HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (628)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

628. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the HSE will meet with a union (details supplied) at the earliest available opportunity about issues arising regarding the 2016, 2017 and 2018 physiotherapist panels and associated recruitment campaigns. [18475/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Public Health Policy

Questions (629)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

629. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason pembrolizumab and nivolumab are being denied to cancer patients through the public system even though they are being provided to patients with private health insurance; and his views on whether this undermines the public health service [18476/19]

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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 Minister for Health has no role in this statutory process.

In line with the 2013 Act, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE pursuant to the community drugs schemes, the company must first submit an application to the HSE to have the new medicine added to the reimbursement list.

As outlined in the Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines, and in line with the 2013 Act, the HSE will decide, within 180 days of receiving an application (or a longer period if further information is sought from the company), to either add the medicine to the reimbursement list or agree to reimburse it as a hospital medicine, or refuse to reimburse the medicine.

The HSE at all times ensures that the systems that it has in place are designed to provide equitable access to all medicines across all therapeutic areas, cancer and non-cancer, from the resources provided to it.

In March 2019, the VHI sent a circular to Oncologists advising them that it was extending cover to a number of new cancer medicines. The decision by the VHI applies only to private care to private VHI patients in private hospitals. It will have no impact on the availability and use of medicines in public hospitals, where there is no distinction between public and private patients.

The effect of the VHI decision will be that VHI private patients in private hospitals may have access to a medicine that is not yet available in the public hospital system. However, a number of the medicines, or indications (which includes pembrolizumab and nivolumab), which the VHI has now decided to cover, are at various stages of the HSE assessment and reimbursement process with a view to making them available in the public hospital system.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (630)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

630. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) has to reapply for a medical card in view of the fact that a new one was not issued along with their parent's cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18493/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (631)

Brian Stanley

Question:

631. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health if the meningitis B vaccine will be extended to children over six years of age who have a disability and hold a medical card. [18494/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is an independent committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland which is comprised of experts from several specialties, including infectious diseases, paediatrics, and public health, which makes recommendations to my Department on vaccination policy in Ireland. Its recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. NIAC continues to revise recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease.

On foot of a recommendation by NIAC, the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule was amended in 2016 to include the introduction of the Meningitis B vaccine for all babies born on or after 1 October 2016. This change to the immunisation schedule took effect from 1 December 2016. The first dose of the vaccine is administered to children when they reach two months of age; a second dose is administered at four months and a third and final dose at twelve months. As Meningitis B disease is most common in babies under the age of 1 year old the scheduling of the administration of the vaccine under the immunisation programme takes account of this.

All vaccines administered through the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule are provided free of charge. Ireland is the second country in Europe to make the Men B vaccine available free of charge as part of its national immunisation programme.

There are no plans to introduce a catch-up programme for the Men B vaccine to older children as NIAC has never recommended a catch up programme for children born before 1 October 2016. However, parents may choose to have their older children vaccinated if they wish. The purchase of the vaccine is not covered by the medical card scheme but those who have a medical card are eligible to have the vaccine administered free of charge by their GP.

In Ireland, Men B, Men C, PCV and Hib vaccines are offered to children as part of the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule to protect them against meningitis. Adolescents in the first year of secondary school are also given a Men C booster vaccine against meningitis as part of the School Immunisation Programme.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (632)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

632. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of an ENT appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18507/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (633)

Peter Burke

Question:

633. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [18511/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (634)

Peter Burke

Question:

634. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [18512/19]

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.

Nursing Home Accommodation Provision

Questions (635)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

635. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason funding was refused for an appropriate nursing home place for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18513/19]

View answer

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 (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospitals Data

Questions (636)

Seán Fleming

Question:

636. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health if an agreement is in place with a hospital (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18515/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As announced in June 2015, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital will relocate in time to the St James's campus, achieving tri-location of adult, paediatric and maternity services. The National Maternity Strategy, published in January 2016, reaffirms the delivery of tri-located maternity services on the campus with the new children's hospital and St James's Hospital. A site for the proposed maternity hospital is identified in the Site Master Plan for the St James's campus, and the new children's hospital design has incorporated the required operational links with both maternity and adult hospitals.

I have referred your question to the HSE for direct reply in relation to arrangements to ensure that the site is reserved for the maternity hospital.

Trade Union Membership

Questions (637)

Noel Grealish

Question:

637. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the person or body that made the decision to stop having subscriptions of a union (details supplied) deducted at source from HSE employees’ salaries despite the fact that these subscriptions had been deducted since the union was formed; the reason this decision was taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18516/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Industrial Relations

Questions (638)

Noel Grealish

Question:

638. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the reason the decision was made to the change the contingency plan under the call management system for the days that members of a union (details supplied) are striking; the person or body who made this decision; the grounds on which this decision was taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18517/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Industrial Relations

Questions (639, 640, 641)

Noel Grealish

Question:

639. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the reason his Department is considering issuing court injunctions against a recognised union (details supplied) in view of the fact that it negotiates with the same union for a significant portion of staffing of the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18518/19]

View answer

Noel Grealish

Question:

640. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health if he has set a date for meeting with a cross-party group to discuss the ongoing situation regarding recognition of a union (details supplied) in view of the fact that there is cross-party support to have this matter resolved and allow ambulance personnel to return to work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18519/19]

View answer

Noel Grealish

Question:

641. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the HSE has ignored all requests to meet in the Workplace Relations Commission despite his statement that this is his preferred method of addressing the issue regarding recognition of a union (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18520/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 639 to 641, inclusive, together.

To begin, I can confirm that my Department has not issued any court injunctions to the PNA. As far as I am aware, a meeting request from a cross party group to discuss the matter has not yet been received.

As you are aware, a branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association called the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) has been engaged in industrial action 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.

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. 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.

Health Services

Questions (642)

John McGuinness

Question:

642. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 907 of 26 March 2019, the progress being made by his Department and the HSE in their investigation into the alleged use of cannabis and-or marijuana at the DOP facility, St. Luke's General Hospital, Kilkenny; if the HSE has provided the report requested by his Department into the alleged incident or incidents; if the report will be published and made available to the complainant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18533/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has informed my Department that this issue has not yet been resolved. I have asked the HSE to provide me with a report on this matter once it is concluded.

Hospital Services

Questions (643)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

643. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have hip surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18536/19]

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 Services

Questions (644)

Denis Naughten

Question:

644. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for a procedure; the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18546/19]

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 Appointments Administration

Questions (645)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

645. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Meath will receive a hospital appointment at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan. [18547/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (646)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

646. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment to have cataracts removed. [18548/19]

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.

Psychological Services Waiting Lists

Questions (647)

James Browne

Question:

647. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with a County Wexford address awaiting primary care psychology; the number of children and adults respectively, awaiting primary care psychology appointments for more than 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18549/19]

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 (648)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

648. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18558/19]

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.

Health Services Funding

Questions (649)

Gino Kenny

Question:

649. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to provide funding of €200,000 per year to an association (details supplied) to enable it to provide a five-day per week helpline, cover core costs and employ a full-time specialist nurse; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18563/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Health services are provided, and funded by the Health Service Executive. The objective of the HSE, as stated in the Health Act 2004, is to use the resources available to it in the most beneficial, effective and efficient manner to improve, promote and protect the health and welfare of the public.

The HSE National Service Plan 2019 was published on 20 December 2018. The Service Plan sets out the type and volume of services that the HSE will provide for a budget of over €16 billion.

Each year the HSE sets out the type and volume of health and social care services that it will provide in its National Service Plan, having regard to the level of funding provided to it. It includes a National Scorecard of priority areas to be reported against and also a National Performance Indicator suite which sets out a wide range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) against which progress is reported on throughout the year. KPIs fall into one of four key quadrants: Finance, Governance and Compliance; Workforce; Access and Integration; and Quality and Safety.

As the Deputy's question relates to the provision of services, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Audiology Services Data

Questions (650)

James Browne

Question:

650. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with a County Wexford address awaiting an audiology appointment for more than 12, 18, 24 and 36 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18564/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Audiology Services Data

Questions (651)

James Browne

Question:

651. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children with a County Wexford address awaiting an audiology appointment for more than 12, 18, 24 and 36 months respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18565/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.