Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (823)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

823. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 688 of 6 November 2018, the position of the HSE regarding the provision of the drug; if there has been further contact from the applicant regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13600/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, 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 NCPE competed a health technology assessment on 29 August 2018 for Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). They recommended that Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) not be considered for reimbursement unless cost-effectiveness can be improved relative to existing treatments.

On 4 October 2018 the NCPE completed their assessment for Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) indicated for the treatment of adult patients with early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). They did not recommend that Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) be reimbursed for this indication.  

The HSE is the statutory decision-making body for medicine reimbursement. It will make the final decision on whether Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) will be reimbursed for each of these indications, taking into consideration the statutory criteria cntained in the 2013 Health Act.

I am advised by the HSE that there has been considerable engagement between the HSE and the manufacturer over the past number of months.   Commercial discussions are ongoing and additional meetings are expected to take place in the coming weeks between the company and the HSE. 

Midwifery Services Provision

Questions (824)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

824. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of a service (details supplied) in County Donegal; if the HSE is actively seeking potential interested midwives in order to offer the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13602/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the question relates to a service issue, I have referred it to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Staff

Questions (825)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

825. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if a HSE employee (details supplied) has the option of paying into a public service pension now or buying back their pension entitlements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13608/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Mental Health Policy

Questions (826)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

826. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health if he will include the role of art therapist as a designated position in an updated A Vision for Change policy on mental health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13609/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Oversight Group is currently in the process of finalising the revised National Mental Health Policy 'A Vision for Change'. A key focus of the work of this refresh has been to explore opportunities for encompassing population-based responses that strengthen individuals' emotional resilience. 

The revised Vision for Change report will contain a chapter on 'promotion, prevention and early intervention'. While the specific role of 'art therapist' is not mentioned, the chapter proposes that positive mental health can be achieved by supporting innovative and flexible non-clinical interventions such as engagement with art, drama, music and other community responses.

The final revised report is due to be finalised in the coming weeks. 

Medicinal Products

Questions (827)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

827. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health if it is required by the HSE that medication not be put into a single blister pack for medical card patients by pharmacists. [13610/19]

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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.

Pharmacy Regulations

Questions (828)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

828. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he will reconsider signing the new rules in relation to pharmaceutical assistants and seek to have amendments included in the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2019 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13615/19]

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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:

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

2. 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 08 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.

Mental Health Services Funding

Questions (829)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

829. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the amount of funding provided to an organisation (details supplied) in each of the years 2016, 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13617/19]

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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.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (830)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

830. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13620/19]

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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. 

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services

Questions (831)

James Browne

Question:

831. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a report on the development of adult and child mental health intellectual disability teams. [13621/19]

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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.

Drug Rehabilitation Clinics

Question No. 833 answered with Question No. 618.

Questions (832)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

832. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his plans for the HSE to provide a drug detox and rehabilitation facility in Cork city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13627/19]

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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.

Question No. 833 answered with Question No. 618.

Hospitals Data

Questions (834)

Robert Troy

Question:

834. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the number of head injuries arising from cycling road traffic incidents that have been treated in hospitals in the past 12 months by county in tabular form. [13635/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospitals Data

Questions (835)

Robert Troy

Question:

835. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the number of persons hospitalised following involvement in cycling road traffic incidents in the past 12 months by county in tabular form. [13636/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospitals Data

Questions (836)

Robert Troy

Question:

836. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the number of injuries to the shoulder and upper arm arising from cycling road traffic incidents that have been treated in hospitals in the past 12 months by county in tabular form. [13637/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospitals Data

Questions (837)

Robert Troy

Question:

837. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the number of injuries to the elbow and forearm arising from cycling road traffic incidents that have been treated in hospitals in the past 12 months by county in tabular form. [13638/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospitals Data

Questions (838)

Robert Troy

Question:

838. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the number of injuries to the abdomen, lower back, lumbar spine and pelvis arising from cycling road traffic incidents that have been treated in hospitals in the past 12 months by county in tabular form. [13639/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Acquired Infections

Questions (839, 840, 841, 842)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

839. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the failures of the HSE with regard to taking every reasonable precaution to prevent persons from contracting infectious diseases while in Galway University Hospital around the time of the tuberculosis outbreak at the hospital in the past year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13645/19]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

840. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health his views on whether a failure to immediately isolate a person suspected to have an active is a failure to take a reasonable precaution to prevent persons from contracting infectious diseases while in Galway University Hospital around the time of the tuberculosis outbreak at the hospital in the past year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13646/19]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

841. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the corrective actions regarding failures of the HSE with regard to taking every reasonable precaution to prevent persons from contracting infectious diseases while in Galway University Hospital around the time of the tuberculosis outbreak at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13647/19]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

842. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health if the HSE has admitted that it is accepting liability for those that contracted tuberculosis during the recent outbreak at Galway University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13648/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 839 to 842, inclusive, together.

The ‘Guidelines on the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Ireland 2010’ were produced by the National TB Advisory Committee in 2010 and amended in 2014.  These guidelines deal with many aspects of prevention, diagnosis and control of TB in Ireland and are intended to act as a source of expert advice on tuberculosis.

In relation to the specific case at Galway University Hospital referred to by the Deputy, the HSE has assured me that it was managed in accordance with the 'Guidelines on the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Ireland, 2010' referred to above.

The HSE has also confirmed that this incident has been logged as part of their Quality and Incidents Management system.

In relation to the specific questions raised by the Deputy I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Hospital Beds Data

Questions (843)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

843. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 233 of 9 October 2018, for which no reply was received from the HSE, the number of homeless beds for persons leaving hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13654/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand from the HSE that a reply to PQ No. 233 of the 9th October 2018 issued to the Deputy on 22nd October 2018. Please find a copy of this letter in the following link.

I have again referred the matter to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Homeless Accommodation