Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (463)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

463. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if he will respond to a query (details supplied) regarding medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24138/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

If the question refers to a medical card review under the over-70 medical card scheme, the HSE is required to identify those persons who no longer have full eligibility as a result of the changes to the gross income limits from 1st January 2014. The HSE has written to some 60,000 over-70s persons advising them that their eligibility for a medical card is under review in line with the new income limits. Those contacted can complete the review form on-line or on the form enclosed with the letter. In both cases, all documentary evidence requested must be provided.

If, however, the review is in respect of a medical card awarded following the exercise of discretion, the HSE has suspended reviews in progress where discretion was involved and extended eligibility. Families affected have been so advised in the normal way.

This is following on from the Government's decision to develop a new ground of eligibility for the award of medical and/or GP visit cards on the basis of having specific on-going medical conditions which give rise to significant health care costs. The HSE has established an Expert Panel to examine the range of conditions that should be considered as a basis of eligibility and has been asked to make an early report to Government.

Legislative Measures

Questions (464)

Seán Fleming

Question:

464. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the legislative provisions in respect of his Department which have been passed by the Oireachtas since 2011 but have not come into effect to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24152/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Please see following table.

Name of Act

Provisions of Act not yet commenced

Status

Nurses and Midwives Act 2011

Sections 4(2), 9(2)(g)(ii), 17(3), 37(2)(a), 39-45, 59(1) (b) (so far as it relates to a professional competence scheme), 59(2)(d), 64(5) and (6), 65(1)(b) , 84, Part 11, Sections 102(2), (3) and (5), 103

This is a comprehensive piece of legislation which is being commenced on a gradual basis.

Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Act 2013

Section 4

The Department is in on-going consultations with the Attorney General’s Office re commencement.

Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013

Section 36

This section will be commenced with effect from 1 July 2014 in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (Commencement) Order 2014 (S.I No. 205 of 2014)

Health (Amendment ) Act 2013

Section 4

Sections 7(e)(ii), 8, 9, 10, 11(b), 12 and 19

To be commenced but no plan at present.

Preparations for implementation as early as possible in 2014, including the finalisation of Regulations and Guidelines, are ongoing.

Hospital Appointment Status

Questions (465)

Barry Cowen

Question:

465. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Offaly may expect an appointment with the orthopaedic department, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Dublin. [24164/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (466)

Micheál Martin

Question:

466. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 who is waiting for a double bypass heart surgery at St. James's Hospital, Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24165/14]

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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 2014, 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.

Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved. In relation to the specific patient query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (467, 470, 502, 504, 572)

Ciara Conway

Question:

467. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Health when Fampyra will be included on the drug payment scheme or other schemes such as the general medical services scheme or the long-term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24173/14]

View answer

Brendan Griffin

Question:

470. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if the MS drug Fampyra has been taken off the long-term illness scheme; if so, the reason for same; the person who made this decision; if it will be reinstated; if he is aware of the benefits that the drug brings to MS sufferers; if his Department will apologise to the persons affected for the distress caused at this time of already great difficulties in their lives; the way he plans to hold the person or persons responsible for this decision to account; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24214/14]

View answer

Tom Fleming

Question:

502. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will make available the MS drug Fampyra at an early date as it is the only drug that assists MS patients in their walking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24356/14]

View answer

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

504. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that Fampyra will be made available on the medical card; and his plans to ensure that those who have benefited from Fampyra may continue to take this drug regardless of financial circumstances. [24364/14]

View answer

Dara Calleary

Question:

572. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health if a drug (details supplied) can be re-registered on the long-term illness scheme. [24796/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 467, 470, 502, 504 and 572 together.

Fampridine (Fampyra®) was never available to MS patients through the community drugs schemes, including the Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme. I understand the manufacturer of Fampyra supplied the drug free of charge to some patients prescribed the drug by their clinician. However, the manufacturer has recently decided to stop supplying the drug free of charge and, as a consequence, these patients are now faced with financing the drug themselves if they wish to continue with this drug treatment.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

The HSE received an application for the inclusion of Fampridine in the GMS and community drugs schemes. The application was considered in line with the procedures and timescales agreed by the Department of Health and the HSE with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) for the assessment of new medicines. In accordance with these procedures, the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) conducted a pharmacoeconomic evaluation of Fampridine and concluded that, as the manufacturer was unable to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of Fampridine in the Irish health care setting, it was unable to recommend the reimbursement of the product. The report is available on the NCPE's website (www.ncpe.ie). The HSE assessment process is intended to arrive at a decision on the funding of new medicines that is clinically appropriate, fair, consistent and sustainable. Due to the very difficult and challenging economic environment in which the Government targeted additional savings in health expenditure of €619 million in 2014, which must be achieved while protecting front line services to the most vulnerable to the greatest extent possible, the HSE decided it was not in a position to add the drug to the List of Reimbursable Items supplied under the GMS and other community drug schemes.

It is open to the supplier, at any time, to submit a new application to the HSE incorporating new evidence which demonstrates the cost effectiveness of Fampridine. The HSE will then re-consider the application to add this product to the List of Reimbursable Items, in line with the agreed procedures and timescales for the assessment of new medicines.

Dental Services Provision

Questions (468)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

468. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health the funding assistance available for persons who cannot afford major dental work for children under the age of 16; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24178/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Such funding assistance is not available as dental services for children up to 16 years of age and persons of all ages with special needs are provided by the Public Dental Service of the HSE through its dental clinics. All HSE dental clinics prioritise emergency care for children up to 16 years of age, treatment for special needs patients and screening of children aged from 11 to 13 years, including referral for orthodontic services where necessary. The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to patients based on their level of clinical need. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is also provided in hospitals. Other services, including screening of children 6 to 8 years, are provided but may be deferred in clinics where there is pressure on resources.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Question No. 470 answered with Question No. 467.

Questions (469)

Martin Heydon

Question:

469. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the reason for the change to remove the mandatory requirement for a third level qualification in the eligibility criteria for the recruitment of senior management positions in the new hospital groups; if this will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24196/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have referred the question to the HSE for direct reply.

Question No. 470 answered with Question No. 467.

Medical Card Delays

Questions (471)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

471. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in processing the medical card application of a family (details supplied) in County Donegal; if same will be processed as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24220/14]

View answer

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 Delays

Questions (472)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

472. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in processing the medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24221/14]

View answer

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.

Departmental Schemes

Questions (473)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

473. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the reward or bonus schemes in place for staff in his Department and in the Health Service Executive that highlight wasteful practices and cost savings that could be made; if he will outline the success of these schemes in the past five years; his plans to review the schemes in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24243/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

A Staff Suggestion Scheme operating under the Department's Partnership banner was established in my Department in May 2013.

This structured Scheme is designed to proactively promote an ideas and innovation culture within the Department and facilitate staff, at all levels, with the opportunity to contribute as fully as possible to the Department's work. Ideas from all staff members on an individual or group basis in respect of any area of the Department or the health system that can lead to greater efficiencies or the achievement of improved performance are welcome through the Scheme.

The current Scheme will be reviewed by the Partnership Committee by the end of 2014 and this review, if appropriate, will include recommendations for changes to the operation of the Scheme.

The HSE has no reward or bonus schemes in place and has had no performance reward scheme since 2007.

Health Services Staff

Questions (474)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

474. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if there are exit interviews for those working in front-line positions who leave the health service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24244/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational issue, I have referred the question to the HSE for direct reply.

National Children's Hospital

Questions (475)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

475. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the new children's hospital; the budget, and timeframe involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24245/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The new children's hospital is a commitment in the Programme for Government and is a priority for me and for this Government. The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is responsible for delivering the new hospital on schedule, to optimal design and value for money. The Board’s membership reflects the skills and expertise required to achieve that, including construction, planning, engineering, procurement and architecture as well as clinical and stakeholder involvement. The Board is now in the final phase of the selection process for the appointment of a design team. The full design team is expected to be appointed shortly, following which design development will begin, with the aim of submitting an application for planning permission in February 2015. Construction is scheduled to commence in August 2015, and the transition of services to the new hospital is on schedule to commence at the end of 2018.

In October 2013, the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform announced that up to €200m would be made available for the new children’s hospital from the sale of the National Lottery, adding to the existing €450m Exchequer funding and underlining the Government's commitment to the project. Philanthropic / non-Exchequer funding will be sought as appropriate. The business case for the hospital is currently being revised and updated, and this will set out outline capital costs for the hospital on the St James's campus and potential future revenue savings arising from operational efficiencies. Estimates set out in the revised business case will be reviewed and refined at each stage of the project.

Health Services

Questions (476)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

476. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the checks his Department or the Health Service Executive carry out to measure the experience of patients when they exit hospital or primary care centres; if there is a measurement in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24246/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, the question has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Staff

Questions (477)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

477. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the necessary management skills that middle and senior managers in the Health Service Executive have; the continued professional training and development to which managers are subject; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24247/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Staff

Questions (478)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

478. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if he has considered having all middle and senior management spend a day in the life of a patient in order that they know what a patient's experience is; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24248/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, the question has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services

Questions (479)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

479. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if he has considered a national health check for humans to be proactive regarding people's well-being and health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24249/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Healthy Ireland - the Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013 – 2025 is the national framework for action to improve the health and well-being of the country over the coming generations. Healthy Ireland supports a whole-of-government approach to address the determinants and predictors of health and well-being, many of which fall outside the health sector, e.g. housing, transportation, education, workplaces and environment along with an individual’s socioeconomic status.

Critical to the success of Healthy Ireland is an active, central Government policy driven approach where Healthy Ireland’s actions are systematically embedded into the policies and programmes of relevant government departments, local authorities and statutory agencies. It is equally important that there is active engagement at local level, empowering and encouraging individuals to take the steps which they may need to take to protect their own health and well-being.

Early detection and prevention are an integral part of our health strategy. It is intended that this will be a focus of a new GP contract and many screening programmes are currently under way in our health Service.

Primary Care Centre Provision

Questions (480)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

480. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on his proposed primary care centres to include the budget, services to be provided and the date on which they will open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24250/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The development of primary care is central to the Government's objective to deliver a high quality, integrated and cost effective health care system. Supporting infrastructure, procured through a combination of public and private investment, will facilitate the delivery of multi-disciplinary primary health care. Considerable progress has been achieved to date. 37 primary care centres have been opened since March 2011 and infrastructure development is underway or planned at a further forty three locations.

In addition to the rank of the locations as a result of the 2012 prioritisation exercise, the mechanism and timescale for delivery of primary care infrastructure is dependent on a number of factors including GP participation. Regardless of the delivery mechanism, all potential primary care centres are also subject to suitable locations being offered/provided/available and to successful planning processes. In addition, the operational lease mechanism is subject to market pressures such as the developers' access to sufficient financing.

As regards the PPP project, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) published a Prior Indicative Notice (PIN) / Pre-Qualification Questionnaire in the OJEU on 19 December 2013. Four submissions were received by the closing date which was 10 March 2014. Information can be located at the following web address - http://www.ndfa.ie/TenderCompetitions/PrimaryCareCentresPPPProgramme.htm. It is expected that 10-14 sites (indicative number 12 based on affordability) will be delivered as part of a single PPP contract with the remaining centres to be delivered by the HSE using other procurement means.

As with all capital projects this programme must be considered within the overall capital envelope available to the health service. There will always be more projects than can be funded by the Exchequer. There is limited funding available for new projects over the period 2014-2018 given the level of commitments and the costs to completion already in place. Nevertheless, where possible, the HSE's capital programme will include provision to progress primary care centres with the highest ranking following the 2012 national prioritisation exercise by direct/own-build in the event that other delivery mechanisms are not feasible.

It is expected that the PPP primary care locations will be delivered by late 2016 / early 2017 and that the locations underway by HSE direct/own-build and the lease initiative will be delivered over the period 2014 to 2016.

As regards budget, the construction costs in relation to the lease initiative PCCs are borne by the developer. For reasons of commercial sensitivity, it would not be appropriate at this stage to provide estimated construction costs for the PPP project or those to be delivered by HSE direct/own-build.

Health care services to be delivered at the PPP locations will include General Practitioner (GP) services and in addition a number of centres will include a wider range of community based services, for example, dental services, community mental health services, child and adolescent mental health services, early intervention teams, and doctor on call services.

The following spreadsheet provides the information on primary care infrastructure available at end April 2014.

- Primary care infrastructure opened since March 2011

- Primary care infrastructure underway

- The PPP project.

Primary Care Centres opened since March 2011

-

-

-

Update at 30 April 2014

-

Count

HSE Region

County / Area

PCT Name / Location 

Delivery Method

Open

1

DML

Dublin 

Inchicore

Direct Build

2011 Q4 

2

DML

Dublin 

Ballyfermot

Direct Build

2012 Q3 

3

DML

Dublin 

Rathfarnham

Lease

2012 Q4 

4

DML

Dublin 

Churchtown

Operational Lease

2012 Q4 

5

DML

Dublin 

Dublin City at James's St

Operational Lease

2012 Q4 

6

DML

Kildare

Newbridge

Operational Lease

2013 Q2 

7

DML

Laois

Portarlington

Operational Lease

2011 Q3 

8

DML

Longford 

Longford Town

Operational Lease

2013 Q2 

9

DML

Westmeath

Athlone at Clonbrusk

Operational Lease

2014 Q1

10

DML

Dublin 

Bride St / Liberties (Old Meath Hospital Campus)

Operational Lease

2014 Q2

11

DNE

Dublin 

Blanchardstown

Operational Lease

2013 Q4 

12

DNE

Meath

Dunshaughlin

Direct Build

2012

13

DNE

Meath

Ashbourne 

Operational Lease

2013 Q1 

14

DNE

Meath

Summerhill

Operational Lease

2014

15

DNE

Louth

Carlingford

Direct Build

2012

16

DNE

Louth

Ardee

Direct Build

2012

17

DNE

Cavan

Cootehill

Direct Build

2012

18

DNE

Cavan

Bailieborough

Direct Build

2012 Q4 

19

DNE

Cavan

Cavan Town

Operational Lease

2012 Q1 

20

DNE

Cavan

Kingscourt

Operational Lease

2012 Q3 

21

DNE

Cavan

Cavan Town at Connolly Court

Operational Lease

2013 Q2 

22

South

Wexford

Gorey 

Operational Lease

2012 Q3 

23

South

Kilkenny

Kilkenny at Grange's Road

Operational Lease

2011 Q3 

24

South

Kilkenny

Callan 

Operational Lease

2011 Q3 

25

South

Waterford 

Tramore

Operational Lease

2011 Q4 

26

South

Cork / South Lee

Cork City at Mahon

Operational Lease

2011 Q4

27

South

Cork / North Lee

Macroom

Operational Lease

2012 Q1 

28

South

Cork

Schull

Operational Lease

2013 Q4 

29

South

Kerry

Kenmare

Operational Lease

2012 Q3 

30

South

Kerry

West Kerry (Dingle)

Direct Build

2013

31

West

Limerick

Limerick City at Abbey St Mary's

Operational Lease

2012 Q1 

32

West

Galway

Galway City East

Operational Lease

2011 Q2 

33

West

Galway

Athenry

Operational Lease

2013 Q3 

34

West

Mayo

Ballina

Operational Lease

2011 Q2 

35

West

Roscommon

Castlerea

Operational Lease

2012 Q3 

36

West

Roscommon

Monksland South Roscommon

Operational Lease

2012 Q4 

37

West

Donegal 

Glenties

Direct Build

2012 Q3 

Primary Care Centres Infrastructure - Underway

-

-

-

Update at 30 April 2014

Count

HSE Region

County / Area

PCT Name / Location

Delivery Method

1

DML

Wicklow

South Wicklow / Carnew

Operational Lease

2

DML

Wicklow

Wicklow Town

Operational Lease

3

DML

Dublin

Kilnamanagh / Tymon

Operational Lease

4

DML

Kildare

Clane

Operational Lease

5

DML

Kildare

Rathangan / Monasterevin

Operational Lease

6

DML

Dublin

Springfield

Operational Lease

7

DML

Longford

Edgeworthstown

Direct-own / build

8

DNE

Dublin

Finglas

Direct-own / build

9

DNE

Dublin

Grangegorman

Direct-own / build

10

DNE

Dublin

Corduff

Direct-own / build

11

DNE

Meath

Laytown / Bettystown

Direct-own / build

12

DNE

Monaghan

Monaghan Town

Direct-own / build

13

South

Carlow

Tullow / Rathvilly / Hacketstown

Direct-own / build

14

South

Cork

Cork City NW at St Mary's Hospital Campus

Direct-own / build

15

South

Cork

Carrigtwohill

Operational Lease

16

South

Cork

Kinsale

Operational Lease

17

West

Limerick

Limerick City - Market / Garryown

Operational Lease

18

West

Limerick

Limerick City - Castletroy

Operational Lease

19

West

Galway

Loughrea

Direct-own / build

20

West

Mayo

Swinford

Operational Lease

21

West

Sligo

Sligo Town at Nazareth House

Direct-own / build

22

West

Leitrim

Manorhamilton

Direct-own / build

23

West

Leitrim

Ballinamore

Direct-own / build

24

West

Leitrim

Carrick-on-Shannon

Operational Lease

25

West

Donegal

Derrybeg / Bunbeg

Operational Lease

26

West

Donegal

Ballyshannon

Direct-own / build

27

West

Donegal

Dungloe

Direct-own / build

Primary Care Centres - PPP Project

-

-

Update at 30 April 2014

Count

HSE Region

County / Area

PCT Name / Location

1

DML

Kildare

Kilcock

2

DML

Dublin

Crumlin / Drimnagh at Curlew Road

3

DML

Dublin

Knocklyon / Rathfarnham

4

DNE

Dublin

Coolock / Darndale

5

DNE

Dublin

Summerhill, north inner city

6

South

Wexford

Wexford Town

7

South

Waterford

Dungarvan

8

South

Waterford

Waterford City

9

South

Tipperary

Carrick-on-Suir

10

West

Limerick

Limerick City

11

West

Galway

Tuam

12

West

Mayo

Claremorris

13

West

Mayo

Ballinrobe

14

West

Mayo

Westport

15

West

Sligo

Ballymote

16

West

Roscommon

Boyle

The Deputy's parliamentary question has been forwarded to the HSE for reply in relation to the health care services to be delivered from the PCC locations under way.