Dietician Service Provision

Questions (781)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

781. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health when a dietician will be appointment to King's Island Medical Centre, County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13488/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Home Help Service Data

Questions (782, 783)

James Browne

Question:

782. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting home help in south central areas of Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13489/19]

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James Browne

Question:

783. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting to receive additional home help hours in south central areas of Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13490/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 782 and 783 together.

As these questions relate to a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

HSE Staff Data

Questions (784, 785, 786)

James Browne

Question:

784. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of care workers in south central areas of Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13491/19]

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James Browne

Question:

785. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of vacant care worker positions in south central areas of Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13492/19]

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James Browne

Question:

786. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health his plans to address the perceived lack of care workers in south central areas of Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13493/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 784 to 786, inclusive, together.

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

Pharmaceutical Sector

Questions (787)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

787. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter regarding the new rules in relation to pharmaceutical assistants (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13494/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Pharmacy Act 2007 established the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) and the functions of the Society are set out in the Act. The functions of the PSI are carried out on its behalf by the Council of the Society.

Section 30 of the Pharmacy Act 2007 provides for an exception to the general provision in the Act which requires the sale and supply of medicines at a pharmacy to be conducted under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist, and specifies that no offence is committed where a registered pharmaceutical assistant “acts on behalf of a registered pharmacist during the temporary absence of the registered pharmacist”.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2019 were developed by the PSI in accordance with Section 30 of the Pharmacy Act 2007, which also permits the Council to make rules as to:

- What may or may not be done by a registered pharmaceutical assistant when acting on behalf of a registered pharmacist; and

- What constitutes the temporary absence of a registered pharmacist.  

On 6 December, the Council of the PSI approved a revised draft of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2018 for issuance for public consultation. This public consultation commenced on 13 December 2018 and ran until 11 January 2019, affording any interested party the opportunity to make representations on the matter directly to the PSI.

At its meeting on 14 February 2019, the Council of the PSI approved the draft Rules, subject to certain amendments made on foot of the Council’s consideration of the results of the latest public consultation.

On 8 March 2019, the PSI submitted the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2019 to me for my consent, in accordance with the requirements of the Pharmacy Act 2007. These were accompanied by a lengthy submission detailing the PSI’s rationale for the drafting of the Rules.

Throughout the course of this process my Department has received correspondence from and on behalf of registered pharmaceutical assistants outlining their concerns with regard to the drafting of these Rules.

Under the Pharmacy Act 2007, my role in relation to this process is limited to the consideration of any such Rules once submitted for my consent and in doing so I will give careful consideration to the Rules as submitted by the PSI and to the concerns raised by or on behalf of registered pharmaceutical assistants.

Pension Provisions

Questions (788)

John Brassil

Question:

788. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health if the pension entitlements of a person (details supplied) will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13495/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Abortion Services Provision

Questions (789)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

789. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the status of plans to provide free access to termination of pregnancy services for women from Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13499/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 1970, eligibility for public health services is based on a person being ordinarily resident in the State. This is the bedrock upon which our eligibility system for health services, and indeed many other public services, is founded. The necessary provisions were made in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 to enable universal access for women living in the State to the services in question without charge. Women who live in Northern Ireland can access termination services in this jurisdiction but would, in effect, be doing so as private patients and would be subject to charges in this regard.

Any proposal to facilitate access without charge to termination-of-pregnancy services to women from Northern Ireland raises a number of legal and policy issues and therefore requires detailed examination. My Department intends therefore to undertake an examination of these issues, in conjunction with the Attorney General and other Government colleagues as necessary.

Abortion Services Provision

Questions (790)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

790. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if catchment areas apply for access to termination of pregnancy services in hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13500/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services

Questions (791)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

791. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health his views on the activities of a centre (details supplied); his further views on the provision of ultrasound services by persons without appropriate training; his plans to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13501/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the centre referred to by the Deputy does not provide services for or on behalf of the Health Service Executive, I am not in a position to respond to the question.

Termination of pregnancy services are provided, free of charge, by the HSE through GPs or family planning services, and in maternity units and hospitals across the country.

My Options is a HSE provided service that offers information about abortion services and how to access them.

The MyOptions telephone line is now providing information and support in over 240 languages. It is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Saturday.

The MyOptions public awareness campaign is also running across national radio, posters and social media to ensure that those who need the service are aware of the correct details and telephone number.

Health Services Provision

Questions (792)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

792. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the terms of reference and membership of the working group on contraception; if the group will examine the free provision of long-acting, reversible contraceptives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13502/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Working Group will consider the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception.  

The following draft Terms of Reference (ToR) have been developed:   

- To conduct a rapid review of national and international literature on contraception and associated issues;

- To specifically examine the extent to which cost is a barrier to accessing reliable methods of contraception in Ireland and to consider whether there are other factors influencing access to contraception that could be addressed;

- To examine mechanisms to address any access issues identified, including financial, legislative, regulatory and contractual issues, as well as any other relevant matters;

- To consult with relevant stakeholders; and

- To make recommendations to the Minister on the optimal policy options and next steps.

These ToR will enable the group to consider issues relating to the provision of long acting reversible contraception.

Membership of the group is due to be finalised shortly and will consist of officials from relevant policy areas within the Department of Health.  The group will also draw on appropriate advice and expertise from the HSE and other relevant stakeholders as necessary.  The group is scheduled to begin its work in April 2019.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications

Questions (793)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

793. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a fair deal application by a person (details supplied); if same will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13503/19]

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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.

Organ Donation

Questions (794, 927)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

794. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health when a soft opt-out organ donor consent system will be introduced to replace the opt-in system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13504/19]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

927. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a soft opt-out organ donor consent will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14106/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 794 and 927 together.

The General Scheme of a Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill is being finalised at present and will be submitted to Government shortly.   

The General Scheme will include provisions for a soft opt-out system of consent for deceased organ donation.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (795)

Robert Troy

Question:

795. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13505/19]

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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, 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.

Occupational Therapy Provision

Questions (796)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

796. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if an occupational therapy appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13506/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (797)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

797. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the reason a medical card application was closed in view of the fact that the applicant was a cross border worker and is entitled to a medical card under EU regulations (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13513/19]

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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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (798)

John McGuinness

Question:

798. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if home help hours will be approved for a person (details supplied). [13516/19]

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 Services

Questions (799)

John McGuinness

Question:

799. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if a long-term care plan on an inpatient basis will be put in place for a person (details supplied). [13518/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Vaccination Programme Data

Questions (800)

Clare Daly

Question:

800. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the details of the HPV immunisation uptake statistics provided by the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre for the school year 1 September 2017 to 1 June 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13523/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The information that the Deputy seeks in relation to HPV immunisation statistics is not readily available.  Therefore, I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply directly to the Deputy.

Vaccination Programme Data

Questions (801)

Clare Daly

Question:

801. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the number of suspected adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine reported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority, HPRA, as at 31 December 2018; the number of cases reported; the number of system organ class reactions reported; the percentage of cases categorised as serious; the number of cases unresolved; and the regular intervals the HPRA is required to update its national monitoring webpage. [13524/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

From the time of first authorisation of Gardasil in 2006 and up to 31/12/2018, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) had received 1,187 reports/cases of suspected adverse reactions and events associated with the use of the HPV vaccines (Gardasil, Cervarix and a few reports for which the brand of vaccine is not known).  These reports include information on some 5,616 reactions, as many reports/cases contain information on more than one reaction/event, so as you will note, the number of reactions exceeds the number of reports/cases.

In accordance with EU and global reporting requirements, the words used to describe suspected adverse reactions/events are coded by the HPRA to an internationally agreed standard terminology (MedDRA), which is used to facilitate exchange of information by organisations responsible for medicines monitoring.  Within this terminology, reaction terms are grouped into System Organ Classes’ (SOCs) by etiology (e.g. Infections and infestations), manifestation site (e.g. Gastrointestinal disorders) or purpose (e.g. Surgical and medical procedures).  The 5,616 reactions referred to above occurred across a broad range of SOCs, most frequently involving the general disorders and administration site conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous system disorders, psychiatric disorders and skin/subcutaneous tissue disorders.

Of the 1,187 reports/cases of suspected adverse reactions and events associated with the use of the HPV vaccines (Gardasil, Cervarix and a few reports for which the brand of vaccine hasn’t been identified), 60% are classified as ‘serious’ as per the regulatory definition of a ‘serious’ adverse reaction, which includes circumstances where patients require intervention (e.g. review by their GP) and/or treatment for their symptoms.  From currently available information, in 319 reports/cases, the patients were described as ‘not recovered at time of reporting’ and the outcome in a further 167 reports/cases was recorded as ‘unknown’.  It is important to note that the HPRA receives reports/cases from a variety of sources and at the time of submission and/or follow up, information on the outcome of the effects experienced may not be available to reporters.

I am informed by the HPRA that it updates its website in relation to report/case figures for HPV vaccine periodically, approximately bi-annually with the last update covering the period to 31/12/18.