HSE Properties

Questions (844)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

844. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 151 of 8 November 2018, for which a reply was received from the HSE on 22 November 2018 but not received from Beaumont Hospital as advised in the HSE Head of Services reply, if he has received the construction safety check report from Beaumont Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13657/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive to follow up the matter with the RCSI Hospitals Group and Beaumont University Hospital regarding the information you requested on infrastructural developments at the hospital.

Rare Diseases Strategy

Questions (845)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

845. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 357 of 20 November 2018, for which no reply was received from the national clinical programme for rare diseases, if he has received a report regarding awareness raising of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, EDS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13658/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

This question relates to a PQ answered by the Health Service Executive, as such it has been referred to the HSE for their attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

After checking Department's records, I can confirm, that my Department has not received a report on raising awareness of EDS. However I am aware of the continuous work of the National Rare Diseases Office in the HSE which provides current and reliable information about all rare diseases to the general public, health care professionals, researchers and policy makers.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (846)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

846. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 5 December 2018, for which no reply was received from the HSE, if he has received a report regarding the number of assessments of needs that were undertaken in the mandatory timeframe of three months; the number not commenced; the sanctions placed on the HSE for breaching statutory requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13659/19]

View answer

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

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (847)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

847. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health the funding provided to each drugs task force for each year since 2008; the population covered by each task force; and his plans to increase core funding for the task forces in 2019 [13664/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health allocated funding of almost €100 million to the HSE for addiction services in 2019.

The HSE National Service Plan for 2019 sets out the type and volume of addiction services to be provided, having regard to the funding allocated.

In addition, the Department provides a further €28 million to Drug and Alcohol Task Forces through various channels of funding including the HSE.

On 6th March 2019, I announced additional funding of €1 million for implementation of the National Drugs Strategy; "Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery".

This funding, which will be provided on a recurring, multi-annual basis, will address the priorities set down in the Strategy including early harm reduction responses, emerging trends in substance misuse, and improving services for at-risk groups.

Working in partnership with statutory, community and voluntary sectors is central to this response.

I therefore invited the Local and Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, and the HSE, to a consultation meeting in the Department of Health on 26th March to discuss how best to target the additional funding.

Table 1.1. details local and regional Task Force funding for the last ten years.

Table 2.2. provides estimation of adult population by DATF Area.

Table 1.1

LDATF

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 DOH

2014 HSE

2015 DOH

2015 HSE

Ballyfermot

€1,533,826

€1,492,413

€1,569,489

€1,522,404

€461,150

€1,025,582

€255,446

€1,231,286

Ballymun

€1,243,552

€1,209,976

€1,180,695

€1,145,274

€632,817

€488,098

€422,958

€697,957

Blanchardstown

€1,184,200

€1,152,227

€1,124,343

€1,090,613

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

Bray

€1,656,849

€1,612,114

€1,573,101

€1,525,908

€573,860

€916,271

€573,860

€916,271

Canal Communities

€1,645,413

€1,600,987

€1,562,243

€1,515,376

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

Clondalkin

€1,495,408

€1,455,032

€1,421,577

€1,428,930

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

Cork

€1,662,621

€1,617,730

€1,578,581

€1,531,224

€411,988

€1,108,299

€411,988

€1,108,299

Dublin 12

€1,180,005

€1,148,145

€1,120,360

€1,086,749

€74,013

€990,134

€70,997

€993,150

Dublin NE

€1,294,199

€1,259,256

€1,228,782

€988,234

€422,251

€594,836

€422,251

€594,836

Dun Laoghaire

€975,475

€949,137

€926,167

€898,382

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

Finglas Cabra

€986,452

€959,818

€936,590

€908,492

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

NIC

€2,495,777

€2,428,391

€2,369,624

€2,298,535

€576,956

€1,652,623

€494,856

€1,734,723

SIC

€2,276,911

€2,215,434

€2,161,821

€2,096,966

€255,720

€1,788,337

€176,043

€1,868,014

Tallaght

€1,316,913

€1,281,356

€1,250,347

€1,262,837

€452,712

€782,240

€341,438

€893,514

Total LDATF

€20,947,601

€20,382,016

€20,003,720

€19,299,924

€5,125,444

€13,823,981

€4,433,814

€14,515,611

RDATF

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 DOH

2014 HSE

2015 DOH

2015 HSE

East Coast Area

€896,933

€872,716

€851,596

€584,227

€58,200

€508,500

€58,200

€508,500

Midland

€894,739

€870,581

€849,513

€824,028

€307,810

€491,497

€136,816

€662,491

Mid-West

€1,576,095

€1,533,540

€1,496,428

€1,451,535

€147,982

€1,260,007

€147,982

€1,260,007

North East

€1,038,588

€1,010,546

€986,091

€956,508

€0

€927,813

€0

€927,813

North West

€806,369

€784,597

€765,610

€742,642

€272,485

€447,878

€258,633

€461,730

North Dublin City & Co.

€870,066

€846,574

€826,087

€801,304

€456,080

€321,184

€309,778

€467,486

South East

€1,193,005

€1,160,794

€1,132,703

€1,098,722

€0

€1,065,760

€0

€1,065,760

South West

€894,750

€870,592

€849,524

€824,038

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

Southern

€1,089,369

€1,059,956

€1,034,305

€1,003,276

€0

€973,178

€0

€973,178

Western

€740,085

€720,104

€702,677

€681,597

€136,994

€524,155

€136,994

€524,155

Total RDATF

€9,999,999

€9,730,000

€9,494,534

€8,967,877

€1,482,371

€7,216,469

€1,151,223

€7,547,617

LDATF

2016 DOH

2016 HSE

2017 DOH

2017 HSE

2018 DOH

2018 HSE

2019 DOH

2019 HSE

Ballyfermot

€255,446

€1,231,286

€255,446

€1,231,286

€255,446

€1,231,286

€255,446

€1,231,286

Ballymun

€422,958

€697,957

€422,958

€697,957

€422,958

€697,957

€422,958

€697,957

Blanchardstown

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

Bray

€573,860

€916,271

€573,860

€916,271

€573,860

€916,271

€573,860

€916,271

Canal Communities

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

Clondalkin

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

Cork

€411,988

€1,108,299

€411,988

€1,108,299

€411,988

€1,108,299

€411,988

€1,108,299

Dublin 12

€70,397

€993,750

€70,397

€993,750

€70,397

€993,750

€70,397

€993,750

Dublin NE

€239,971

€777,116

€239,971

€777,116

€239,971

€777,116

€239,971

€777,116

Dun Laoghaire

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

Finglas Cabra

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

NIC

€394,856

€1,834,723

€394,856

€1,834,723

€394,856

€1,834,723

€394,856

€1,834,723

SIC

€176,043

€1,868,014

€176,043

€1,868,014

€176,043

€1,868,014

€176,043

€1,868,014

Tallaght

€336,022

€898,930

€336,022

€898,930

€336,022

€898,930

€336,022

€898,930

Total LDATF

€4,145,518

€14,803,907

€4,145,518

€14,803,907

€4,145,518

€14,803,907

€4,145,518

€14,803,907

RDATF

2016 DOH

2016 HSE

2017 DOH

2017 HSE

2018 DOH

2018 HSE

2018 DOH

2018 HSE

East Coast Area

€58,200

€508,500

€58,200

€508,500

€58,200

€508,500

€58,200

€508,500

Midland

€136,816

€662,491

€136,816

€662,491

€136,816

€662,491

€136,816

€662,491

Mid-West

€147,982

€1,260,007

€147,982

€1,260,007

€147,982

€1,260,007

€147,982

€1,260,007

North East

€0

€927,813

€0

€927,813

€0

€927,813

€0

€927,813

North West

€258,633

€461,730

€258,633

€461,730

€258,633

€461,730

€258,633

€461,730

North Dublin City & Co.

€266,245

€511,019

€266,245

€511,019

€266,245

€511,019

€266,245

€511,019

South East

€0

€1,065,760

€0

€1,065,760

€0

€1,065,760

€0

€1,065,760

South West

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

Southern

€0

€973,178

€0

€973,178

€0

€973,178

€0

€973,178

Western

€136,994

€524,155

€136,994

€524,155

€136,994

€524,155

€136,994

€524,155

Total RDATF

€1,107,690

€7,591,150

€1,107,690

€7,591,150

€1,107,690

€7,591,150

€1,107,690

€7,591,150

Table 2.2

Estimation of Adult population by DATF Area

DATF Name

Adult Population

LDTF: Ballymun

12,399

LDTF: Canal Communities

12,333

LDTF: North Inner City

60,222

LDTF: Ballyfermot

17,677

LDTF: Dublin South Inner City

60,513

LDTF: Finglas-Cabra

43,142

LDTF: Tallaght

65,936

LDTF: Dublin North East

80,022

LDTF: Cork LDTF

101,733

LDTF: Blanchardstown

50,052

LDTF: Dublin 12

45,666

LDTF: Clondalkin

60,720

LDTF: Bray

24,659

RDTF: South East

387,700

RDTF: Midland

216,057

RDTF: Mid-West

298,681

RDTF: East Coast

101,889

LDTF: Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

168,726

RDTF: South West

269,045

RDTF: North Eastern

333,776

RDTF: North Dublin City and County

219,028

RDTF: Southern

423,946

RDTF: Western

352,277

RDTF: North West

202,463

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (848)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

848. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if he will extend home care support services to include public holidays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13689/19]

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.

National Carers' Strategy Funding

Questions (849)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

849. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if he will appropriate and dedicate funding for family carers in view of their essential work in the home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13690/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The 2012 National Carers’ Strategy is a cross-departmental strategy that sets the strategic direction for policies, services and supports provided by Government Departments and agencies for carers. While the Department of Health has an overall coordinating and collating role in relation to the Strategy, each relevant Department, including the Department of Health and the HSE, is responsible for the implementation of their own actions in the Strategy.

In relation to the specific query, as this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Pharmacy Regulations

Questions (850)

David Cullinane

Question:

850. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of an association (details supplied) regarding the new draft rules to be incorporated into the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13691/19]

View answer

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 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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (851)

John McGuinness

Question:

851. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an operation will be scheduled as a matter of urgency at St. James's Hospital, Dublin, for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13695/19]

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 Accommodation Provision

Questions (852)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

852. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the construction timeframe and date of opening of the 20-bed cystic fibrosis patient unit in Beaumont Hospital (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13699/19]

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 the issues you raised concerning the proposed purpose built cystic fibrosis in-patient facility at Beaumont University Hospital.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (853, 929)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

853. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if patient advocacy groups will be included in the terms of reference for the mini-review by his Department of the drugs approval process here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13700/19]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

929. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if patient groups (details supplied) will be included in the review of the drug approval process here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14108/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 853 and 929 together.

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

Although patients groups were not included in the terms of reference, consideration will be given to consultation with relevant stakeholders.

General Practitioner Services Provision

Questions (854)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

854. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health if he plans to act on the proposals for a centralised common general practitioners' contract for performing vasectomies, put forward in 2016 by a working group of general practitioners performing vasectomies at the request of the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13706/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Commencement of Legislation

Questions (855)

Michael McGrath

Question:

855. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the commencement of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018; when he plans to commence the provisions relating to minimum unit pricing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13708/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill was enacted in October 2018. In November I commenced 23 of the 31 Sections of the Act including to provide that:

From 12 November 2019:

- Alcohol advertising in or on public service vehicles, at public transport stops or stations and within 200 metres of a school, a crèche or a local authority playground will be prohibited;

- Alcohol advertising in a cinema will be prohibited except around films with an 18 classification or in a licensed premises in a cinema;

- Children’s clothing that promotes alcohol will be prohibited.

From 12 November 2020:

In mixed retail outlets alcohol products and advertising are confined to one of the following:

- an area separated by a 1.2 metre high barrier; or

- units in which alcohol products are not visible up to 1.5 metres height; or

- up to three units that can be a maximum of 1 metre wide by 2.2 metres high.

In addition alcohol products can be contained but not be visible in a unit behind the counter.

From 12 November 2021:

- Alcohol advertising on a sports area during a sporting event, at events aimed at children or at events in which the majority of participants or competitors are children is prohibited;

- Alcohol sponsorship of events aimed at children, events which the majority of participants or competitors are children and events involving driving or racing motor vehicles is prohibited.

I am continuing to progress the remaining sections of the Act and will seek a revised Government Decision to implement the Minimum Unit Pricing provision after there is more certainty in relation to the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and its impacts.

Commissions of Investigation

Questions (856)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

856. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the status of the work of the Commission of Investigation (Certain matters relative to a disability service in the South East and related matters); if he will address concerns that the final report is not yet complete; the reason in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13714/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

On 15 May 2018 the Minister for Health agreed to a twelve month extension to the Farrelly Commission of Investigation to complete and submit its phase 1 final report. In granting the extension, the Minister requested that two further interim reports be provided. These interim reports were to include a report on the Commission's progress to date and a summary of work yet to be undertaken.

The Department of Health received the Commission's Fourth Interim Report on 10 January 2019. The report will be published on the Department's website in the coming days.

I cannot comment on the work of an ongoing statutory Commission of Investigation.

Hospital Procedures

Questions (857)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

857. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13715/19]

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.

General Practitioner Services Provision

Question No. 859 answered with Question No. 774.

Questions (858)

Catherine Martin

Question:

858. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons living in Skerries cannot register with general practitioner services in the town due to the lack of capacity; the way in which he plans to address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13719/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Where a medical card or GP visit card holder experiences difficulty in finding a GP to accept him/her as a patient, or where the person has been removed from another GP's list or refused entry onto a GP's list, the HSE has the power to assign that person to a GP's GMS patient list.

People who do not hold a medical card or GP visit card access GP services on a private basis and can make enquiries directly to any GP practice they wish to register with.

GPs are private contractors and it is a matter for each individual GP to decide whether to accept additional private patients. In some instances GP practices have a full list of patients and cannot take on new patients. If this happens, patients should contact other GP practices in their area. While I have no role in relation to such matters, I would expect clinicians to consider the importance of patients having access to a GP service close to home when deciding whether or not to accept private patients.

The Government is committed to increasing GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country continue to have access to GP services and that general practice is sustainable in all areas into the future. Efforts undertaken in recent years to increase the number of practising GPs include changes to the entry provisions to the GMS scheme to accommodate more flexible/shared GMS/GP contracts, and to the retirement provisions for GPs under the GMS scheme, allowing GPs to hold GMS contracts until their 72nd birthday, as well as the introduction of enhanced supports for rural GP practices.

In addition there has been a huge expansion in the number of training places on GP training programmes in recent years. In 2009, there were 120 GP training places available and in 2018 193 places were filled, an increase of around 60% over this nine year period.

The Government remains committed to engaging with GP representatives on the development of a package of measures and reforms to modernise the current GMS contract. Talks between the Department of Health, the HSE and the Irish Medical Organisation are continuing. Agreement on the delivery of these service improvements and contractual reforms has the potential to facilitate a substantial increase in the resourcing of general practice on a multiannual basis.

Question No. 859 answered with Question No. 774.

Water Fluoridation

Questions (860)

Catherine Martin

Question:

860. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of the review of the expert body of the study, entitled "Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6 to 12 years of age in Mexico". [13727/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The information sought was provided to the Deputy in a response which I sent to her subsequent to a Parliamentary Question in 2018. A copy of the response has been forwarded to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (861)

Clare Daly

Question:

861. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a series of matters relating to an application for a medical card by a person (details supplied); when the application will be processed and the medical card issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13729/19]

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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

Disability Services Provision

Questions (862)

Niall Collins

Question:

862. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health if a reply will issue to correspondence from a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13736/19]

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

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (863)

John McGuinness

Question:

863. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the campaign for the approval of pembro for persons in cases in which the consultant has confirmed that the drug would make a marked difference to their treatment and health; if the request from campaigners (details supplied) will be supported; if he will request the Minister for Finance to exempt pembro from 23% VAT in such cases; if a submission will be made to the Minister for Finance requesting that the matter be investigated and granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13764/19]

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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 which specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. The 2013 Act does not give the Minister for Health any powers in this regard. The HSE does not require approval or consent from the Minister or Government when making a reimbursement decision. As Minister for Health, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on individual cases.

Pembrolizumab has been granted marketing authorisation in Ireland and the EU for a number of indications and is included on the HSE reimbursement list for some of those indications.

Furthermore, Pembrolizumab is being assessed by the HSE, using the criteria in the 2013 Act, for a number of other indications for which it has received marketing authorisation.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government decision of 11 May 2018 put in place a package of support measures for the women and families affected by the issues related to CervicalCheck. Those measures included medicines which might not be approved for reimbursement including Pembrolizumab, once they are prescribed by the treating clinician. The establishment of such a comprehensive support package reflected the impact of the lack of disclosure of the result of clinical audit and the ensuing controversy on individual women and their families.

In January 2019, after careful consideration of the situation which had arisen in respect of patients with cervical cancer who were not encompassed by the terms of the support package agreed by Government for those affected by the CervicalCheck clinical audit non-disclosure issue, it was agreed that the HSE would put in place arrangements to facilitate access to Pembrolizumab for cervical cancer patients on a case-by-case basis in public hospitals when a treating clinician determined this to be in the patient’s best interests. As Minister, I have of course no role in relation to how doctors manage the care of individual patients. All prescribing decisions are entirely a matter for the treating clinician, in line with patient safety protocols and the Medical Council Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics. This arrangement applies to cervical cancer patients only.

Clinical trials for various immunotherapies, including Pembrolizumab, are ongoing globally for a range of other possible indications, which may receive marketing authorisation in the EU over the next number of years. Each of those indications will be considered for reimbursement as market authorisations are granted and applications received.

In relation to your request to exempt Pembro from 23% VAT, this is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Finance. I will arrange to send the Minister for Finance a copy of my response to this question.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (864)

John McGuinness

Question:

864. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if all documentation including bank statements requested by persons (details supplied) will be made available; if it will be ensured that the documents cover all the years that the deceased was in care; the reason neither party has responded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13765/19]

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