State Claims Agency

Question No. 853 answered with Question No. 684.

Questions (852)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

852. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health if the State Claims Agency will consider a claim (details supplied) that the Legal Aid Board is indicating is statute barred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19314/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The State Claims Agency has a statutory remit to manage personal injury claims, including claims in respect of clinical negligence, on behalf of Delegated State Authorities (DSA’s) including the Health Service Executive.

The Clinical Indemnity Scheme (CIS) is the main scheme under which the State Claims Agency (SCA) manages all clinical negligence claims taken against healthcare enterprises, hospitals and clinical, nursing and allied healthcare practitioners covered by the scheme.

The State Claims Agency must manage claims within the legal system, as it applies to all claimants, which means that it is obliged to raise the Statute of Limitations defence wherever it arises in an individual case or line of cases. In this way, all claimants or classes of claimants are treated equally.

I have been informed by the Agency that it is not managing this particular case.

Question No. 853 answered with Question No. 684.

Health Service Capacity Review

Questions (854)

Barry Cowen

Question:

854. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the full cost of implementing all of the recommendations of the 2018 capacity review of the health service, by recommendation and segments of recommendation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19319/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The 2018 Capacity Review projected demand and capacity requirements for a range of different health and social care services for the period 2017 - 2031. The terms of reference for the review did not include an examination of the costs of providing any additional capacity identified, and the Department has not undertaken a detailed costing exercise of the findings of the Review.

As the Deputy will appreciate, there is no one capital or revenue cost for additional beds, in terms of both hospital and community developments. The cost is dependent on the nature of the additional bed, the clinical speciality and where the additional beds will be provided (existing site, extension of existing site, or the development of a new facility). As such, I am not in a position to provide the figures requested by the Deputy.

It is important to note that the findings of the Review did however inform the National Development Plan process and the €10.9bn commitment to health service infrastructure for the period to 2027. It also informed the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy published last August, and will continue to be used as an evidence base to inform capital and revenue investments in the coming years.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (855)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

855. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be allocated an appointment for medical intervention. [19328/19]

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 (856)

Robert Troy

Question:

856. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if home help hours will be allocated to a person (details supplied). [19335/19]

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.

Orthodontic Services Provision

Questions (857)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

857. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will receive orthodontic treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19340/19]

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.

Health Services Data

Questions (858, 859)

Gerry Adams

Question:

858. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of patients waiting for plastic surgery appointments; and the length of time they have been waiting. [19354/19]

View answer

Gerry Adams

Question:

859. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the hospitals and locations in which plastic surgery is carried out nationally. [19355/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 858 and 859 together.

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital appointments 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 in March 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. Under the Plan the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, will aim to deliver 1.155 million elective inpatient and day case discharges, as well as 3.3 million outpatient appointments, of which approximately 1 million will be first appointments.

The locations at which plastic surgery is carried out is captured in the Inpatient and Daycase (IPDC) waiting list. The hospitals which held an active IPDC waiting list as of 28 March are listed in the attached document. In addition, the outpatient waiting list for plastic surgery as of 28 March is also provided for the Deputy in the attached document.

Hospitals with IPDC Plastic Surgery Waiting Lists

as of end March 2019

Bantry General Hospital

Beaumont Hospital

Cork University Hospital

Ennis Hospital

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Our Lady's Hospital Navan

South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital

St. James's Hospital

St. Vincent's University Hospital

Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown

CHI at Crumlin

Galway University Hospitals

CHI at Temple St

Portiuncula University Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital

Roscommon University Hospital

OPD Waiting List for Plastic Surgery as of 

 0-3 Months

 3-6 Months

 6-9 Months

 9-12 Months

12-15 Months

15-18 Months

as of end March 2019

4,079

2,047

1,586

1,351

971

897

Table contd.

OPD Waiting List for Plastic Surgery as of 

18-21 Months

21-24 Months

24-36 Months

36-48 Months

48+Months

Grand Total

as of end March 2019

797

797

1,875

500

86

14,986

Health Services Staff Data

Questions (860)

Gerry Adams

Question:

860. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of clinicians nationally who undertake plastic surgery; and the locations in which they operate. [19356/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medical Card Applications

Questions (861)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

861. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if a medical card will be granted to a person (details supplied). [19357/19]

View answer

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.

Drug Rehabilitation Clinics

Question No. 865 answered with Question No. 684.

Questions (862, 863, 864)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

862. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of patients on methadone treatment at a treatment centre (details supplied) on 1 February 2019; the number on a waiting list for methadone treatment at the centre on 1 February 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19358/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

863. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of new patients accepted at a treatment centre (details supplied) in 2018; the number that exited the service and transferred out of the service, respectively, in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19359/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

864. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the documented clinical outcome of patients who exited a treatment centre (details supplied) in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19360/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 862 to 864, inclusive, together.

As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Question No. 865 answered with Question No. 684.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (866)

Seán Fleming

Question:

866. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an urgent hospital appointment; his views on whether it is satisfactory to keep older persons waiting for more than a year for such appointments and procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19368/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am conscious that waiting times are often unacceptably long and of the burden that this places on patients and their families. In this regard I am committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures carried out in the Ophthalmology specialty and is one of the targeted high-volume procedures of the Scheduled Care Access Plan for both 2018 and 2019.

Waiting List figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) for the end of March show the total number of patients waiting for a cataract procedure fell from 10,024 in July 2017 to under 6,300, a reduction of almost 38%. The numbers waiting more than 3 months halved in the same period, down from 8,000 to just over 4,000, while those waiting more than 9 months fell from 4,371 to 531, a reduction of 88%.

Last year also saw the establishment of a dedicated Cataract Centre at Nenagh Hospital. This is a stand-alone high-volume consultant-led cataract theatre facility which, at full capacity, is expected to deliver approximately 2,000 cataract procedures.

Budget 2019 announced that the Government had further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the 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 in March and sets out measures to improve care for patients waiting for scheduled care in 2019 by reducing waiting times for inpatient, day case and outpatient appointments. The plan places a strong focus on ten 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.

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (867, 868)

Clare Daly

Question:

867. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the services available for children with autism in the north Dublin area, including sensory gyms and other sports, recreational and social services. [19369/19]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

868. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for children with autism to access crucial physiotherapy and psychological assessment and treatment. [19370/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 867 and 868 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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (869)

Clare Daly

Question:

869. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the status of the case of a child (details supplied) with autism who has been waiting for physiotherapy and psychological services. [19371/19]

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

National Children's Hospital

Questions (870)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

870. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health his views on whether it is fair that public funding is being used for the construction of private clinics to be used for private medicine at the new national children's hospital; and if the inclusion of same is a direct contradiction to the aims of Sláintecare. [19374/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The vast majority of services in the new children’s hospital will be public services. Within the plan for the hospital, an area has been planned which carries the designation of "private clinic". As part of the National Contract for Consultants negotiated in 2008, some consultants holding specific contracts are entitled to engage in private outpatient practice outside of their public commitment and this commitment must be conducted on site, that is, in the hospital they are contracted with. As a result, private outpatient clinics may be held on the public hospital campus but these clinics must be held outside contracted hours. The new children's hospital is obliged to provide such facilities for consultants holding such contracts. The proposal is for consultants to pay a fee for use of the rooms and other operational costs.

The Report of the Independent Review Group established to examine private activity in public hospitals has been received and is being examined in my Department. It is a comprehensive examination of private activity in public hospitals and contains a small number of recommendations. When the recommendations have been examined and considered in my Department and by other relevant Government Departments, it is intended to bring proposals to Government and to publish the Report thereafter.

Medicinal Products Availability

Question No. 872 answered with Question No. 684.

Questions (871)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

871. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the steps being taken to address the shortage of epilim chromospheres nationally and particularly in north County Dublin. [19375/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The company that markets Epilim products has confirmed to the HPRA that there is no shortage of Epilim products, including Chronosphere in Ireland. A company’s method of ensuring that there is equitable distribution of medicines to all patients in Ireland and reducing the possibility of the medicine being traded to companies outside of Ireland (which can cause shortages) can include placing a monthly allocation on the number of packs supplied to individual pharmacies. This is currently the case with products in the Epilim range. However, any pharmacy that needs more than the standard monthly allocation to fulfil the needs of patients (including patients who may be on higher doses) can contact the company to request more.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority is aware of a recent issue where one wholesaler’s computer system incorrectly indicated to pharmacists that there was no stock as opposed to indicating that it was on allocation. The wholesaler has confirmed it will look to correct the issue and implement a system whereby a pharmacist is provided with the contact details should they need to increase their allocation in order to meet patient needs. The HPRA has contacted the impacted pharmacy in one case in North County Dublin, and can confirm that the pharmacy has had its allocation increased and the patient has received their medicine. The pharmacy has also been provided with contact details should they need to increase the allocation further.

Question No. 872 answered with Question No. 684.

Hospital Car Parks

Questions (873)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

873. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the value to each hospital of the car parking charges system in each of the years from 2011 to 2018; the amount raised from car parking charges if the system is under the control of the hospital and the amount made in payment from a private operator if the system is privatised. [19377/19]

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.

Departmental Funding

Questions (874)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

874. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the State or EU funding streams available to an organisation (details supplied). [19378/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department administered a National Lottery Discretionary Fund up to and including 2016 from which once-off grants were paid to community and voluntary organisations providing a range of health-related services. My Department no longer operates a National Lottery Fund.

However, the HSE operates a similar scheme and continues to provide grants to health agencies and other organisations from National Lottery funds, details of which can be found at https://www2.hse.ie/services/national-lottery-grants/national-lottery-grants.html

In addition to this, non-governmental and civil society organisations may be eligible for EU funding, provided they are active in EU policy areas and operate on a not-for-profit basis. The Representation Office of the European Commission in Ireland may be able to provide more specific details.

Assisted Human Reproduction Legislation

Questions (875, 937)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

875. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the timeline for the passing of the assisted human reproduction Bill. [19379/19]

View answer

Catherine Connolly

Question:

937. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health when the assisted human reproduction Bill will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19611/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 875 and 937 together.

In October 2017, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January of last year. The Joint Committee intends to report thereon before the summer recess and the recommendations in its report will be considered during the ongoing process of drafting this Bill in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. However, it is not possible at this time to give a definitive timeline for the completion of the draft Bill and its subsequent passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Assisted Human Reproduction Legislation

Questions (876)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

876. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the new assisted human reproduction regulatory authority will have a patient advocate on its board. [19380/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In October 2017, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January of last year. The Joint Committee intends to report thereon before the summer recess and the recommendations in its report will be considered during the ongoing process of drafting this Bill in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General.

As the Deputy is aware, the General Scheme provides for the establishment of an independent regulatory authority for AHR and Part 8 in particular provides some detail in respect of aspects of what is titled as the Assisted Human Reproduction Regulatory Authority (AHRRA). Head 76 specifically relates to the membership of the Board of the AHRRA and at 76(2) it is stated that all 11 members “shall be people who have experience or expertise in matters connected with the functions of the AHRRA, or in corporate governance and management generally”. Ultimately, the precise composition of the Board will not be confirmed until I have appointed its members but it is my intention that it would have patient representation.