Healthcare Policy

Questions (416)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

416. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health his plans to develop a national policy on ME; and if so, the timeline for the publication of such a policy [23233/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There are no plans to develop a single specific policy on ME in Ireland. The work of the all-party Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare has provided us a platform for achieving consensus on a long-term vision for our health service. Its report, Sláintecare, presents a ten-year vision to transform Ireland’s health and social care services providing the framework for a system-wide reform programme.

One of the goals of Sláintecare is to provide high quality, accessible and safe care that meets the needs of the population irrespective of the disease or illness in question. This will necessitate improving population health-based planning and developing new models of care to deliver more effective and integrated care, expanding community-based care to bring that care closer to home. The further development and modernisation of the acute care system will also be required to address current capacity challenges and increase integration between the hospital sector and community-based care. There will also be an expansion of eligibility on a phased basis to move towards universal healthcare and support a shift to community-based care.

Healthcare Policy

Questions (417)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

417. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if the HSE will adopt international guidelines on ME such as the International Consensus Criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23234/19]

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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.

Medical Research and Training

Questions (418)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

418. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the reason ME is not on the medical school curriculum or included on general practitioner training; his plans to include ME as part of professional training in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23235/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Medical Council’s role in respect of medical schools within Ireland is to accredit programmes of basic medical education based on the World Federation of Medical Education 2015 Global Standards.

As part of the accreditation processes, the Council reviews how the curriculum is designed and delivered which includes ensuring the educational outcomes that students should exhibit upon graduating include; the health needs of the community, the needs of the health care delivery system and other aspects of social accountability. However, the WFME standards also state that medical schools must have institutional autonomy to design the curriculum (Standard 1.2).

The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is the recognised professional body for general practice and is responsible for post graduate specialist medical education, training and research in the specialty of general practice.

The ICGP Curriculum for GP training focuses on generic learning outcomes which foster a patient centred approach to symptoms and support evidence-based practice. GP trainees are taught to respond to all clinical presentations by recognising any knowledge deficits they may have and to seek the most rigorous evidence to care for their patients. The curriculum also encourages reflection on patient communication, comprehensive care, and a holistic approach.

With regard to chronic neurological conditions, the ICGP curriculum contains a number of learning outcomes including for example eliciting patients’ concerns and expectations, demonstrating empathy, understanding the importance of continuity of care and coordinating care with other primary health professionals to enable chronic conditions management and rehabilitation.

The ICGP Curriculum does not list the many thousands of clinical conditions which a GP may encounter. It does reference the most commonly encountered conditions and also those which could lead to devastating physical consequence for patients if not diagnosed early. It also equips future GPs with the attitudes and skills to deal empathetically with all presentations.

The ICGP continues to review the Curriculum on an ongoing basis to ensure it supports the development of GPs in a manner most fit for the general demands of the Irish Health system.

The College does not have a specific educational module at present for practicing GPs on the topic of post viral fatigue syndrome. Consideration will be given to the inclusion of this as an educational topic at future ICGP national conferences/educational events.

Disability Definitions

Questions (419)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

419. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if the need for the HSE to add ME to its list of disabilities will be addressed in order to reflect the recognition by the HRB of ME as a disability code E014, thus allowing persons with ME to access assessment for home support and personal assistance through disability services and not older persons services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23236/19]

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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.

The Department of Health has committed to the enactment of legislation to underpin a stand-alone, statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-care by 2021. The statutory scheme will introduce clear rules in relation to what services individuals are eligible for and how decisions are made on allocating services. The new scheme will help to improve access to the home care services that people need. The system of regulation for home care will help to ensure that the public can be confident that the services provided are of a high standard.

Although much work has been done, a significant amount of work still remains to be undertaken before decisions are reached on the form of the home care scheme and the system of regulation. This is necessary to ensure that the reforms are successful, affordable and sustainable. The matter is however being progressed as quickly as possible.

HSE Disability Services provide personal and social supports based on the needs of the individual, rather than the provision of services based on a specific diagnosis or condition.

As the question relates to services provided by the HSE, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Health Strategies

Questions (420)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

420. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health when the recommendations of the strategy for the design of integrated outpatient services 2016 to 2020 relating to the way and location in which the patient is treated and the classification of referrals will be published and implemented with specific regard to ME; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23237/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the question relates to a Health Service Executive (HSE) strategy, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (421)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

421. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; if a referral for an inpatient procedure in Beaumont Hospital will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23254/19]

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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 Accommodation Provision

Questions (422)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

422. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a hospital bed will be allocated for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23256/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Procedures

Questions (423)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

423. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if bladder botox is a procedure that is carried out in Letterkennny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23261/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (424, 425)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

424. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal was referred from Galway University Hospital to Letterkenny University Hospital for a medical procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23262/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

425. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment from Letterkenny University Hospital for a medical procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23263/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 424 and 425 together.

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (426)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

426. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting for a cataract operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23264/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (427)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

427. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a hospital appointment will he expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23268/19]

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.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (428)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

428. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if the HSE has recruited all the staff required to have a nationwide 24/7 mental health service; if not, when the outstanding staff will be recruited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23278/19]

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.

Disability Support Services Funding

Questions (429)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

429. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing 200,000 extra personal assistant hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23279/19]

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.

Ambulance Service Staff

Questions (430)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

430. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health the contingency plans and resources that were in place for the HSE and the national ambulance service to deal with a strike by a union (details supplied) on Friday, 31 May 2019; if he met with his officials regarding the dispute; if so, the response; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23283/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association called the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) has been engaged in industrial action, including strike action on 31 May. The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) state that their industrial action is in connection with two substantive issues. The first is the automated deduction of union subscriptions. The second is the refusal by the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA or to recognise the PNA as representing ambulance personnel.

The focus of the National Ambulance Service in all circumstances is to ensure that service and care delivery is not compromised in any manner. During the day of industrial action on 31 May the National Ambulance Service had a robust and detailed contingency plan in place to minimise any disruption and to ensure that patient safety would not be compromised. This included managers who are qualified paramedics being available to carry out front line duties as well as the Department of Defence making a number of appropriately crewed ambulances available.

NASRA is a group which is not recognised by the HSE and does not have negotiating rights. The PNA does not have negotiating rights for ambulance personnel. Ambulance front line personnel are fully represented by SIPTU, at all levels of employment with HSE, the Department and other fora. Industrial relations policy has had a long standing objective of avoiding fragmentation in worker representation in public sector employments, and the trade union movement generally, so as to facilitate the orderly conduct of bargaining and other aspects of industrial relations. I have had engagement with my officials concerning this dispute. Government policy supports the policy of consolidation of trade unions, such as has happened recently in the formation of FORSA. Giving recognition to NASRA would run counter to this objective.

Home Care Packages Administration

Questions (431)

Barry Cowen

Question:

431. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an update on the person's application for funding in respect of a home care package application. [23286/19]

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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.