Health Services Provision

Questions (512)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

512. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied); the way in which the issue can be improved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23622/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government of Ireland and the Department of Health have set out the Sláintecare strategy to transform health and social care services.

The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, provides the framework within which a system-wide reform programme will be advanced. At its core, the strategy focuses on establishing the building blocks for a significant shift in the way in which health services are delivered in Ireland particularly in the shift of acute to community care settings. It seeks to deliver on the Future of Healthcare Committee’s vision of a health system in which care is provided in the right place, at the right time, by the right person and is always provided on the basis of need and not ability to pay with a priority focus on developing primary and community services within a national policy context.

Sláintecare is about delivering a health and social care service that meets the needs of our population and attracts and retains the very best healthcare professionals, managers and staff.

With appropriate, well-governed investment, we will deliver a service that is given by the right team at low or no charge. Crucially, engaging with staff, staff representative bodies and the wider stakeholder network, to find new ways of working to deliver expanded services, will be essential to optimise the wealth of skills and knowledge inherent in our health workforce.

A detailed Sláintecare Action plan for 2019 was completed and published on March 13 2019. The Action Plan sets out detailed deliverables and timeframes for 239 deliverables that are to be progressed in 2019 as part of the implementation of the Sláintecare vision and firmly establishes a programmatic approach to the delivery of the Sláintecare Strategy. The 28 deliverables for Quarter 1 are on track.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (513)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

513. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if a mobility scooter can be provided and facilitated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23623/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

Questions (514)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

514. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health when the three year cap in regard to farm assets and small business will come into effect under the nursing homes support scheme; the procedure thereafter; the estimated timeframe for implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23626/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department developed draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.

It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period.

The Heads of Bill has been circulated to Government this week. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the the legislative process us successfully complete.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility

Questions (515)

Brendan Smith

Question:

515. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when he plans to introduce necessary supports for persons who have fibromyalgia; if his attention has been brought to the fact that such supports are available in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23628/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition and the symptoms include severe pain, fatigue and stiffness among many others. The exact prevalence of fibromyalgia in Ireland is not known but is estimated at 2% of the population.

Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because there is no specific test and the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. There is currently no cure for this condition as the cause is unknown and the treatment requires interventions from various medical specialists for management of symptoms as they arise.

Fibromyalgia is not classified as a disability and there are currently no plans for its reclassification. There are no plans at present to add this condition to the list of conditions currently listed under the Long-Term illness scheme.

It is important to note that to help the sufferers of this condition with the cost of the treatment, any patient is eligible to apply to the Drugs Payment Scheme or to apply for a Medical Card.

Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €124 a month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals with ongoing expenditure on medicines.

People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. People who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of GP consultations.

General medical services are provided by GPs. If the patients clinical condition warrants a referral to a Consultant then their GP will organise that for them.

Maternity Services

Questions (516)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

516. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 773 of 8 May 2019, if the HSE provides counselling for families who experience a traumatic experience while using the maternity services in hospitals. [23636/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (517)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

517. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for home help hours by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23638/19]

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 Help Service Provision

Questions (518)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

518. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for home help hours by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23647/19]

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.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (519)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

519. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on correspondence relating to CervicalCheck from a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23651/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

CervicalCheck, the National Cervical Screening Programme, offers cervical cancer screening, using a cervical smear test, to women aged 25-60 years - an eligible population of 1.1m women.

Women aged 25-44 are eligible for a free smear test every 3 years, while women aged 45-60 are eligible for a free test every five years. These intervals are based on best international evidence.

Regrettably, lab turnaround times for smear test results increased significantly during 2018 as a result of both out of cycle smears and greater uptake generally. However, the programme is now back to normal call-recall procedures and lab turnaround times are improving. While they can be as long as 30 weeks, two out of three labs are now returning results in eight weeks or less.

While a backlog of around 80,000 smears had built up, this has now begun to fall and was reported by the HSE to be down to around 54,474 by the 9th of June.

Since the 1st of May, the third laboratory, which has the largest backlog, has ceased accepting new slides and is focused on clearing its backlog. I am pleased to say that the HSE has now agreed a deal with Quest Diagnostics to provide the additional capacity necessary to ensure the continuation of the national cervical screening programme.

It is important to say also that the HSE has advised that the natural history of cervical cancer would indicate that the disease would normally develop over a period of 10 to 15 years. It has said that in this context, a delay in the return of cervical screening results, whilst undesirable, poses a very low risk to women.

In relation to the correspondence forwarded by the Deputy, it is my understanding that the same correspondence was sent to CervicalCheck on 21st May 2019, who responded directly to the individual, copying the Deputy, on 22nd May.

The individual concerned opted to have her screening test taken in October 2018 processed as a private smear test with MedLab. CervicalCheck is a government funded public programme and there is no provision to hold information (i.e. results or otherwise) pertaining to private smears. These are considered non programme smears. The most up to date record relating to this individual is that the last screening test with the programme was in February 2016 and that they would be called in 3 years for a repeat test. CervicalCheck then sent a letter dated 27.03.2019 as a follow on from the recommendation of this person's 2016 screening test.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (520)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

520. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23653/19]

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 (521)

James Browne

Question:

521. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) is on an urgent hospital waiting list but will not be seen for at least 18 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23656/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Questions (522)

Brendan Smith

Question:

522. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when additional resources will be provided for home support services in view of the delays in providing the service in areas such as counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23668/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (523)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

523. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23673/19]

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 (524)

Pat Deering

Question:

524. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will be called for a DEXA scan to St. Luke’s Hospital. [23679/19]

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 Properties

Questions (525)

John Brassil

Question:

525. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 119 of 16 May 2019, when buildings works were completed; the reason for the time between completion of buildings works and equipping and commissioning the facility; if there has been use of the building in the intervening time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23690/19]

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 Provision

Questions (526)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

526. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the average waiting times by county for a first appointment with child and adolescent mental health services, CAMHS; and the frequency of subsequent visits once a client has had their first appointment, in tabular form. [23731/19]

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.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Questions (527)

Peter Burke

Question:

527. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health if there is a moratorium on recruitment in the HSE to all staff levels. [23734/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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