Disability Services Funding

Questions (480)

David Cullinane

Question:

480. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health his plans for future funding for the Rehab Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23476/19]

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. The Government's primary concern is to ensure the continuity of disability services delivered in line with strong governance mechanisms in a cost-effective and equitable manner consistent with care and support needs. As one of many service providers, Rehab provide invaluable services and supports to people with disabilities and their families.

Minister Harris and I held meetings with Rehab and the HSE on 7th ,15th and 21st May 2019. We want to acknowledge the positive and transparent level of engagement by Rehab with the HSE and their commitment to continue to work closely in the future. We recognise the additional expenditure requirement, as set out and agreed at our meeting, is attributable in the main to a number of specific regulatory challenges and associated service pressures.

We have committed to the provision of an additional €2 million in funding to Rehab. Provision of this additional funding is subject to the completion of a process of financial and service review.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (481)

Denis Naughten

Question:

481. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive funding; the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23483/19]

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.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (482)

Barry Cowen

Question:

482. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the status of the case of a person (details supplied); and when the person can expect an appointment in the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin. [23493/19]

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 Care Packages Provision

Questions (483)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

483. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) cannot return home; the reason home care support cannot be funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23494/19]

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.

Primary Medical Certificates

Questions (484)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

484. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the requirements for persons applying for a primary care certificate in order for their application to be successful; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23500/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme operated by the Revenue Commissioners provides VAT and VRT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with specific permanent and severe disabilities who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in the Department of Finance governing regulations, the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.

The extent of the involvement of health personnel relates to making a professional clinical determination as to whether an individual applicant satisfies the medical criteria. The Department of Finance regulations require that the eligibility on medical grounds of disabled persons who are severely and permanently disabled shall be assessed by reference to any one or more of the following medical criteria:

(a) Persons who are wholly or almost wholly without the use of both legs;

(b) Persons wholly without the use of one of their legs and almost wholly without the use of the other leg such that they are severely restricted as to movement of their lower limbs;

(c) Persons without both hands or without both arms;

(d) Persons without one or both legs;

(e) Persons wholly or almost wholly without the use of both hands or arms and wholly or almost wholly without the use of one leg;

(f) Persons having the medical condition of dwarfism and who have serious difficulties of movement of the lower limbs.

This determination is undertaken by Senior Medical Officers for the relevant local Health Service Executive administrative area, on behalf of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners. However these HSE personnel have no role in setting or amending the criteria. A successful applicant is provided with a Primary Medical Certificate which is required under the regulations to claim the reliefs provided for in the Scheme.

An unsuccessful applicant can appeal the HSE's Senior Medical Officers' decision to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, which is under the remit of the Department of Finance. The Appeal Board makes a new clinical determination in respect of the individual. After six months an applicant may reapply if there is a deterioration in their condition.

Primary Medical Certificates Data

Questions (485, 486, 487)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

485. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of primary care certificates awarded on initial application from County Mayo in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23501/19]

View answer

Lisa Chambers

Question:

486. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of primary care certificates not awarded on initial application from County Mayo in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23502/19]

View answer

Lisa Chambers

Question:

487. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of primary medical care certificates that were awarded and not awarded, respectively, on initial application from County Mayo in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23503/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 485 to 487, inclusive, together.

As the Deputy's questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Services

Questions (488)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

488. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health his plans to invest in neurology services in Letterkenny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23504/19]

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.

Social Workers Recruitment

Questions (489)

Robert Troy

Question:

489. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health when the post of social worker in County Westmeath will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23505/19]

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.

Health Services

Questions (490)

Robert Troy

Question:

490. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health when the general indemnity to section 39 service providers as clinically indemnified will be extended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23506/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

To date, no section 39 Agencies have had the management of their general indemnity claims delegated to the SCA and there are no plans to do so.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Question No. 492 answered with Question No. 459.

Questions (491)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

491. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting cataract surgery in Counties Cork and Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23510/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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, and NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 was published in March.

Under the Plan the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, will deliver 1.155 million elective inpatient and day case discharges at a value of €1.4 billion in 2019. The Scheduled Care Access Plan includes:

- detailed plans from the NTPF to fund 25,000 IPDC treatments; 5,000 Gastro Intestinal Scopes; and 40,000 outpatient first appointments.

- It is also projected that for ten identified high volume procedures, including cataracts, all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months will be offered treatment in 2019. These 10 procedures account for over a third of the active inpatient day case waiting list and represent 60% of NTPF planned activity in 2019.

At the end of July 2017, the number of people waiting for a cataract procedure was 10,024. Under the Inpatient Day Case Access Plan 2018, cataracts were one of the specialties targeted by the NTPF, and by end December 2018, the number of patients waiting had fallen to 6,440, a reduction of 36%. The number of patients waiting for a cataract procedure at the end of April 2019 had further reduced to 6,151, with 582 of patients waiting over 9 months. This represents a reduction of 3,789 or 87% when compared to July 2017, when there were 4,371 patients waiting over 9 months for a cataract operation.

The NTPF have advised that as of 30 May 2019, the number of people awaiting cataract surgery in public hospitals in counties Cork and Kerry was 523, with all patients listed for treatment at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork.

Question No. 492 answered with Question No. 459.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (493)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

493. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the most recent outpatient and inpatient waiting list figures for Navan hospital; the equivalent set of figures from the previous 12 months; the length of time these patients have been waiting on a three, six, 12 and 24 month basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23528/19]

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, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

The joint Department of Health/HSE/National Treatment Purchase Fund (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. The plan places a strong focus on ten high-volume Inpatient/Day Case procedures. 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 high-volume procedures.

A key element of the Plan is the stabilisation of the Outpatient Waiting List. Under the Plan the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, will aim to deliver 3.3 million outpatient appointments, of which approximately 1 million will be first appointments. For its part the NTPF will aim to deliver 40,000 first Outpatient appointments.

The plan includes a target to reduce the number of patients waiting for and Inpatient/Day Case procedure from just over 70,000 in December 2018 to 60,000 by year end and to reduce the number of patients waiting for a first Outpatient appointment from over 516,000 at the end of 2018 to under 509,000 by the end of 2019. The latter target takes into account the fact that more than 800,000 new patients will be added to the Outpatient waiting list in 2019, a figure that is based on trends for the previous two years.

The NTPF advise that over recent months they have placed a particular focus on engaging with hospital groups and individual hospitals to identify outpatient waiting list proposals. While the NTPF have already approved over 38,000 outpatient appointments, they advise that the impact of these initiatives may not be seen until the end of the year. Approximately 75% of outpatient appointments approved to date relate to 4 high-volume specialities, specifically Ophthalmology, ENT, Orthopaedics, and Dermatology.

In addition, my Department is working with the HSE and NTPF, under the Access Plan, with the objective of developing medium-long term improvement initiatives for patient access to hospital procedures. This will include moving care to more appropriate settings and providing care at the lowest level of complexity such as providing ophthalmology in the community; maximising the use of Advanced Nurse Practitioner led clinics; and physiotherapists to manage orthopaedic clinics.

Navan Hospital IPDC waiting list has increased by 12% (+71) when compared to the same period last year but has decreased by 19% (-162) when compared to August 2018. Navan Hospital Outpatient waiting list has increased by 20% (+1,196) when compared to the same period last year.

*Due to the small volume of patients waiting in timebands over 12 months on the IPDC waiting list, and over 24 months on the Outpatient waiting list, to preserve patient confidentiality, these numbers have been included within the broader timebands of 12+ months and 24+ months respectively.

Navan Hospital IPDC April 2018-April 2019

 0-3 Mths

 3-6 Mths

 6-9 Mths

 9-12 Mths

12+ Mths

Grand Total

Apr-19

379

156

86

53

6

680

Mar-19

346

201

100

56

8

711

Feb-19

371

204

115

38

12

740

Jan-19

359

222

137

33

7

758

Dec-18

372

205

121

20

3

721

Nov-18

384

225

99

26

8

742

Oct-18

386

276

95

35

8

800

Sep-18

413

287

73

46

11

830

Aug-18

439

261

83

52

7

842

Jul-18

459

203

89

35

6

792

Jun-18

479

129

66

35

8

717

May-18

432

145

55

59

8

699

Apr-18

339

154

85

23

8

609

Navan Hospital Outpatient April 2018-April 2019

 0-3Months

 3-6Months

 6-9Months

 9-12Months

12-15Months

15-18Months

18-21Months

21-24Months

24+Months

Grand Total

Apr-19

1727

1030

1155

1006

753

509

435

226

195

7036

Mar-19

1208

1002

1082

707

566

440

237

171

0

5413

Feb-19

1580

1300

987

1063

655

564

423

230

159

6961

Jan-19

1449

1259

1079

959

592

588

388

201

127

6642

Dec-18

1657

1083

1135

773

630

555

359

186

92

6470

Nov-18

1723

1071

1096

737

628

569

319

174

90

6407

Oct-18

1614

1140

1032

697

661

558

260

171

81

6214

Sep-18

1541

1254

923

696

665

532

241

200

26

6078

Aug-18

1542

1235

888

742

683

511

206

201

16

6024

Jul-18

1632

1170

854

748

677

437

217

165

16

5916

Jun-18

1645

1026

991

776

702

329

261

82

12

5824

May-18

1612

1063

997

775

716

323

262

74

11

5833

Apr-18

1621

1054

1038

834

632

315

247

88

11

5840

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (494)

Barry Cowen

Question:

494. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. [23530/19]

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.

Hospitals Building Programme

Questions (495)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

495. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health when he plans to fund the necessary approval for three community hospitals (details supplied) in County Donegal; if all three community hospitals will form part of the capital plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23533/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare services and infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you in relation to this matter.