Departmental Correspondence

Questions (780)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

780. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a letter sent to the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council from the private secretary to the Minister for Health in December 2015 outlining the future of a dementia unit (details supplied); if a copy of the letter will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19000/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand that following clarification from the Deputy's office the correspondence in question was dated 23rd July 2015 rather than December 2015. I am aware of the issues contained in this letter. A copy of this correspondence, which relates to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, will be sent to the Deputy. The letter of 23rd July 2015 clearly indicated that the Rosalie Unit would continue to be part of HSE healthcare provision for Roscommon in the future. There has been no change to that position.

The current position in regard to this unit is that, arising from the recommendations of a recent clinical independent report, the HSE recently commenced the process of arranging alternative and more appropriate care options for the residents of Rosalie Unit. Extensive and detailed consultations have been and are ongoing with local representatives and stakeholders on all relevant issues.

As I, and the HSE, have indicated on many occasions the way forward for the residents of Rosalie has been based solely on clinical and independent conclusions of health professionals. The recent decision on Rosalie also reflects the findings of the Review of the Mental Health Service in Roscommon, undertaken in 2017 to modernise provision in that area.

I have always encouraged public representatives and the media to take a responsible approach when commenting on the HSE decision to transfer patients residing at Rosalie to more appropriate health facilities to better meet their changing health care needs.

In the wider context, it is important to note that the Rosalie Unit will not close. I remain absolutely committed to this valuable facility continuing to provide modern and high quality health care to the people of Roscommon. I have asked the Department of Health, and the HSE, to conclude a decision on this in near future. The Deputy can rest assured that I will continue to liaise closely with all relevant local stakeholders on this matter.

Home Help Service

Questions (781)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

781. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if a person refusing home help hours or declining a particular home help staff member to care for them is entitled to alternative personnel or to reapply for home help hours at another date; if a refusal renders their application null and void; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19001/19]

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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 Consultant Recruitment

Questions (782)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

782. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health further to parliamentary question No. 312 of 12 March 2019, his plans to recruit a consultant cardiologist to support the implementation of a heart failure service in the South/Southwest Hospital Group; the costs associated with recruiting for this position; if funding is available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19004/19]

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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.

Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

Questions (783)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

783. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health when he will establish a focused working group to develop proposals for a package of health and well-being supports for survivors of mother and baby homes as recommended in the collaborative forum report; the process by which persons will be appointed to this forum; the consultation he will have with survivors and the various representative groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19005/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

My colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs published the recommendations of the First Report of the Collaborative Forum of Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes on April 16, 2019. Following publication, I am establishing a Working Group to examine the Health and Well-being recommendations contained in the report.

The first meeting of the Working Group, which will include representation from the Department of Health, Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Health Service Executive, will take place shortly and is expected to report back to Government by September 2019.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (784)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

784. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in providing a home care package for a person (details supplied); and if his attention has been drawn to the level of distress this is causing the family. [19011/19]

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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.

Health Strategies

Questions (785)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

785. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of times the working group convened to consider the outputs from the stakeholder forum on the built environment and related recommendations has met; when the group will report on the recommendations that were made and actions to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19012/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Connect, Collaborate, Create; Co-Designing Healthier Communities, A Healthy Ireland Stakeholder Forum on the Built Environment, was held on November 21st 2018, in the National Indoor Arena. The event was organised by the cross-Governmental Implementation Groups overseeing the National Physical Activity Plan and the Obesity Policy and Action Plan.

The Forum brought together those who have a responsibility for planning and developing public spaces with those who have expertise regarding the impacts of the built and natural environments on all aspects of health and wellbeing, including sport and physical activity, obesity and mental health, with the objective of examining how our physical environment can impact on our collective health.

The format for this event consisted of a number of talks and presentations from many key stakeholders, followed by a workshop and discussion. Written feedback was gathered from all of the groups participating in the workshop and has now been collated and analysed, with core points identified.

A meeting was held on 13th March, 2019, with representation from the Departments of Health, Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Housing, Planning and Local Government, to consider the points raised and to identify possible next steps in the process.

The core points will be submitted to the Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group and National Physical Activity Policy Implementation Group for their consideration of the next steps, which may include the establishment of a sub-committee and/or working group.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (786)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

786. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided for services (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19015/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health does not provide funding in this regard, however the HSE operates a National Lottery Funding Grants Scheme which may be of assistance.

Funding is distributed by the HSE each year to community based groups and voluntary organisations under the Respite Care Grant Scheme and the National Lottery Grant Scheme. Under the Scheme, groups and organisations involved in the provision of Health and Personal Social Services can apply to the HSE for once off funding of between €500 and €10,000 for suitable projects.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (787)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

787. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health if a reimbursement programme for products such as CBD medicinal oil prescribed by consultants for treatment of severe epilepsy exists; the amount allocated to this programme for 2019; the number of parents receiving reimbursement; and the number of patients that have applied for reimbursement and are awaiting decision. [19020/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

I wish to advise the Deputy that no reimbursement programme currently exists for the reimbursement of medicinal cannabis oil products.

However, patients who have a valid medical prescription for medical cannabis and a Ministerial licence and who have sourced a cannabis-based product may submit an application to the HSE for reimbursement approval.

The HSE has advised that in the previous situations where it considered reimbursement support appropriate, the following steps were completed.

- The patient’s consultant is satisfied that all therapeutic options have been exhausted and is prepared to accept the responsibility for monitoring the patient’s response to the cannabis product.

- A prescriber applies to the Minister for a Ministerial license and this is granted.

- The consultant completes an Individual Reimbursement Form, setting out the therapeutic benefit for the patient. It is important that this is completed in sufficient detail for therapeutic benefit to be demonstrated.

- The Individual Reimbursement Form is considered by the Medicines Management Programme (MMP).

- On review of the documentation, the MMP makes a recommendation for or against reimbursement support for the patient to the HSE, under the patient's eligibility, and informs the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) of that recommendation.

If approval is given, the PCRS, when authorised to proceed, will make the necessary arrangements to cover the costs involved for the patient.

Three patients have a Ministerial licence and have been approved by the MMP for their product and travel costs to the Netherlands to access a product on which the patients had been stabilised and for whom therapeutic benefit was established for seizure control.

There are 10 further applications open at present which are awaiting a decision.

Medical practitioners and patients are encouraged to consult the Department of Health website for information on medical cannabis, including clinical guidance on the use of medical cannabis. This information can be found at the following link: https://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/cannabis-for-medical-use/.

It is important to note that the decision to prescribe or not prescribe any treatment, including cannabis treatment, for an individual patient is strictly a decision for the treating clinician, in consultation with their patient.

As Minister for Health I have no role in this clinical decision-making process and 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.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Questions (788)

Clare Daly

Question:

788. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the companies and-or organisations employed on a contract basis by the 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. [19023/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to operational matters I have referred it to the NMBI for direct reply.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Eligibility

Questions (789)

John Brassil

Question:

789. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will be referred for treatment via the NTPF at a facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19024/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. Budget 2019 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) increasing from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019.

The joint Department of Health/HSE/NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 was published recently and sets out measures to improve care for patients waiting for scheduled care in 2019 by reducing waiting times for inpatient/day case treatment and outpatient appointments. The plan will place a strong focus on a number of high-volume procedures, including cataracts. When combined with HSE activity, it is projected that the NTPF will be in a position to offer treatment to all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months for one of these procedures.

The NTPF works with public hospitals to offer and provide the funding for treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic.

The key criteria of the NTPF is the prioritisation of the longest waiting patients first. While the NTPF identifies patients eligible for NTPF treatment, it is solely on the basis of their time spent on the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List. The clinical suitability of the patient to avail of NTPF funded treatment is determined by the public hospital.

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (790)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

790. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if a service will be provided for a person (details supplied). [19044/19]

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.

Autism Support Services

Questions (791)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

791. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19055/19]

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

Hospital Facilities

Questions (792)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

792. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the insufficient mortuary facilities at University Hospital Waterford (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19057/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

When the serious nature of the conditions in the mortuary at University Hospital Waterford were brought to my attention last month, I made contact with the management of the hospital. Following on from this, the hospital management and the HSE have provided a number of assurances regarding measures that will be taken to address the issues raised.

HSE Estates have confirmed that plans for the new mortuary are at an advanced stage and, subject to inclusion in the 2019 Capital Plan, it is expected the request for tender will be issued shortly with the expectation that construction will commence before the end of this year, with a twenty-month construction programme.

Hospital Facilities

Questions (793)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

793. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied that hospital mortuary facilities are sufficiently funded; if the attention of the HSE has been drawn to concerns regarding the provision of such services from hospitals; the names of such hospitals; the year that such complaints were raised from 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19058/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational issue, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (794)

John McGuinness

Question:

794. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an early appointment for scoliosis surgery will be provided to a person (details supplied). [19062/19]

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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 Waiting Lists

Questions (795)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

795. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will have knee surgery at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19070/19]

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 Waiting Lists

Questions (796)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

796. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when surgery will be offered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19082/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (797)

Martin Ferris

Question:

797. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health when a wheelchair with brakes will be provided for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19084/19]

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.

Health Services

Questions (798)

Robert Troy

Question:

798. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if a suitably qualified nurse is made available for regular clinics at a facility (details supplied). [19087/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Services

Questions (799)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

799. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health if the Department of Clinical Genetics will move from Crumlin Hospital to the national children's hospital; if not, if it will stay in place; and the improvements scheduled for same. [19100/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The current Department of Clinical Genetics located in CHI at Crumlin (previously known as Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin) is part of Children's Health Ireland. Services and employees of the Department of Clinical Genetics will transfer to the new children's hospital once it is operational. I have referred your question re clinical genetics service improvements to Children's Health Ireland for direct reply.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (800)

Seán Haughey

Question:

800. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if he will meet with representatives of a campaign (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are three endocrinologists here which is deemed unsatisfactory by the campaign; if he will dispense with the psychiatric model by which a diagnosis for transgender persons before treatment is required; if he will introduce a general practitioner led service instead; if trans-identity will not be treated as a mental health and or behavioural disorder; his plans to ensure that the treatment abroad scheme can be utilised by transgender persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19113/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I met with representatives of the campaign to which the Deputy refers on 25 April.

The meeting discussed transgender healthcare services, including waiting times to access the services. Feedback from the HSE on the issues raised by the group has been sought. A follow-up meeting with the group will be arranged in due course.

I am committed to providing a quality healthcare service for transgender persons in line with best international practice.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (801)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

801. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) who has waited over two years for hip surgery under a consultant now has to wait an additional three years as a result of being moved to another consultant's waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19115/19]

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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.