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Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016

Written Answers Nos. 131-136

Home Help Service

Questions (131)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

131. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health his views on the delivery of home help packages; if he will confirm the persons available for delivery of service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32250/16]

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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.

Drugs Payment Scheme Coverage

Questions (132)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

132. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when he will make a decision on an application to include the drug Kuvan sapropterin in the drug reimbursement programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32254/16]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The 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; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Pension Provisions

Questions (133)

Willie Penrose

Question:

133. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health when the issue pertaining to pensions entitlements which has been ongoing in relation to employees of the Central Remedial Clinic will be resolved; if, in this context, his attention has been drawn to the fact that due to the present uncertainty persons who have recently retired have to resort to jobseeker's allowance rather than their due pension entitlements; if progress has been made in relation to their admission to the VHSS-SPSPS schemes without any further delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32255/16]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) is funded by the Health Service Executive under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004. The CRC is therefore accountable, in the first instance, to the HSE. As I have outlined previously, the HSE was requested to work with the CRC to resolve this matter in the context of Government policy on pay and pensions.

On 28 July my Department, following consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, advised the HSE, that in the event that the wind up of the CRC Plan proceeded, that future service only, of the affected current CRC employees, will be provided for by way of access to standard public service pension scheme terms.

The HSE is currently engaging with the CRC in relation to the matter.

Prescriptions Charges

Questions (134)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

134. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his views on the European Court of Justice ruling that a fixed price system for the sale by pharmacies of prescription only medicinal products for human use is incompatible with the free movement of goods; and if there are any implications for pharmacies here [32257/16]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

This case concerns a challenge to the German system of fixed pricing for prescription medicines, which I am advised involves a standard minimum price. The German court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice, which determined that the Government-regulated minimum pricing system interfered with free trade, as it provided more of an obstacle to pharmacies outside Germany than to those within Germany.

Ireland does not use a fixed minimum pricing structure for prescription medicines and, in line with a previous European Court of Justice ruling, does not permit mail order pharmacy sales. Accordingly, the Court's ruling does not appear to hold direct relevance for our community drug schemes. However, my officials will continue to monitor the issue.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (135)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

135. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32258/16]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

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 HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (136)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

136. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the measures being taken to alleviate the long waiting list and delays in accessing early intervention team assessments due to staff shortages in respect of a person (details supplied); the further measures being taken to address the concerns of families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32266/16]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

The particular issue raised by the Deputy is a service matter for the HSE. Accordingly I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

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