Hospital Appointment Delays

Questions (561)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

561. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite a medical appointment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Louth. [24665/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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 hospital appointment query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Medical Card Appeals

Questions (562)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

562. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card appeal in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24679/14]

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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 (563)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

563. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24680/14]

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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.

Health Strategies

Questions (564)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

564. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in completing the national sexual health strategy; and when he expects to publish same. [24717/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Sexual Health Strategy 2014-2020 is currently being finalised and I intend to submit a Memorandum to Government shortly seeking approval for its implementation. I will arrange for its publication as soon as practicable thereafter if approved by Government.

Ambulance Service Provision

Questions (565)

Denis Naughten

Question:

565. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 242 of 15 May 2014 and 121 of 29 May 2014, if he has received a response from the national ambulance service; if so, the steps he will take to address the situation; if he has not received a reply to date, the reason for same in view of the fact that the national ambulance service has had such reports for up to six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24735/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As indicated in my response to the Deputy's most recent parliamentary question on this matter, No. 121 of 29 May 2014, I forwarded the relevant documents to the National Ambulance Service (NAS) for investigation.

Having reviewed the documents, the NAS has indicated that the issues raised are largely operational matters. The range of issues includes; control reconfiguration, roster reviews, advanced paramedic development, deployment of resources to new stations (Tuam, Mulranny, and Loughlynn) and dynamic deployment protocols for existing resources. I am informed that all of these issues will be managed via the normal pathways within the service for staff and management discussion. In that regard I have been assured that NAS is committed to working with staff associations to resolve any issues raised.

Medical Card Appeals

Questions (566)

Finian McGrath

Question:

566. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24736/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand that from the Deputy's correspondence that, after appeal, the original HSE decision not to award a medical card was upheld.

While I appreciate the situation, under the legislation, determination of eligibility for a medical card is the responsibility of the HSE and, as I have no role in this process, it would be inappropriate for me to interfere.

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.

Medical Card Data

Questions (567)

Billy Timmins

Question:

567. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a breakdown of the cost of the average medical card, including the direct cost to the general practitioner; a breakdown of the indirect cost, to include the cost of drugs and other schemes which the medical card permits exemption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24752/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Given the large number of medical card holders, GP visit card holders, the variety of payment arrangements and the variation in drug costs, a single average annual cost figure in respect of the medical card and GP visit card is not a sufficiently refined measure for analysis.

The HSE has estimated that the average cost of services per eligible cardholder in 2012 was around €1,026. This comprises of payment of an average of €243 per cardholder to GPs and payment to pharmacists of €783 per person who availed of drugs.

The HSE has stated that the cost of a medical card is heavily dependent on the age of the cardholder and can range from €200 for a cardholder aged 16 to 44 as compared to €2,000 for a person aged over 70. The average cost of a medical card in any year is dependent on the mix of cardholders.

The additional information requested by the Deputy is not available

National Lottery Funding Applications

Questions (568)

Billy Timmins

Question:

568. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 631 and 632 of 17 December 2013, the position regarding the number of groups which made applications under lottery funding for health scheme; the persons he met; where he met them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24778/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As previously indicated to the Deputy National Lottery grant applications are received by my Department from a range of community and voluntary organisations involved in various health related activities. They are considered having regard to the information provided on the completed application forms. An interview is not a requirement of the scheme.

Hospital Appointment Delays

Questions (569)

Pat Deering

Question:

569. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 987 of 25 March 2014, the reason a person (details supplied) has to wait a year for an ultrasound in Tallaght Hospital, Dublin; if he will provide an update on this question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24779/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand the HSE wrote to the Deputy on 11 April in relation to this matter. I have referred the Deputy's further question to the HSE, in order for them to reply directly to him.

Patient Files

Question No. 571 answered with Question No. 460.

Question No. 572 answered with Question No. 467.

Question No. 573 answered with Question No. 548.

Questions (570)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

570. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the steps taken to ensure that all personal information provided to the PCRS remains secure, especially information relating to bank accounts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24787/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive for a report on the issue raised by the Deputy. I will revert to the Deputy on the matter as soon as possible.

Question No. 571 answered with Question No. 460.
Question No. 572 answered with Question No. 467.
Question No. 573 answered with Question No. 548.