Question No. 502 answered with Question No. 467.

Medical Card Applications

Question No. 504 answered with Question No. 467.

Questions (503)

John McGuinness

Question:

503. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if a medical card will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny. [24363/14]

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.

Question No. 504 answered with Question No. 467.

Hospital Procedures

Questions (505)

Jack Wall

Question:

505. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will receive an appointment date for an MRI scan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24373/14]

View answer

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)

John McGuinness

Question:

506. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 778 of 30 April 2014, if he will expedite an assessment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24379/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (507)

Billy Timmins

Question:

507. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health the position regarding letters sent from the medical card section of the Health Service Executive to parents of children with Down syndrome; the number of letters sent asking parents if their children still had Down syndrome; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24380/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In accordance with the Health Act, 1970, as amended, the assessment for a medical card is determined primarily by reference to the means, including the income and expenditure, of the applicant and his or her partner and dependants. I will take this opportunity to remind the Deputy that, there is no, nor has there ever been, an entitlement to a medical card for a person with a particular illness or medical condition under the legislation.

Under the Act, the HSE is obliged, in deciding on an individual’s eligibility, to have regard to the person’s overall financial situation, including the means of the spouse, if any, in view of the reasonable expenditure in relation to him or herself and his or her dependants.

If an applicant’s means are above the financial thresholds, as outlined in the National Assessment Guidelines, the HSE routinely considers whether the refusal of eligibility will result in undue financial hardship for the applicant or any dependants. Eligibility may be granted, if the applicant is above the guidelines, but cannot arrange general practitioner, medical and surgical services, for themselves and their dependants, without being caused undue financial hardship. Where discretion is exercised with regard to an applicant with an illness or disease, it is the effect of reasonable expenditure related to that condition on a person's financial situation that is relevant to the assessment for a medical card.

All medical card and GP visit card holders are subject to a periodic review of eligibility to determine continuing eligibility. Under the review process, applicants are not asked if they - or a family member - still has a lifelong condition or illness. As I have outlined, the card is not awarded based on a medical condition and, in this regard, such like questions would be neither pertinent nor appropriate.

However, the HSE is obliged under the review process to ensure that full account is taken of any costs that a family may have that arise from a change in their circumstances, perhaps an exacerbation of an illness or a secondary illness. Any questions on change in circumstances refer to the resultant financial impact and do no not refer to a person still having the particular life-long condition or particular illness. The information sought is to support the determination of undue financial hardship due to the costs associated with having a medical condition or illness.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (508)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

508. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health the position regarding an application for a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [24381/14]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (509)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

509. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Health if a 70% to 90% blockage of an artery of a patient is deemed to be an urgent case to be afforded priority in having a surgical procedure to have a stent inserted; if so, the length of time a patient may expect to wait; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24383/14]

View answer

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 consultant consider that the patient's condition warrants earlier intervention, there are protocols within the policy to facilitate instances of clinical urgency. As this is a matter of clinical practice, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (510)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

510. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Health the length of the waiting time for a patient to access cardiology in-patient treatment at University College Hospital in the public health care systems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24384/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Reform

Questions (511)

Denis Naughten

Question:

511. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when his Department received the report on the reorganisation of the integrated service areas for PCCC; if this report has been approved; when he expects to publish the report; the reason for the delay in publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24395/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Following on from the commitment made in Future Health - the Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015, the HSE has completed a detailed review of Integrated Service Areas which proposes revised structures to facilitate delivery of integrated and person-centred care across the wide range of non-acute services, particularly primary care and those involving the care of older people, people with a disability and people with a mental illness. The proposals also seek to ensure appropriate integration between acute and non-acute services.

The HSE report has been the subject of examination by my Department and I intend shortly to bring proposals to Government regarding the reorganisation of primary and social care services.

Health Services

Questions (512)

John McGuinness

Question:

512. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if a long-term care plan will be put in place as matter of urgency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will expedite the matter. [24402/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the Deputy's previous question of 27 May on this matter, I forwarded the information provided by the Deputy to the Health Service Executive to respond directly.

Primary Care Services Provision

Questions (513)

Gerry Adams

Question:

513. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the costs associated with invasive ventilation for persons who suffer from motor neurone disease; the number of persons who have been provided with this invasive ventilation in 2011, 2012, 2013, and to date in 2014; the criteria to avail of invasive ventilation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24404/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE is responsible for the administration of the primary care schemes, therefore, this matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Nursing Home Subventions

Questions (514)

Pat Deering

Question:

514. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when funding will be available for a fair deal scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) who has already been approved. [24409/14]

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.

Disability Services Programme Review

Questions (515)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

515. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland regarding persons with neurological conditions and their access to care and persons who have to access private care due to waiting lists; the concerns regarding persons losing medical cards who have neurological conditions, issues with access to respite care; his plans to deal with these concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24418/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Health services for people with multiple sclerosis, are provided across a range of settings, by different organisations and by many health professionals and carers. The Government recognises that neurological illness or injury has significant implications for the individual and their family, which impacts on their social, educational, vocational and recreational participation. Waiting times, access, treatment and quality of care, are a priority for reform for this Government, despite budgetary constraints. In relation to specialist disability support services, the Health Service Executive (HSE) will spend €1.4 billion and employ a staff level of approximately 15,000 whole time equivalents in 2014 to deliver its Disability Services Programme.

The HSE is embarking on a large scale reform programme, which will transform our model of service to a community-based model of person-centred care. This Government is also committed to a significant strengthening of primary care services. The HSE has provided additional funding and filled 200 additional primary care team posts including public health nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

Where medical cards are concerned, the Government has decided to develop a new policy framework for eligibility for the award of medical cards to take account of on-going medical conditions. 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. In this context, the HSE has decided to suspend reviews of medical cards where discretion had been exercised to take account of medical circumstances, pending the outcome of this process. This includes people who are currently in the appeals process. The HSE has extended eligibility of the individuals concerned, who are in the process of being advised in the normal way.

The Government is examining how best to address the situation of persons with serious medical conditions who had been issued with a medical card on a discretionary basis, but who have already completed the review process (and appeal process, as relevant) and who are not eligible to retain that card. The Government is examining the most effective and timely way of progressing such change.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications

Questions (516)

Denis Naughten

Question:

516. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will receive payment under the nursing home support scheme; the reason for the delay in same; the current waiting period from approval to payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24419/14]

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.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (517)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

517. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the progress to date in determination of an application for a medical card in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24435/14]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (518)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

518. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Health the current waiting time for cardiology inpatient treatment at Galway University Hospital; the length of time he expects it will take to reach the national special delivery unit target where no patient is waiting longer than eight months for inpatient treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24436/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 her directly.

Hospital Appointment Status

Questions (519)

Pat Deering

Question:

519. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Carlow will receive an appointment in St. James's Hospital. [24437/14]

View answer

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.