfare Acts or for the purposes of insurance or assurance policies or for the issue of driving licences".

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (496)

Dan Neville

Question:

496. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health to explain the position regarding home help in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14712/14]

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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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (497)

John O'Mahony

Question:

497. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called to have an urgent operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14717/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Questions (498)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

498. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health to set out the number of persons currently awaiting orthodontic treatment with the Health Service Executive in south Tipperary; the waiting times for these persons to receive treatment; if he will provide a breakdown of the funding allocated for orthodontic treatment; the number of patients per orthodontist in south Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14718/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to patients based on their level of clinical need. An individual's access to orthodontic treatment is determined against a set of clinical guidelines and priority is given to patients with greatest needs. The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to those who have been assessed and referred for treatment before their 16th birthday. It should be noted that the nature of orthodontic care means that immediate treatment is not always desirable. It is estimated that in up to 5% of cases it is necessary to wait for further growth to take place before treatment commences.

Information on waiting times is collated by the HSE by region and for the intervals as shown in the following table. South Tipperary is part of the HSE South region. The most recent information relates to the last quarter of 2013.

Waiting time from assessment to commencement of treatment

1 - 6 months

7 - 12 months

13 - 24 months

2 - 3 years

Over 4 years

TOTAL

HSE South

620

516

829

1,056

373

3,394

The HSE has been asked to examine the specific queries raised by the Deputy concerning South Tipperary and to reply to him as soon as possible.

Diabetes Strategy

Questions (499, 500)

Colm Keaveney

Question:

499. Deputy Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Health if the model for the provision of insulin pumps recommended by the paediatric diabetes working group has been fully established; the numbers of children under five and under 16 who are waiting for these pumps; the resource allocation made in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 service plans to fund this objective; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14723/14]

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Colm Keaveney

Question:

500. Deputy Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Health to set out the progress that has been made in meeting the key objectives of the paediatric diabetes working group, that is: to provide continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, CSII, therapy to children under five, where appropriate; to ensure that diabetes services and staffing levels are equitable in the five centres nationwide based in Cork, Crumlin, Limerick-Galway, Tallaght and Temple Street; if not already met, then what are the expected dates upon which they will be complete; the resource allocation in the service plans in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 to fund the achievement of these objectives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14724/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 499 and 500 together.

In relation to the detailed queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service matters, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to him directly.

Hospital Complaints Procedures

Questions (501)

Finian McGrath

Question:

501. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health to set out the position regarding surgery in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14729/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

With regard to specific complaints in relation to experiences of individuals in our hospitals, there is a formal complaints policy, entitled “Your Service Your Say”, details of which are on the HSE website, at http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/yourhealthservice/feedback/complaints/.

In accordance with this procedure, a complaint must be made in the first instance to the hospital in which the incident causing the complaint occurred. If an individual is not satisfied with the response from the hospital, a review can be sought from the HSE Director of Advocacy and the Ombudsman, whose details are set out as follows.

HSE Director of Advocacy

Oak House

Millennium Park

Naas

Co Kildare

Tel 1890 424 555

Office of the Ombudsman

18, Lower Leeson Street

Dublin 2

Tel 1890 223 030

Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.ie.

In relation to the Deputy's further question in this matter, I have again asked the Health Service Executive to respond to him directly.

Universal Health Insurance Provision

Questions (502)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

502. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm if it is still the case, as outlined in the programme for Government, that as a statutory system of health insurance, guaranteed by the State, the universal health insurance system will not be subject to European or national competition law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14730/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government envisaged a system of universal health insurance (UHI) that would not be subject to competition law, and Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015 undertook to examine how this could be done. The Government believes that competition among both insurers and healthcare providers will help to contain costs. The competitive market under UHI will be subject to a high level of regulation in order to protect the interests of both the State and individual consumers.

HIQA Inspections

Questions (503)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

503. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health to set out the current status of the Health Service Executive's plans for Health Information and Quality Authority requirements for a hospital upgrade (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14732/14]

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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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (504)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

504. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 306 of 16 January 2014 when a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will receive an appointment for a hip replacement procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14737/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the Deputy's further question in this matter, I have again asked the Health Service Executive to respond to him directly.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (505)

Martin Heydon

Question:

505. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health to explain the reason there is a two-year waiting list in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, for consultation services (details supplied); if this will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14774/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medical Card Applications

Questions (506)

Derek Keating

Question:

506. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14775/14]

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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.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (507)

Tom Fleming

Question:

507. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14777/14]

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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.

Suicide Prevention

Questions (508)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

508. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health to list the organisations that will provide the ASIST and SafeTALK training as part of the initiatives on suicide prevention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14781/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Training local communities in suicide prevention is one aspect of the work of the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) and its partners in the statutory and voluntary sector. A wide range of awareness and training programmes are available including ASIST and SafeTALK which train participants to become more alert to the possibility of suicide in their community. Therefore, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NOSP for attention and direct reply.

Ambulance Service Provision

Questions (509)

Denis Naughten

Question:

509. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health to detail his plans to expand the role of the emergency aeromedical support service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12880/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Emergency Aeromedical Support Service (EAS) was a 12 month pilot project between the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and the Air Corps, with additional support from the Irish Coastguard Service where necessary. The service provided dedicated aeromedical support to the NAS in the west, specifically where land ambulance transit times would not be clinically appropriate. The EAS completed 368 missions in 2013, one third of which involved STEMI-type heart attack patients, who need time-critical transfers to primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention units for treatment.

An evaluation of the pilot found a clinical need for the service and that it should be established on a permanent basis. I accepted the review's findings and an inter-service working group is currently examining how best to implement the report's recommendations. In the interim, with the agreement of the Minister for Defence, aeromedical support by the Air Corps to the EAS will continue until June 2014, pending finalisation of the deliberations of the working group.

Accident and Emergency Services Provision

Questions (510)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

510. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health to set out the position regarding the delivery of a new accident and emergency unit at University Hospital, Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14697/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.