Hospitals Data

Questions (327)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

327. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of elective surgeries and procedures cancelled by specialty at hospitals (details supplied) by month in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16105/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Maintaining scheduled care access for all patients is a key priority for hospitals. I fully acknowledge the distress and inconvenience for patients and their families when elective procedures are cancelled, particularly for clinically urgent procedures.  

While every effort is made to avoid cancellation or postponement of planned procedures, the HSE advise that planned procedures and operations can be postponed or cancelled for a variety of reasons including capacity issues due to increased scheduled and unscheduled care demand, medical reasons, and patient choice.

Furthermore, the planning approach for peak periods, such as winter, anticipates that individual hospitals do not book or schedule patients for non-urgent elective admissions and procedures to ensure that available capacity is focussed on the predicted increase in emergency admissions through HSE emergency departments during these periods. Usually this results in hospitals not booking, as distinct from actually cancelling, elective admissions and procedures.

The HSE have further advised my Department that they do not collect detailed information centrally in relation to the reasons for cancellations and numbers per specialty.

However, some local information on cancellations may be available at hospital group level and I have asked the HSE to provide the Deputy with a response based on the information available to them.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (328)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

328. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if 24-7 access to child adolescent and mental health services, CAMHS, will be ensured in County Kerry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16120/19]

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 Governance

Questions (329, 330, 331)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

329. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health his plans to conclude the governance review of the drugs approval and procurement process by the end of the second quarter of 2019, as per the Sláintecare action plan (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16122/19]

View answer

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

330. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the review of the drugs approval and procurement process will include the opportunity for public consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16123/19]

View answer

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

331. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if a final report will be made publicly available following the completion of the governance review of the drugs approval and procurement process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16124/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 329 to 331, inclusive, together.

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

The review is expected to be completed within three months of commencement.

Although not included in the terms of reference, consideration will be given to consultation with relevant stakeholders. Consideration will also be given, in due course, to publication of a final report.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (332)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

332. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if reconsideration will be given to allocating a person (details supplied) an urgent hospital appointment; if it is standard procedure that patients on priority waiting lists must wait over a year before receiving appropriate treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16126/19]

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.

Ambulance Service Provision

Questions (333)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

333. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health his plans for improved ambulance services in Maynooth, County Kildare and the surrounding area with particular reference to population increases in the local area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16129/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (334)

Tom Neville

Question:

334. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health if there are out-of-hours child psychiatry services at University Hospital Limerick; if so, the hours the services at the hospital operate; the length of time the services at the hospital have been in operation; his plans to cancel the services at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16130/19]

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 and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Questions (335, 336)

Clare Daly

Question:

335. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 144 of 26 February 2019, his views on the length of time it is taking to fill the CEO post in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI (details supplied). [16131/19]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

336. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the change in title and tenure for the most recent advertisement for the position of CEO of the NMBI following two advertisements in 2018 for a five-year business as usual CEO; the reason for this change; and the person currently fulfilling the CEO position on the board. [16132/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 335 and 336 together.

As I previously informed the Deputy, the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 sets out that the appointment of a CEO is a matter for the Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. Any appointment has to be in line with that legislation and the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.

The position of CEO is currently filled on an acting basis, in line with the provisions of the Act. As the Deputy notes, two competitions were held for a CEO in 2018 on the basis of a five year contract. Neither competition resulted in an appointment being made. As such, I am advised that the Board has decided to make an appointment on an interim two year basis.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Questions (337)

Clare Daly

Question:

337. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the consultants and-or persons employed on a contract basis by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI, from June 2016 to date; the purpose of each engagement; the length of each engagement; and the cost to the NMBI for the relevant period of engagement. [16133/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to an operational matter I have referred it to the NMBI to reply directly to the Deputy. 

Home Help Service Data

Questions (338)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

338. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the amount by which the home help budget has been reduced for counties Kerry and Cork in 2019; the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16135/19]

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.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (339)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

339. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of a new residential premises (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16136/19]

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

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data

Questions (340)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

340. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the amount by which the HSE has reduced funding for the fair deal scheme for counties Kerry and Cork; the reason for the reduction in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16141/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (341)

John Brassil

Question:

341. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16146/19]

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.

HSE Staff Data

Questions (342)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

342. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health the number of HSE psychiatrists working with persons in west County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16147/19]

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.

Motorised Transport Grant Closure

Questions (343)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

343. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health when a replacement scheme for the motorised transport grant and mobility allowance will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16148/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and the 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 Scheme. Following consideration of the matter it was decided to withdraw the Memorandum from the Cabinet Agenda at that time.  I intend to revert to Government in due course with revised proposals to reflect the discussions at that Cabinet meeting and further discussion 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.

Industrial Disputes

Questions (344, 457, 460)

Micheál Martin

Question:

344. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if he has requested or met a union (details supplied) to intervene in the inter-union dispute between unions in relation to recognition of a union in the National Ambulance Service; his plans to address the issue in view of the fact that service withdrawal is affecting patient care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16150/19]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

457. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health his views on the ongoing inter-union dispute between unions (details supplied) and the impact it is having on the provision of ambulance services; if there is a pathway available to resolve the ongoing dispute either on the employer or the union side; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16633/19]

View answer

Niall Collins

Question:

460. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the action he is taking to resolve the ongoing issues with the National Ambulance Service and their rights to join a union of their own choosing; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a union (details supplied) categorically does not represent members of the Ambulance Service and represent only administration staff within the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16645/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 344, 457 and 460 together.

As the Deputies are aware, a branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association called the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) has been engaged in industrial action.  The Psychiatric Nurses Association state that their industrial action is in connection with two substantive issues. The first is the automated deduction of union subscriptions. The second is the refusal by the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA or to recognise the PNA as representing ambulance personnel.

To be clear, NASRA, which is affiliated with the PNA, is a group which is not recognised by the HSE and, therefore, does not have negotiating rights. The PNA does not have negotiating rights for ambulance personnel.

It should be noted that the HSE deducts subscriptions at source for those ambulance staff that are members of a number of unions. These are SIPTU, FORSA and UNITE. The deduction of subscriptions is not a legal right but rather a concession granted to recognised unions.

While it is regrettable that the PNA has taken this industrial action, it is not possible to negotiate with a union which is not recognised as having negotiating rights for ambulance grades. Officials from the Department have met with representatives of the HSE and the management of National Ambulance Service to explore possible options. However, this is a complex, challenging situation.

Industrial relations policy has had a long standing objective of avoiding fragmentation in worker representation in public sector employments, and the trade union movement generally, so as to facilitate the orderly conduct of bargaining and other aspects of industrial relations.