Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (696)

John Brassil

Question:

696. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the average time it takes to reimburse oncology medicines from initial application by the pharmaceutical company; the way in which this compares on a European average; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13196/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines 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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (697)

Robert Troy

Question:

697. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [13197/19]

View answer

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (698)

John Brassil

Question:

698. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the reason high-tech medicines for small patient populations are increasingly not recommended for reimbursement here despite their availability across the majority of European member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13198/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. The Minister for Health has no role or powers in relation to such matters.

The decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds by the HSE, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE conducts health technology assessments (HTAs) of medicinal products for the HSE, and makes recommendations on reimbursement to assist the HSE in its decision-making process.

Over the past number of months, the HSE has introduced new measures, within the confines of the 2013 Health Act, to strengthen and improve the assessment and consideration process for new drug applications, including:

- expanded membership of the Drugs Committee to include patient representation and more clinical expertise in the area of rare diseases.

- establishment of a Rare Disease Technology Review Group,

- additional resources provided to the NCPE and HSE’s Pharmaceutical Unit in order to improve processing times for new applications.

The Act provides for a fair, transparent and rigorous process for the assessment of all drugs which has delivered tangible results in the pricing and supply of medicines for patients. To date in 2019, 17 new medicines and 3 new uses of existing medicines have been approved by the HSE, an investment of in excess of €150m over five years. 11 of these new medicines are orphan medicines.

The challenge of securing affordable access to innovate medicines is not unique to Ireland and we have been engaging with other EU countries in an effort to identify solutions. In the region of 45 new molecules are due to receive market authorisation in Europe each year over the next five years. It is in this high-tech space, including orphan drugs, where the greatest challenges will arise in the years ahead. Expenditure on the High-Tech arrangement, through which most new, high-cost medicines, including orphan medicines, are funded in Ireland, has increased from about €400 million in 2012 to approximately €700 million in 2018.

In June 2018, Ireland joined the Beneluxa Initiative on Pharmaceutical Policy. This Agreement is in line with my objective to work with other European countries to identify workable solutions, in an increasingly challenging environment, to secure timely access for patients to new medicines in an affordable and sustainable way.

In addition to Beneluxa, Ireland is participating in a number of other voluntary EU forums. These platforms are currently exploring possible areas for cooperation including information sharing, horizon scanning and possible price negotiations and joint procurement. Such platforms could also lead to faster access for patients for some treatments.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (699)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

699. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of beds in the psychiatric units in counties Roscommon and Galway; the out-of-hours or weekend psychiatric services available to persons in the counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13199/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (700)

John Brassil

Question:

700. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health his plans to review the systems, structures and resources in place to support the decision making process for the reimbursement of medicines; if this review will consider whether Ireland applies a disproportionately high threshold for clinical evidence supporting medicines for small patient populations; the reason medicines are frequently unable to secure reimbursement here despite their broad availability elsewhere in Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13201/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department has completed a tender process for a review of the HSE reimbursement and pricing decision-making process and is in the process of appointing a consultancy firm to complete this review.

This review will examine governance arrangements (including the systems, structures, processes) and the resources which support the decision-making process for the consideration of an application for reimbursement of a medicine.

The Deputy will be aware that the HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. The Minister for Health has no role or powers in relation to such matters.

The decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds by the HSE, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE conducts health technology assessments (HTAs) of medicinal products for the HSE, and makes recommendations on reimbursement to assist the HSE in its decision-making process.

Over the past number of months, the HSE has introduced new measures, within the confines of the 2013 Health Act, to strengthen and improve the assessment and consideration process for new drug applications, including:

- expanded membership of the Drugs Committee to include patient representation and more clinical expertise in the area of rare diseases.

- establishment of a Rare Disease Technology Review Group

- additional resources provided to the NCPE and HSE’s Pharmaceutical Unit in order to improve processing times for new applications.

The Act provides for a fair, transparent and rigorous process for the assessment of all drugs which has delivered tangible results in the pricing and supply of medicines for patients. To date in 2019, 17 new medicines and 3 new uses of existing medicines have been approved by the HSE, an investment of in excess of €150 million over five years. Eleven of these new medicines are orphan medicines.

The challenge of securing affordable access to innovate medicines is not unique to Ireland and we have been engaging with other EU countries in an effort to identify solutions. In the region of 45 new molecules are due to receive market authorisation in Europe each year over the next five years. It is in this high-tech space, including orphan drugs, where the greatest challenges will arise in the years ahead. Expenditure on the High-Tech arrangement, through which most new, high-cost medicines, including orphan medicines, are funded in Ireland, has increased from about €400 million in 2012 to approximately €700 million in 2018.

In June 2018, Ireland joined the Beneluxa Initiative on Pharmaceutical Policy. This Agreement is in line with my objective to work with other European countries to identify workable solutions, in an increasingly challenging environment, to secure timely access for patients to new medicines in an affordable and sustainable way.

In addition to Beneluxa, Ireland is participating in a number of other voluntary EU forums. These platforms are currently exploring possible areas for cooperation including information sharing, horizon scanning and possible price negotiations and joint procurement. Such platforms could also lead to faster access for patients for some treatments.

Nursing Education

Questions (701)

John Brassil

Question:

701. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the provisions being made to provide funding for practice nurse education; the reason no funding is available for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13205/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Practice nurses are not public employees but are employed directly by individual GPs who operate as independent private contractors. Under the terms of the GP contract, GPs can claim practice support subsidies towards the cost of employing a practice nurse. The terms and conditions of the contract of employment are negotiated directly with each nurse employed.

The Office of Nursing and Midwifery Directorate in the HSE currently employs five Practice Nurse Coordinators who are responsible for the professional development of practice nurses.

Health Services

Questions (702)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

702. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if an application by a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13207/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (703)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

703. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a home care package. [13209/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

HSE Planning

Questions (704)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

704. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health when the HSE capital plan for 2019 will be finalised and published [13213/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department and the Health Service Executive are currently engaged in a process to finalise the HSE Capital Plan for 2019.

In developing its Capital Plan for 2019 and future years, the HSE must consider a range of issues including, the expenditure that is contractually committed, the HSE’s annual requirement in relation to meeting risks associated with clinical equipment, ambulances and healthcare infrastructure and the total capital exchequer funding required for the new children’s hospital.

The HSE Capital Plan will determine the projects that can progress in 2019 and beyond having regard to the available capital funding, the number of large national capital projects currently underway, the cashflow requirements attaching to each project and the relevant priority.

Projects that are currently in construction and are contractually committed will not be affected.

Once the HSE has finalised its Capital Plan for 2019, it will then be submitted to me for consideration.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (705)

Denis Naughten

Question:

705. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for a procedure; the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13216/19]

View answer

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Health Services Reports

Questions (706)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

706. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter regarding a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13218/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

HSE Funding

Questions (707)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

707. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the funding to be provided by the HSE to an organisation (details supplied) in 2019; the number of advocacy cases dealt with by it in 2018; the number of information and support calls received by it in 2018; the estimated expenditure on a service for 2019 and 2020; the date by which the new service will be operational; the number of staff that will be employed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13223/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (708)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

708. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13227/19]

View answer

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Hospital Staff

Questions (709)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

709. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if there are vacancies in the ophthalmology section of the primary care centre in north Drogheda; if the vacancy will be filled in the short term; the alternative arrangements being made for patients to receive the necessary treatment in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13232/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Emergency Departments Data

Questions (710)

James Browne

Question:

710. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children presenting at Wexford General Hospital emergency department with self-harm injuries, suicide attempts and-or overdoses in each of the years 2014 to 2018, inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13236/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Questions (711)

James Browne

Question:

711. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children hospitalised in either Wexford General Hospital or University Hospital Waterford for mental health conditions in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13237/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Questions (712)

James Browne

Question:

712. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children in County Wexford hospitalised in a paediatric mental health unit here in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13238/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (713)

James Browne

Question:

713. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding locating blood clinics within CAMHS locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13239/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Fire Safety

Questions (714)

James Browne

Question:

714. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding fire safety procedures at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13240/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (715)

James Browne

Question:

715. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding improving working conditions within a CAMHS location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13241/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Staff

Questions (716)

James Browne

Question:

716. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if work has been undertaken to ascertain the reason there is a dearth of applications while vacancies elsewhere are filled in view of the difficulties in recruiting a CAMHS psychiatrist to a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13242/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.