Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (130)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

130. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for home support by a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim who cannot be discharged from hospital until the service is in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24598/19]

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 Services Provision

Questions (131)

John Curran

Question:

131. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health if the case of a six year old child (details supplied) who will be transitioning from a service to a local mainstream school in September 2019 will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24603/19]

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.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (132)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

132. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if a child (details supplied) will be called for an assessment as soon as possible. [24604/19]

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.

Medical Negligence Claims

Questions (133)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

133. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 852 of 8 May 2019, the steps a person can take to seek justice in the case of medical negligence dating back a number of years in which the symptoms of the person as a result became more apparent and worse years later, where the case is statute barred and the person cannot avail of justice from the State Claims Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24605/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The current limitation period, in respect of a clinical negligence action, is 2 years from the date of incident giving rise to the claim or the date of knowledge i.e. when the injured person first learnt that his/her injury was related to the clinical negligence event.  

I understand that Part 15 of the Legal Services Regulation Act, 2015, which provides for a pre-action protocol for use in clinical negligence cases, is set to amend the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act, 1991 in respect of clinical negligence actions by increasing the current 2 year limitation period to 3 years. This follows a recommendation made by the Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments in 2012 while also being intended to enable potential claimants to engage in the new pre-action protocol process. Preparations for the commencement of Part 15 and the issue of the relevant regulations by the Minister for Justice and Equality are at an advanced stage.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) 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. 

As outlined in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 852 of 8 May, 2019, the SCA is not managing this particular case. Where an individual wishes to make a claim for clinical malpractice or negligence, however, they or their solicitor should, in the first instance, submit a letter of claim to the State Claims Agency setting out the particulars of the case.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (134)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

134. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for a urology examination in University Hospital Galway; the reason for the delay; the actions being taken to reduce the waiting times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24621/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Questions (135)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

135. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health if there are circumstances by which a refund can be sought in instances (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24622/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE operates the Cross Border Directive (CBD) in Ireland.  As this question refers to a service matter I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy.

Orthodontic Services Provision

Questions (136)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

136. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of an orthodontic appointment referral for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24624/19]

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.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Questions (137)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

137. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the steps being taken to tackle an increase in sexually transmitted infections in Carlow IT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24625/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (138)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

138. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if a date will be provided for surgery for a person (details supplied); the status of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24626/19]

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 (139)

Clare Daly

Question:

139. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if the HSE recruitment freeze brought in for three months will be lifted by the end of June 2019, in view of the fact that no update or information has been given on the matter and that staff had accepted permanent promotional positions only to have them frozen. [24647/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (140)

Michael McGrath

Question:

140. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) in County Cork is on a waiting list for a residential placement; if so, the position on the waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24658/19]

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

Home Care Packages

Questions (141)

Michael McGrath

Question:

141. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to ensure that families, including the child being cared for with a paediatric home care package, are able to travel abroad for special occasions with the support of that home care package; when the plans will be in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24659/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Staff

Questions (142)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

142. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health if a temporary child psychologist will be appointed to the HSE CAMHS unit in Celbridge primary care centre to provide cover when the psychologist in situ goes on maternity leave in the coming weeks in order to ensure continuity of this essential service to vulnerable children and adolescents; if the replacement temporary child psychologist has been recruited; if so, if the commencement date has been confirmed; if not, the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24661/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Questions (143)

Seán Fleming

Question:

143. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the number of persons treated in Northern Ireland under the cross border initiative in each year since 2014; the number treated to date in 2019; the payments by the HSE in each year in respect of these cases; the procedures the HSE has in place regarding the fitness to practise of the various persons who carry out medical procedures in Northern Ireland under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24668/19]

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 Help Service Eligibility

Questions (144)

Willie Penrose

Question:

144. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health the reason home help cannot be provided to a person who is 65 years of age and has been diagnosed with advanced dementia which is steadily progressing and which refusal is on the basis that the person is under 65 years of age; if an exception can be made for a person with this medical condition which necessitates ongoing care and particularly some hours of home help; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24680/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In 2018 the HSE moved to a single funded Home Support Service combining the Home Help service and the HCP scheme into a single service – the Home Support Service for Older People. These services, funded by the HSE, are provided either by directly employed HSE staff or by voluntary and private providers who have formal arrangements with the HSE to deliver the services. The type of support provided includes personal care and, where appropriate, essential household duties relating to the client’s assessed needs. 

The Home Support Service is available to people aged 65 or over who may need support to continue living at home or to return home following a hospital stay. Sometimes exceptions are made for people younger than 65 who may need support, for example, people with early onset dementia.  An applicant’s care needs are assessed by the HSE to determine their requirement for a Home Support Service. The level of support allocated, if any, will have regard to, and support, the assessed needs of the individual, within the limits of the resources available for the service.   Further information on the Home Support Service is available on the HSE’s website.

The HSE’s National Service Plan provides for a target of 17.9 million home support hours to be provided to 53,182 people.  In addition, 235 intensive home care packages will provide 360,000 home support hours for people with complex needs, including people with dementia.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (145)

Willie Penrose

Question:

145. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health if he will address an issue regarding a medical card for a person (details supplied). [24681/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (146)

Peter Burke

Question:

146. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [24710/19]

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.

Cancer Services Provision

Questions (147)

James Browne

Question:

147. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) must wait four weeks until a MRI scan regarding a possible case of prostate cancer may be read by a consultant; if four weeks is deemed an appropriate waiting time for a rapid clinic; if a verbal report on the scan may be given to the general practitioner of the person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24716/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Rapid Access Clinics (RAC) for patients with suspected prostate cancer take place in each of the eight designated cancer centres. The national target is that 90% of all prostate cancer patients are offered an appointment within 20 working days of the receipt of the referral letter. 

In April 2019, the most recent figures available, 100% of patients referred to the Prostate RAC at St Vincent's University Hospital were offered an appointment within 20 working days.

As the particular issue raised is a service delivery matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (148)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

148. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24733/19]

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. 

Hospital Services

Questions (149)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

149. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) can qualify for free hospital treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24734/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

A person with a valid EHIC may receive necessary treatment while on a temporary stay in another EU Member State. This necessary treatment includes public hospital treatment if it is deemed medically necessary by a medical practitioner. 

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly in relation to the particular circumstances raised.

Health Services

Questions (150)

Peter Burke

Question:

150. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24758/19]

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.

National Drugs Strategy

Questions (151)

Micheál Martin

Question:

151. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health his views regarding the increased use and purity of cocaine; if he has met with the Minister for Justice and Equality to discuss same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24760/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In Ireland the most recent general population survey was completed in 2014-15. This shows that 2.9 per cent of 15–34-year olds used cocaine in the last year which had not changed since the 2010/11 survey. This is lower than the corresponding figure for the UK (4.7%), the Netherlands (4.5%) and roughly the same as Denmark and France.

The Health Research Board is are currently carrying out the 2018/19 General Population Survey on drug use and we expect preliminary results by the end of 2019.

The most recent published data from Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) on cocaine purity are for October 2016.  These showed that the average purity of “Bulk Cocaine” (i.e. seizures over 25 grams) was 40%. The average purity of “Street Level Cocaine” (i.e. smaller seizures) was 28% in Dublin and 19% outside Dublin (overall average:  24%).  No major shift in purity has been noted since then.  Updated data will be published later this year.  Further information on drugs case types submitted for analysis is contained in the FSI Annual Report for 2018, which is available on the FSI website www.forensicscience.ie

The national drug strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’ recognises the need to strengthen early harm reduction responses to current and emerging trends and patterns of drug use. 

I am committed to reducing drug-related harm in our society, especially drug-related deaths. I recently announced that €1 million in additional funding will be provided to support the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy. This funding will support regional initiatives on emerging trends and patterns of drug use, including cocaine and crack cocaine.

National Drugs Strategy

Questions (152)

Micheál Martin

Question:

152. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if he is considering a campaign against cocaine use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24763/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In Ireland the most recent general population survey was completed in 2014-15. This shows that 2.9 per cent of 15–34-year olds used cocaine in the last year which had not changed since the 2010/11 survey. The HRB are currently carrying out the 2018/19 General Population Survey on drug use and we expect results by the end of 2019.

Our national drug strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’ recognises the need to strengthen early harm reduction responses to current and emerging trends and patterns of drug use. There is limited evidence that mass media campaigns are effective at reducing the use of drugs and alcohol. Therefore, targeted awareness campaigns are favoured.

In July 2018, I launched a national cocaine harm reduction campaign. This was a collaboration between the HSE and the Ana Liffey Drugs Project. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the dangers of taking cocaine (both powder and crack). The campaign communicates the risks and dangers of cocaine use to dependent users and at-risk groups, as well as to those who engage in ‘recreational use’. It is important to increase awareness of the risks associated with drugs like crack cocaine and highlight how these risks are hugely increased when combined with alcohol.

Recently, the HSE, in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland, launched a new harm-reduction information campaign, called #SaferStudentNights. The HSE in conjunction with the Department of Education are also in the final stages of developing an educational prevention programme for schools in relation to drugs and alcohol both for the Junior Cycle and the Senior cycle (‘Know the Score’).

I am committed to reducing drug-related harm in our society, especially drug-related deaths. I recently announced that €1 million in additional funding will be provided to support the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy. This funding will support regional initiatives on emerging trends and patterns of drug use, including cocaine and crack cocaine.

Health Services Staff

Questions (153)

Denis Naughten

Question:

153. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health the role of the new post of CHO network manager; the job specification, grade and rate of pay of same; the role to be replaced by this post; if positions vacated by appointment to the post will be back filled; the persons or bodies that will report to this management role; the person or body the network manager will report to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24767/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

HSE Reports

Questions (154)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

154. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the reason there has been no quarterly performance reports published by the HSE since September 2018; and the steps he will take to ensure these are published without further delay [24779/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive continues to produce its monthly performance profiles (PP) and management data reports (MDR).  However, publication of the October-December 2018 PP and the MDRs for those months were delayed due to some outstanding financial issues.  The reports are due to published shortly, and publication of the January-March 2019 PP and corresponding MDRs will follow as soon as possible afterwards.