Departmental Surveys

Questions (760)

Joan Burton

Question:

760. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health when bulletin seven of the prevalence of drug use and gambling survey 2014 to 2015 will be published in view of the fact it was due for publication in January 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13408/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Together with my colleague, the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, I published the first set of data on the extent of gambling in Ireland on 27 February 2019.

The data is published in Bulletin 7 of the 2014/15 Drug Prevalence Survey and is based on fieldwork carried out between August 2014 and August 2015.  The bulletin can be found on the Department of Health website.

The statistics show that many people in Ireland engage in various forms of gambling without any issue arising. Prevalence of problem gambling in the general population was 0.8% and was higher among males than females. For this small percentage of people for whom gambling is a problem, we need measures to reduce problem gambling and its impact on individuals and their families.

The survey provides a baseline of data to assist in policy formulation and future planning and action on gambling. A further survey for 2018/2019 is currently being undertaken under the auspices of the Health Research Board (HRB). This survey will also contain a specific section on gambling prevalence, with an extended range of questions.

Nursing Staff Data

Questions (761)

Joan Burton

Question:

761. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if an aged based analysis of nursing staff employed in the HSE by grade will be provided in tabular form (details supplied). [13409/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Nursing Staff Data

Questions (762)

Joan Burton

Question:

762. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if an aged based analysis of nursing staff employed in section 38 organisations by grade will be provided in tabular form (details supplied). [13410/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Nursing Staff Data

Questions (763)

Joan Burton

Question:

763. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if an aged based analysis of nursing staff employed in section 39 organisations by grade will be provided in tabular form (details supplied). [13411/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Nursing Staff Data

Questions (764)

Joan Burton

Question:

764. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if an aged based analysis of nursing staff employed in private sector organisations by grade and parameters (details supplied) will be provided in tabular form. [13412/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Dental Services Provision

Questions (765)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

765. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of dental services for post-primary children in an area (details supplied); the days the service is in operation; the days the services are in operation throughout both counties weekly; his plans to increase resources in this area to allow for an extension of this service and hours provided per week in either county; if same will be implemented to cover annual leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13413/19]

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.

Dental Services Provision

Questions (766)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

766. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of dental services for post-primary children in an area (details supplied); the days the service is in operation; if he will review same in relation to this service; his plans to increase resources in this area to allow for an extension of this service and hours provided per week; if same will be implement to cover annual leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13415/19]

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.

Medical Card Drugs Availability

Questions (767)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

767. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the number of nicotine replacement therapies provided by the HSE through the medical card scheme in 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13417/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (768)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

768. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the status of the planned Drimnagh primary health care centre; if it will proceed in 2019; if not, if alternative plans are being drawn up; when such plans will be announced; the schedule of planning applications, building works and so on; and the services that will be provided within the centre. [13418/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Disability Support Services Provision

Questions (769)

Clare Daly

Question:

769. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 273 of 12 March 2019, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that dispersing this group of deaf persons will not enhance their life; and if arrangements will be made to satisfy the unique needs of this specific group (details supplied). [13419/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out of congregated settings, to enable them to live independently and to be included in the community.  The objective is to reduce this figure by one-third by 2021 and ultimately, to eliminate all congregated settings.

By the end of this year, it is expected that under 2,100 people with a disability will remain living in congregated settings. I want to emphasise that the appropriate supports and resources are being put in place to ensure that people are supported as they move out of residential centres. The model of care for individuals will be based on a person centred plan (PCP). The PCP may change over time in line with an individual’s needs and circumstances and the model of service delivery applicable at a particular time.

In the context of residents in St Joseph’s House, Stillorgan - the Deaf Village Ireland, any opportunity for residents to live in smaller settings in the community will come after considerable planning and discussion with those residents and their families. It will be on the basis that it will enhance their life, and anyone who moves will continue to access the services they require.

As the HSE is responsible for leading out on the recommendations on "Time to Move on from Congregated Settings - A Strategy for Community Inclusion", I have arranged for the Deputy's question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (770)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

770. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health the mental health services available to persons with autism; the process for a child or adult in accessing these mental health services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13434/19]

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.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (771)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

771. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health the options for treatment in Northern Ireland that persons here can avail of regarding mental health if they are diagnosed as being autistic. [13435/19]

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.

Nursing Home Fees

Questions (772)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

772. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health when he will publish the review of the system for setting nursing home prices under the nursing home support scheme. [13436/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.  

The Report of the NHSS Review published in 2015 identified a number of issues for more detailed consideration, including a review of the pricing mechanism used by the NTPF, with a view to:

- Ensuring  value  for money and economy, with the lowest possible administrative costs  for clients and the State and administrative burden for  providers;

- Increasing  the transparency of the pricing mechanism so that existing and potential investors can make as informed decisions as possible; and

- Ensuring  that there is  adequate residential capacity for those residents  with more complex needs.

A Steering Group was established to oversee and manage the pricing review. The Steering Group is chaired by the NTPF and includes representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). As part of its work on the review the NTPF sought various inputs including external expertise and stakeholder engagement to inform the review. These inputs are being considered in detail.

I understand that the NTPF is now close to completing the report and it is expected that the Steering Group will be provided with a final draft very shortly. Once complete the report of the review will then be submitted to the Department of Health, where its findings will then be considered.

It is recognised that any change to any part of the Scheme must be considered in terms of the short- and long-term impact on the viability of the Scheme and accessibility of long-term residential care in general. It is therefore important that the relevant issues are considered thoroughly through the review process.

General Practitioner Contracts

Questions (773)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

773. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health the timeframe for the new general practitioner contract for nursing homes. [13437/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

GPs contracted by the HSE under the GMS scheme are obliged to provide services to their medical card and GP visit card patients, including those who are resident in nursing homes. GPs are remunerated for these services primarily on a capitation basis, with a range of additional support payments and fees for specific items of service. An annual capitation payment of €434.15 is payable in respect of each GMS patient over 70 years of age residing in a private nursing home approved by the HSE for periods in excess of 5 weeks.

There are no plans at present to introduce a new contract specifically for the provision of general practitioner services to nursing homes. However, the Deputy will be aware that talks are ongoing with GP representatives in relation to the development of modernised GP contractual arrangements. The focus of the current phase of the talks is on developing a range of modernisation, reform and sustainability measures and the development of a chronic disease management programme for GMS and GP visit card patients.

Any agreement must substantially benefit patients and provide value for money for the taxpayer.

In line with the long-established approach to such processes, and by agreement of the parties concerned, I am not in position to give further details while engagement between the parties is under way.

Mobility Allowance

Questions (774, 859)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

774. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the progress to date in determining the appropriate scheme to replace the mobility allowance and motorised transport grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13441/19]

View answer

Catherine Martin

Question:

859. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health when a new allowance will be established to replace the mobility allowance that ceased six years ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13720/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 774 and 859 together.

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. 

My colleague, the Minister for Health and I brought a Memorandum to Government in May 2018 on proposals for a new Transport Support Payment Scheme.  Following  consideration of the matter, it was decided to withdraw the Memorandum from the Cabinet Agenda at the time. I intend to revert to Government in due course with revised proposals to reflect the discussions at that Cabinet meeting and further discussions between myself and Minister Harris on the best way to progress the Transport Scheme.  

It is important to note that the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme operated by the Revenue Commissioners, remains in place. This scheme provides VRT and VAT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with a disability, who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in governing regulations made by the Minister for Finance. Specifically adapted vehicles driven by persons with a disability are also exempt from payment of tolls on national roads and toll bridges. Transport Infrastructure Ireland has responsibility for this particular scheme.

There are improvements in access to a range of transport support schemes available to persons with disabilities in the State and on-going work is being carried out by Government Departments, agencies and transport providers to further improve access to public transport services. Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of public transport for people with a disability.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (775)

Martin Heydon

Question:

775. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health if further consideration has been given to the funding of a dementia adviser in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13465/19]

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 Staff Recruitment

Questions (776)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

776. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of the appointment of a second consultant for a service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13469/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 Services

Questions (777)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

777. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health when an outreach clinic (details supplied) for patients in County Donegal will be reinstated; the reason this has not taken place to date; the efforts being undertaken to resume the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13470/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 Services

Questions (778)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

778. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of a service at a hospital (details supplied) in County Donegal; if staff and equipment are in place to commence the service; if so, the reason this service is not being offered to patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13471/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

HSE Staff

Questions (779)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

779. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he will instruct the HSE to review the working arrangements of a person without prejudice (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13472/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Hospital Services

Questions (780)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

780. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the date on which the 20 bed CF inpatient unit at Beaumont Hospital will proceed; the amount of funding allocated to this project; if his attention has been drawn to delays in delivering the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13479/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly in relation to the issues you raised concerning the proposed purpose built cystic fibrosis in-patient facility at Beaumont University Hospital.