Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (652)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

652. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a rheumatology appointment in St. Vincent’s University Hospital; the position of the person on the waiting list; the reason there is such a delay with the appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18569/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (653)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

653. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure that a two-tier health system does not occur here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18570/19]

View answer

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 the 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.

As the Deputy will be aware, 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 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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (654, 655, 656, 657, 672)

Mary Butler

Question:

654. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will be provided with an appointment for an initial assessment for autism spectrum disorder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18574/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

655. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of children under six years of age that are waiting for an ASD assessment in County Waterford in excess of a six and 12 month waiting period, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18577/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

656. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of children aged between six and 18 years of age with autism waiting in County Waterford for child psychology services, for example, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and so on in excess of six, 12 and 18 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18578/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

657. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of support staff employed in County Waterford to assist in the delivery of services to children with autism; the breakdown of those posts by relevant discipline; if there are deficiencies in posts; if so, his plans to address those deficiencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18579/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

672. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for an ASD assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18624/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 654 to 657, inclusive and 672 together.

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (658)

John Brassil

Question:

658. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of a medical appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18581/19]

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 (659)

Alan Kelly

Question:

659. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will publish the report by a company (details supplied) into the University Limerick hospital group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18586/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Disability Services Provision

Questions (660)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

660. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if he will consider two properties for respite care facilities for persons residing in a catchment area (details supplied). [18587/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (661)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

661. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied). [18598/19]

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 Admissions

Questions (662)

Barry Cowen

Question:

662. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect admission to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin. [18599/19]

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

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (663)

John Brassil

Question:

663. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details suppled); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18600/19]

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.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (664)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

664. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if home help will be sanctioned and put in place for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18607/19]

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.

Dental Services

Questions (665)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

665. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health when two reports completed in 2015 regarding allegations of damage to the teeth of children while being treated at a Dublin hospital will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18612/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Orthodontic Services

Questions (666)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

666. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health his plans to reform and modernise the practice of dentistry and orthodontics here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18613/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

On 3 April 2019, I published Smile agus Sláinte, the new National Oral Health Policy, together with my colleague, Regina Doherty TD, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Forty-one actions have been identified to implement the Policy over the next eight years. Nine of these are being prioritised for the first three years. These priority actions include an evaluation of the skills available in the workforce to support the Policy, a review of undergraduate dental education, and an evaluation of the scope of primary care practice. The training and scope of work of all auxiliary dental workers will also be examined. The Policy supports the development of clinical care pathways to ensure that some aspects of orthodontic care, where appropriate, will be more readily available in a primary dental care practice. Stakeholders including the Dental Council will have an important role in progressing these aspects of the Policy.

Dental Services Provision

Questions (667)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

667. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if he will report on dentistry services for children aged under six, six to 12 and 12 to 18 years of age; if free medical services to these cohorts will include dentistry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18614/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE currently provides preventive care, screening and necessary interventions for permanent teeth including fillings and extractions as well as referral for orthodontics and other secondary care, where appropriate, for school children mainly in 2nd and 6th class and in 4th class where resources allow. Emergency treatment is provided to children up to 16 years of age. Services are also provided for people with special needs and other vulnerable groups.

The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to children who have the greatest level of need once assessed and referred for treatment before their 16th birthday. The HSE aims to commence treatment for the majority within two years of assessment with priority accorded to cases of greatest clinical need.

On 3 April 2019, I published Smile agus Sláinte, the new National Oral Health Policy, together with my colleague, Regina Doherty TD, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The new Policy will support a preventive approach and will involve the introduction of oral healthcare packages for children. These packages will consist of examinations, assessments, advice, prevention interventions, emergency care and referral as appropriate. They will be provided in a primary care setting by oral healthcare practitioners contracted by the HSE.

Children under 6 years of age will be prioritised in 2020 and the packages will be made available to all children under 16 and medical card holders aged 16 and over on a phased basis. Eight packages of care will be provided from birth until the child reaches their 16th birthday. The relevant age bands are as follows:

Age

No. of oral healthcare packages provided

0 - 2

1

2 - 6

2

6 - 12

3

12 - 16

2

Medical card holders from age 16 until their 25th birthday will be provided with an oral health package every year.

Disability Support Services Provision

Questions (668)

John Brassil

Question:

668. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health his views on the residential centre for adults with autism at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry that remains unoccupied five years after completion; the steps being taken to progress its opening in view of the shortfall in services for persons with autism in the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18615/19]

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

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (669)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

669. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of a carer and home help for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18620/19]

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.

Maternity Services

Questions (670)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

670. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) cannot get an anomaly scan for her pregnancy at a hospital; if one can be scheduled at 20 to 21 weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18622/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medicinal Products

Question No. 672 answered with Question No. 654.

Questions (671)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

671. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons with neurofibromatosis type 1 and neurofibromatosis type 2 are often recommended medicinal cannabis; if it is prescribed here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18623/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

It is open to a medical practitioner wishing to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes for an individual patient under their care, to apply for a Ministerial licence to do so, under Section 14 of The Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 to 2016 and the Regulations made thereunder.

It is important to note that it is the decision of the clinician, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe or not prescribe a particular treatment for a patient under their care. As Minister for Health I have no role in the clinical decision making process.

In line with the Chief Medical Officer's advice, the granting of a licence for cannabis for medical purposes must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to the Department of Health, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time.

To date licences have been issued in respect of twenty individual patients under this provision of the Act.

Medical practitioners and patients are encouraged to consult the Department of Health website which contains information on medical cannabis, including clinical guidance on the use of medical cannabis and details on how a medical practitioner may apply for a Ministerial licence for medical cannabis.

Question No. 672 answered with Question No. 654.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (673)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

673. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if a surgery appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18629/19]

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.

Residential Institutions

Questions (674)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

674. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the closure of a residential facility (details supplied) will be prevented; if reports are true; the reason families were not consulted regarding the closure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18631/19]

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

Questions (675)

Dara Calleary

Question:

675. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the reason for not publishing the 2017 pricing review of the nursing home support scheme; the timeframe for same; his views on whether supports under the scheme need to be reformed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18633/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

The Report of the NHSS Review published in 2015 identified a number of issues for more detailed consideration, including a review of the pricing mechanism used by the NTPF, with a view to:

- Ensuring value for money and economy, with the lowest possible administrative costs for clients and the State and administrative burden for providers;

- Increasing the transparency of the pricing mechanism so that existing and potential investors can make as informed decisions as possible; and

- Ensuring that there is adequate residential capacity for those residents with more complex needs.

A Steering Group was established to oversee and manage the pricing review. The Steering Group is chaired by the NTPF and includes representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). As part of its work on the review the NTPF sought various inputs including external expertise and stakeholder engagement to inform the review. These inputs are being considered in detail. It is recognised that any change to any part of the Scheme must be considered in terms of the short- and long-term impact on the viability of the Scheme and accessibility of long-term residential care in general. It is therefore important that the relevant issues are considered thoroughly.

I understand that the NTPF has now completed its report and is under final consideration by the Steering Group. It is expected that the Report will be submitted to the Department in approximately the next week. Any recommendations included in the report will then be considered.

General Practitioner Services Provision

Questions (676)

Dara Calleary

Question:

676. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the provisions relating to nursing homes contained in the proposed 2019 GMS contract for general practitioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18634/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the terms of the current GMS contract, GPs are required to provide eligible patients with ''all proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a general practitioner and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree or kind which general practitioners cannot reasonably be expected to possess." There is no provision under the GMS GP contract for persons who hold a medical card or GP visit card to be charged for medical services provided under the contract.

GPs contracted by the HSE under the GMS scheme are obliged to provide services to their medical card and GP visit card patients, including those resident in nursing homes. GPs are remunerated for these services primarily on a capitation basis, with a range of additional support payments and fees for specific items of service.

Currently, an annual capitation payment of €434.15 is payable in respect of each GMS patient over 70 years of age residing in a private nursing home approved by the HSE for periods in excess of 5 weeks.

The focus of the recent talks on GP contractual reform was on development of a range of modernisation, reform and sustainability measures and the development of a chronic disease programme for GMS and GP visit card patients.

Along with most other capitation rates, the nursing home rate will increase by approximately 48% over the next 4 years, under the recent agreement with the IMO.