Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (898)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

898. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number of claims initiated against him and the HSE in respect of vaccine administration since 2011; the vaccine concerned in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19461/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

While I cannot comment on individual cases or matters that are the subject of litigation, one of which is a case managed by the High Court concerning the issue of Discovery, I can clarify matters that are already in the public domain.

As of 1 May 2019, the State Claims Agency has been notified of potential claims being initiated against the Minister for Health, the Health Services Executive and GlaxoSmithKline Biological SA by one hundred and nine (109) individuals and in 70 of these cases formal legal proceedings have been issued. The plaintiffs allege personal injury in which they claim the development of narcolepsy resulted from the administration of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine.

The management of these cases transferred to the State Claims Agency on 15 October 2013 when the Taoiseach signed the National Treasury Management Agency (Delegation of Claims Management Functions) (Amendment) Order 2013.

My main priority as Minister for Health is that individuals and families affected receive appropriate health and social care supports. My Department continues to engage with the Health Service Executive, the Department of Education and Skills, and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to ensure the provision of a wide range of services and supports on an ex-gratia basis for those who have received a diagnosis of narcolepsy following administration of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine. The HSE’s Advocacy Unit acts as liaison with other service providers and Government Departments to facilitate access to required services. It is in regular contact with the individuals affected and their families, and regional co-ordinators have been appointed to assist by providing advice, information and access to local services. These supports include discretionary medical cards, reimbursement of expenses associated with diagnosis and treatment, home tuition and learning supports.