Neuro-Rehabilitation Services

Questions (1102, 1103)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1102. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the funding that will be provided for the implementation of the national neuro-rehabilitation strategy. [20038/19]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1103. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the way in which neuro-rehabilitation services being rolled out under the national neuro-rehabilitation strategy will integrate with existing services. [20039/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1102 and 1103 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 questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Community Pharmacy Services

Questions (1104)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1104. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of submissions received regarding broadening the scope of community pharmacists since 2011; his views on the submissions; and his plans to expand the role of community pharmacists. [20040/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I wish to acknowledge the vital role that pharmacies play in their communities. The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to expand the role of community pharmacy in managing patient health, and this is an issue I intend to progress.

Work has been done in recent years on wider healthcare roles for pharmacies, including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland’s Future Pharmacy report, concerning expansion of professional pharmacy practice. It is clear from this and other work that there is potential to increase the range of publicly funded health services delivered through community pharmacy. Important new services, in influenza vaccination and emergency contraception, have already been introduced.

To be funded by the taxpayer, new public services in community pharmacy, as elsewhere, should improve health outcomes and provide value for money and benefits for patients. Any new or transferred services should be based on sound evidence with matching improvements in governance and administration.

My Department has received numerous submissions from the Irish Pharmacy Union since 2011 in relation to pharmacy service expansion in a number of areas. I recently met with the Irish Pharmacy Union to discuss, among other things, the issue of expansion of public and private pharmacy services.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (1105)

Peter Burke

Question:

1105. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied). [20041/19]

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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 Transfers

Questions (1106)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1106. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be transferred from Clifden hospital to Bloomfield Hospital, Dublin, due to exceptional medical circumstances; the reason for the delay in issuing the funding for this transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20042/19]

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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.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (1107)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1107. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if efforts are ongoing to secure home care support in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20045/19]

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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.

Respite Care Services

Questions (1108)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

1108. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if respite care and convalescence will be provided for a person (details supplied). [20046/19]

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.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (1109)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1109. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if a home care package will be approved in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20047/19]

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.

Chronic Disease Management Programme

Questions (1110)

Pat Deering

Question:

1110. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health if rheumatoid arthritis has been added to the new chronic illness list for general practitioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20051/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Agreement has been reached with the IMO on a major package of GP contractual reforms and the provision of new services. A structured chronic disease programme which will benefit over 430,000 medical card and GP visit card patients, will commence in 2020. The chronic diseases which will be included are;

Diabetes Type 2

Asthma

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Cardiovascular Disease including:

- Heart Failure

- Ischaemic Heart Disease

- Cerebrovascular Disease (Stroke/ Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA))

- Atrial Fibrillation

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (1111)

John McGuinness

Question:

1111. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an operation will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [20073/19]

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.

Autism Incidence

Questions (1112)

James Browne

Question:

1112. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in south central areas of Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20080/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Questions (1113)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

1113. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of a cross-border directive pro-forma application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20088/19]

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.

Home Care Packages

Questions (1114)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

1114. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties in accessing home care packages and lengthy waiting lists for home care services in County Leitrim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20089/19]

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.

Home Care Packages Data

Questions (1115)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

1115. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for a home care package in each area of CHO 1; the number of persons on a waiting list for an increase in home help hours in each area of CHO 1; the number waiting zero to three, three to six and six to 12 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20090/19]

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.

General Practitioner Services Provision

Questions (1116)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

1116. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce free general practitioner care for children under 12 years of age [20091/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government intends to extend GP care without fees to all children aged between 6 and 12 years on a phased basis, starting in 2020. Legislative changes will be required to give effect to this extension.

As part of the recent agreement reached on GP contractual reforms and service developments, the IMO has agreed that it will engage with the Department of Health and the HSE in relation to the contractual aspects of this service in advance of implementation.

Health Services

Questions (1117)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

1117. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if a matter regarding a person (details supplied) in County Cavan will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20095/19]

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 Waiting Lists

Questions (1118)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

1118. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health the steps he taking regarding the waiting times and trolley waits in Tallaght Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20120/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I wish to acknowledge the distress overcrowded Emergency Departments (EDs) cause to patients, their families and frontline staff working in very challenging working conditions in hospitals throughout the country.

The hospital system is currently operating at close to full capacity. The number of patients attending Emergency Departments continues to increase year on year, with approximately 1.3 million attendances in 2018, up 3.5% on 2017. This reflects increasing demand for unscheduled care, especially by patients in the 75 years and over age group. Patients in this age group are the highest users of most health and social care services, have more complex needs and longer stays in our acute hospitals.

The Health Service Capacity Review 2018 recommended an increase in acute hospitals beds of 2,600 by 2031 to support the projected increase in demand for services in the years ahead. Increasing capacity is a priority for this Government and the National Development Plan provides for the full 2,600 recommended beds by the earlier date of 2027.

Steady progress is being made in increasing Bed Capacity with the number of available inpatient beds expected to increase to above 11,000 following the investment planned in the National Service Plan 2019.

The HSE Capacity Programme for 2019 provides for the following increases in capacity, as set out in the National Service Plan 2019:

- 78 additional beds, including a 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital, a 30-bed ward in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, 4 HDU beds in the Mater Hospital, and 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital;

- 75 acute beds and 70 community beds to come on stream in 2019 as part of the Winter Plan 2018/19, which includes 6 new inpatient beds that have opened in Tallaght University Hospital, and 40 step-down beds due to open in Mount Carmel in Q2 2019;

- preparation of 202 beds by Quarter 4 2019 with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in the first quarter of 2020.

The Winter Plan 2018/2019 also included a 4-week enhanced focus period from 17 December 2018 to 13 January 2019, which targeted 9 sites of concern with enhanced measures designed to reduce ED overcrowding and improve patient flow. The sites targeted with enhanced measures included Tallaght University Hospital.

The HSE advise that it is currently undertaking a review of performance across all Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations (CHO's) over the winter period. This review will consider planning, implementation, and performance at Group and CHO level and will have a particular emphasis on the focus sites.

National Children's Hospital Expenditure

Questions (1119)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1119. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if €24 million will be reallocated from the health capital budget in both 2019 and 2020 to address the overrun in the costs for the new national children's hospital [20121/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government recently outlined how the additional €99m necessary this year for the timely provision of the new children’s hospital will be accommodated. The Government decided that €24m of this additional funding required in 2019 is to be provided from the health capital allocation.

The Health Service Executive is currently developing its Capital Plan for 2019.

Once the HSE has finalised its Capital Plan for 2019, it will then be submitted to me for consideration.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (1120)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1120. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the reassurance that can be offered to those concerned regarding the Zostavax vaccine for shingles in view of the litigation in the United States of America alleging serious side effects [20126/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Zostavax is authorised for use across the EU since 2007 for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) and herpes zoster related post-herpetic neuralgia in individuals 50 years of age or older. It is a live attenuated vaccine and is, therefore, not suitable for certain individuals (including patients who are immunosuppressed).

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has advised that the litigation referred to in the Deputy's question relates to cases in the US involving severe episodes of shingles after receiving the vaccine. As is the case with all medicines (including vaccines), there are a number of potential risks associated with its use. The risks associated with the Zostavax vaccine are clearly outlined in the approved product information accompanying the vaccine.

These documents, developed for both patients and healthcare professionals, include information on the rare but potential risks associated with the vaccine. The product information also highlights the risks for patients who are immunosuppressed or immunodeficient.

The most recent EU periodic assessment of Zostavax, concluded in 2018, reviewed all available global safety information including information from scientific literature, cumulative safety data analysis and epidemiological studies. The assessment concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any associated risks. The HPRA considers all new data and information in relation to medicinal products and monitors the safety of all authorised medicinal products, including vaccines, on an ongoing basis, in conjunction with its EU partners.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (1121)

Michael McGrath

Question:

1121. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the procedure in place for children and adolescents who present at accident and emergency to a hospital (details supplied) in Cork city in need of mental health support and or psychiatric services; the details of the interaction between the hospital and CAMHS; his views that the current response and service provided is acceptable; his plans to improve the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20151/19]

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

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (1122)

Michael McGrath

Question:

1122. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health his plan to provide CAMHS services to a child (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20153/19]

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.

Brexit Supports

Questions (1123, 1124, 1138, 1139, 1140)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1123. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the date when the request for a support package was made to the European Commission (details supplied); if the request was also submitted to the Brexit preparedness group under the European Commission Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom; the EU legislative provision the request was made under; and when the support package will be announced. [18498/19]

View answer

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1124. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the person or body with responsibility for Brexit further to a statement (details supplied); the specific date when the request for a support package was made to the European Commission; if the request was also submitted to the Brexit preparedness group under the European Commission Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom; the EU legislative provision the request was made under; and when the support package will be announced. [18499/19]

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Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1138. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the specific date when the request for a support package was made to the European Commission (details supplied); when the support package will be announced; and the EU legislative provision the request was made under. [18495/19]

View answer

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1139. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has formally made a request to the European Commission under EU Regulation No. 702/2014 following confirmation that a support package is being discussed with the EU for the agrifood sector even if the UK does not leave the EU (details supplied); if so, when the application was made; and when the support package will be announced. [18496/19]

View answer

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1140. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has formally made a request to the European Commission under Article 219 of EU Regulation 1308/2013 following confirmation that a support package is being discussed with the EU for the agrifood sector even if the UK does not leave the EU (details supplied); if so, when the application was made; and when the support package will be announced. [18497/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1123, 1124 and 1138 to 1140, inclusive, together.

The agri-food sector is of critical importance to the Irish economy, and its regional spread means it underpins the socio-economic development of rural areas in particular. Brexit has the potential to have a very significant impact on the sector, given its unique exposure to the UK market, which accounted for 38% (€5.2 billion) of agri-food exports last year.

There are on-going discussions with the Commission regarding the difficulties which would face Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and the assistance that might be required for its agriculture food and fishery sectors. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

I have held a number of discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit on the sector. I have stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on agri-food and fisheries, including through traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013) , as well increased flexibility under State Aid regulations.

However, it is also important to acknowledge that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular, following a difficult year in 2018 due to weather conditions. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

In light of the on-going depressed market prices, I have, in discussions with Commissioner Hogan and my EU counterparts, said that I believe that the deployment of exceptional measures under the CMO Regulation, to provide targeted aid to farm families who have suffered a sustained reduction in returns from the market, is now required. I made an intervention to this effect at the April meeting of the Council of Agriculture Ministers, and my officials have followed this up with a detailed submission, which is under consideration by Commission officials.

Felling Licences

Questions (1125)

Catherine Martin

Question:

1125. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if there are guidelines in place for the removal of mature trees from property surrounding a dwelling; if so, if there is a maximum distance a tree can be from the dwelling before felling is prohibited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18572/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Forestry Act, 2014 and the Forestry Regulations, 2017 provides for the regulation of forestry operations in Ireland. Part 4 of the Act sets out the requirement to obtain a tree felling licence, prior to felling or uprooting a tree or trees. Section 19 sets out the situations where a person is exempt from obtaining a tree felling licence.

There is no maximum distance a tree can be from a dwelling before felling is prohibited. A person who wishes to fell trees must satisfy themselves if a tree felling licence is required before felling commences. Trees may be felled without a tree felling licence, if they are within 30 metres of a building, but excluding any building built after the trees were planted.

I would urge anyone if they are unsure if a tree felling licence is needed, to contact the Felling Section of the Forestry Division of my Department, before any felling takes place.

Live Exports

Questions (1126, 1143)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

1126. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the campaign to stop live animals being transported to Libya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19195/19]

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Clare Daly

Question:

1143. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will suspend live exports to Libya in view of the escalation of fighting. [18532/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1126 and 1143 together.

I am aware of the campaign to stop live animal exports to Libya.

Live exports are a critical part of Ireland’s livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition and providing an alternative market outlet for farmers. The Department facilitates this trade, recognising its critical importance to the agri-sector, while ensuring that live animal exports meet the highest welfare standards. In 2018, the combined total value of live animal exports to the Irish economy was €161 million (€110 million for cattle; €49 million for pigs; €2 million for sheep), according to Bord Bia.

Ireland has agreed health certificates for the export of live animals (cattle, pigs, sheep and goats) with 18 third country markets. Last November, the Department reached agreement with Libya on a new veterinary health certificate for the export of breeding cattle, and an amended veterinary certificate for the export of fattening and slaughter cattle. In 2018, 5,500 cattle were exported to Libya, representing approximately 2% of total live exports of cattle for the year. To date in 2019, 1,900 cattle have been exported to the country, representing approximately 1% of total live exports of cattle for the year to date.

For its part, Ireland continues to work closely with other EU Member State and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) with a view to improving animal welfare practices worldwide. In this regard, Ireland has reaffirmed its on-going commitment to animal welfare through additional OIE multi-annual financial assistance (€75,000 per annum over the period 2017-20) to support its activities to enhance animal welfare worldwide.