Speech and Language Therapy

Questions (933)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

933. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that occupational therapy together with speech and language therapy will be provided as a matter of urgency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [23259/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the particular issue raised by the Deputy relates to an individual case, this is a service matter for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (934)

Seán Fleming

Question:

934. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a replacement nebuliser will be provided to a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23261/14]

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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.

Medical Card Reviews

Questions (935)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

935. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health when he expects the review of medical cards to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23263/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

At Minister Reilly's request, the HSE is currently examining how individuals, who are not entitled to a medical card, could still receive services that meet their needs. This examination is ongoing and relates to all of the services and supports provided by the HSE and with regard to as much flexibility as is available at a local level. In addition, additional information will be provided and local information points will be established at major health centres around the country, where members of the public can obtain comprehensive information and support in accessing the full range of supports from the Health Services.

The clear intention is to maximise the supports that can be provided in each case to the fullest extent possible. The HSE is seeking to find the best way to achieve this in order to ensure families will receive the support they need. I am advised that proposals are near completion and I look forward to receiving them.

Hospital Appointment Delays

Questions (936)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

936. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the reason for a delay in a patient receiving a hospital appointment (details supplied) in Dublin 13; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23265/14]

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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.

Maternity Services

Questions (937)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

937. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Health to outline the tendering process undertaken that led to the commissioning of the health partnership to carry out a report on maternity services on behalf of west and north-west hospital group; further to establish that there were no conflicts of interest in the decision. [23266/14]

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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.

Medical Inquiries

Questions (938, 939)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

938. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Health the number of complaints to the Medical Council that were being considered by the preliminary proceedings committee are now not being considered as a result of the Corbally ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23269/14]

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Jerry Buttimer

Question:

939. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Health the number of fitness to practice inquiries of the Medical Council that have been directly affected to date by the Corbally ruling, that is, the number of inquiries that have been adjourned; the number of inquiries that will not progress; the number of inquiries that have been discontinued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23270/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 938 and 939 together.

The Medical Practitioners Act 2007 provides for a number of grounds for complaint in relation to medical practitioners. One of the grounds of complaint is ‘poor professional performance’. The Court in Corbally was asked to consider whether a single error could constitute ‘poor professional performance’. The Court found that a single error or lapse in performance will constitute ‘poor professional performance’ if it is serious.

The Department has been in contact with the Medical Council on this issue since February 2014 and discussions are continuing in this regard. The Medical Council has advised me that it has appealed the High Court decision in Corbally v Medical Council to the Supreme Court, and given the importance of this ruling to patients in Ireland, an expedited date for the hearing is currently being sought. The Council strives to carry out its work in an open and transparent manner and publishes comprehensive statistics in relation to the outcomes of its complaints and inquiry process every year in its annual report. The Council will continue to monitor the impact of the ruling on its ability to handle complaints. The Council will continue to investigate every complaint it receives in a thorough manner and all complaints to the Medical Council will continue to be considered by the Preliminary Proceedings Committee. Any complaint, relating to a single error, referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee on the grounds of ‘poor professional performance’ must be taken on its own merits as to whether in that case the single error can constitute ‘poor professional performance’ or not.

The Medical Council has appealed the Court's finding in Corbally to the Supreme Court and, accordingly, the matter is sub judice.

Hospital Procedures

Questions (940)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

940. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that an urgent surgical procedure is carried out in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23293/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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 Health Service Executive, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him on this matter.

Primary Medical Certificates Applications

Questions (941)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

941. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if a decision has been made on an appeal of a decision on an application for a primary medical certificate in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23296/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Where an application for a Primary Medical Certificate has been refused, any appeal of this decision is dealt with by the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Rochestown Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. As this is an independent Board, whose decision is final, the Minister for Health has no role in relation to appeal process.

Hospital Services

Questions (942)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

942. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the position regarding out of hours MRI coverage at Cork University Hospital; if he will indicate the location of the nearest hospital with out of hours coverage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23301/14]

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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.

Medical Card Applications

Question No. 944 answered with Question No. 862.

Questions (943)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

943. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. [23302/14]

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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.

Question No. 944 answered with Question No. 862.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications

Questions (945)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

945. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Health when a decision will be made on a fair deal application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway as the additional waiting period is a cause of great distress to the applicants family; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23307/14]

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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.

Medical Card Administration

Questions (946)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

946. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Health the steps persons who hold medical cards and who have had to pay for blood tests taken in their general practitioners surgeries should take; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23309/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

No person covered by the GMS Scheme should be charged for routine phlebotomy services provided by their GP or the Practice Nurse on behalf of their GP which are required to either assist in the diagnosis of a patient or to monitor a diagnosed condition.  For patients who have been charged in such circumstances, the HSE has put in place the following procedure:

The patient should forward his or her receipt for the charge to the HSE's local Primary Care Unit. The HSE will, in turn, inform the GP that where he/she inappropriately charges GMS patients for phlebotomy services, he/she is in breach of their contract. The HSE will also deduct an equivalent amount from its routine payments to the GP and will make a refund to the patient.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

Questions (947)

Joe McHugh

Question:

947. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health the number of patients with adult congenital heart disease that have been referred abroad under the treatment abroad scheme in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23335/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) operates a Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS), for persons entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland under EU Regulation 883/04, as per the procedures set out in EU Regulation 987/09, and in accordance with Department of Health Guidelines. Subject to the EU Regulations and Guidelines, the TAS provides for the cost of approved treatments in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland through the issue of form E112 (IE) where the treatment is:

- Among the benefits provided for by Irish legislation,

- Not available in Ireland,

- Not available within the time normally necessary for obtaining it in Ireland, taking account of the patient's current state of health and the probable course of the disease.

A decision is made on each application in accordance with this legislation and guidelines and on the basis of a review by clinical experts. The cost of the treatment is not a deciding factor when approving an application. The treatment must not be available within the State or not available within a time normally necessary for obtaining it.

The HSE Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) was centralised into a single office in 2012. Prior to this it was administered at various local offices. Comprehensive figures for the TAS prior to the centralisation of the Scheme are not available.

To comply with the HSE’s guidance on patient confidentiality and data protection, the release of statistical information is based on a volume of cases of five or greater. I regret that I am informed by the HSE that, based on volume of cases, the number of such cases is not great enough to ensure compliance with their guidance on patient confidentiality and data protection and therefore, they are not in a position to release this information.

Hospital Accommodation Provision

Questions (948)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

948. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the action being taken to rectify the situation at Beaumont Hospital accident and emergency where patients cannot be given sedation for certain procedures due to the health and safety risk in cases where no beds are available and patients have to remain in chairs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23336/14]

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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.