Disabilities Assessments

Questions (145)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

145. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health when an assessment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25928/19]

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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.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Questions (146)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

146. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if a distribution breakdown of the recent announcement of an extra €450,000 allocated to fund sexual health services will be provided; the extra services this will fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25929/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Addressing and preventing HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a priority area under the National Sexual Health Strategy.

The €450,00 funding referred to by the Deputy has been provided to support Ireland's participation in an international HIV initiative, Fast Track Cities, and to fund early implementation of relevant actions.

The HIV Fast Track Cities initiative is a global partnership between almost 300 cities in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and was launched in Paris in 2014.

Ireland's participation in HIV Fast Track Cities was launched on 13th June, 2019, by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne.

The €450,00 funding provided will kick start Ireland's participation in this initiative, which is intended to boost current HIV prevention and intervention work. The funding will support community HIV awareness and testing in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, as well as a national stigma reduction campaign, to be delivered by the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme with HIV organisation partners in each city. In addition, a campaign to promote the forthcoming pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programme for populations at substantial risk of sexual acquisition of HIV, will also be funded.

The community HIV testing programme will be expanded further and will incorporate other at risk populations, such as migrants. Across the four partners in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick being funded for rapid community HIV testing for at risk populations, the target is to conduct 3,250 tests in 2019.

The full breakdown of funding allocation is as follows:

- Community based HIV testing and outreach - Dublin (HIV Ireland) - €158,000

- Community based HIV testing - Cork (Sexual Health Centre) - €68,000

- Community based HIV testing -Galway (AIDS West) - €35,400

- Community based HIV testing - Limerick (Red Ribbon Project) - €38,500

- Monitoring of community based HIV testing by Health Protection Surveillance Centre - €40,000

- MSM (Men who have sex with men) - Outreach Service (Gay Men's Health Service) - €27,450

- Stigma reduction campaign - €50,000

- PrEP campaign - €32,000

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (147)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

147. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if an outpatient appointment will be arranged in the case of a person (details supplied). [25930/19]

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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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (148)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

148. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for day service funding by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25931/19]

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.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (149)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

149. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the pathways for a patient from Northern Ireland to see a consultant here regarding medical cannabis. [25933/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My understanding is that the Deputy is referring to access to healthcare in Ireland for a patient from another EU Member State, under the terms of the Cross Border Directive (CBD). The Directive provides that patients who are entitled to a particular health service in the public healthcare system in their home Member State are also entitled to be reimbursed by their home country if they choose to receive such treatment in another Member State. The patient should contact their own UK National Contact Point (NCP) to check their eligibility for CBD healthcare in any particular circumstance and the particular pathway they should take to avail of such healthcare. With regard to accessing the service in another Member State, the Cross Border Directive obliges Member States, through their own NCP, to ensure that information about healthcare providers is available, or accessible, to oversea patients. The patient may contact the Irish NCP in writing at HSE National Contact Point (NCP), St Canices, Laken, Dublin Road, Kilkenny, R95 P231 or by phone on 056 7784546. The choice of healthcare provider is an individual choice for the patient. Once the patient has chosen a healthcare provider for receipt of the cross border healthcare it is a requirement for individual healthcare providers to give them the relevant information to assist them in making an informed choice as to whether or not to avail of cross border healthcare.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (150)

Robert Troy

Question:

150. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [25934/19]

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.

Respite Care Services Data

Questions (151)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

151. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for adults with an intellectual disability in Galway city and county in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25960/19]

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

Respite Care Services Data

Questions (152)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

152. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for children with an intellectual disability in Galway city and county in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25961/19]

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.

Respite Care Services Data

Questions (153)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

153. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for adolescents with an intellectual disability in Galway city and county in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25962/19]

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

Disability Services Data

Questions (154)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

154. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for residential care for adults with an intellectual disability in Galway city and county in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25963/19]

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.

Disability Services Data

Questions Nos. 156 and 157 answered with Question No. 133.

Questions (155)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

155. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the number of adults with intellectual disabilities in residential care in Galway city and county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25964/19]

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.

Questions Nos. 156 and 157 answered with Question No. 133.

Disability Services Data

Questions (158)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

158. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for residential care for adults with an intellectual disability in County Donegal in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form. [25971/19]

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.

Disability Services Data

Questions (159)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

159. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of adults with intellectual disabilities in residential care in County Donegal. [25972/19]

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 Staff Remuneration

Questions (160)

John McGuinness

Question:

160. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the reason pay increments were not provided to a person (details supplied) by the HSE when other employees doing the same hours on the same contract were approved and described as full-time employees; if he will request an independent person to examine the paperwork relative to the person and others and rectify the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25976/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (161)

Peter Burke

Question:

161. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health his views on the waiting list for a routine outpatient appointment for ENT of four years at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore, County Offaly; his further views on the routine orthopaedic clinic waiting times of two years; and his plans to reduce the waiting times. [25978/19]

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.

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 specialties, 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.

In relation to the plans to reduce waiting times at Midlands Regional Hospital, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (162)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

162. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide an upgraded primary health facility at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25979/19]

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 to you directly in relation to this matter.

Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (163)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

163. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) who is employed on a rural social scheme was requested again to provide a notice of assessment in respect of employment and or self-employment when they are entitled to retain their medical card for the duration of participation on the scheme; if the HSE will issue the medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25987/19]

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.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (164)

Robert Troy

Question:

164. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if the wording of the Treatments of Cancer (Advertisements) Bill 2018 will be reconsidered (details supplied). [25994/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is not the intention that there be any unintended consequences of the Bill. It is not disputed that people can access various therapies. The aim of the Bill is to ensure no false linkages are made between accessing those therapies and a claim that something is a treatment for cancer. People suffering from cancer can be in a very vulnerable position and open to false claims or manipulation. The intention of the Bill is about safeguarding our citizens and making sure they have accurate information regarding medical and scientific advice on how to cure and treat cancer.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (165)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

165. 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. [26028/19]

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 Help Service Expenditure

Questions (166)

Barry Cowen

Question:

166. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the amount the HSE requested for home help hours; the amount it received for 2019; the amount of the funding which was for extra hours; the amount for mileage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26047/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE National Service Plan 2019 sets out the type and volume of services to be provided by the HSE in 2019. The NSP provides that over €1.8 billion is available to support Older Persons Services this year.

Home supports enable older people to remain in their own homes and communities, as well as facilitating timely discharge from hospital. The Government has made improved access to home support services a priority. This is reflected in the ongoing additional investment made in these services in recent years with the budget growing from €306 million in 2015 to almost €446 million in 2019. That is about a 45% increase in the annual budget for home support.In 2018, the total budget for the service was €416.8 million, providing over 17.5 million hours. In 2019 almost €30 million has been added to the home support budget. The additional funding provided this year recognises additional cost in providing existing levels of service and the provision of additional support hours. This year the HSE intends to provide over 18.2 million home support hours, including intensive home care packages, to over 53,000 people. When one looks at the year-on-year targets, this means that this year’s National Service Plan aims to deliver about 800,000 more hours than the 2018 target.The allocation of funding for home supports, though significant, is finite and services must be delivered within the funding available. The Home Support Service is not demand led and is therefore operated in line with agreed budgetary limits and targets as set out in the HSE National Service Plan.To achieve compliance with its funding allocation, the HSE must ensure that the value of the total number of hours provided does not exceed the budget. This means that the HSE has to manage its service delivery over the course of the year to align with the total funding available. It also has a responsibility to ensure that activity is planned so as to anticipate critical demand pressures, most particularly emergency pressures in the initial and latter parts of the year.

I have asked the HSE to reply directly in relation to the operational aspects of the Deputy’s question.

HSE Staff Remuneration

Questions (167)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

167. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) is entitled to a HSE pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26050/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Fish Farming

Questions (168)

Mick Wallace

Question:

168. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if salmon farm escapes have been reported from 1 June 2018 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25898/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department's records do not indicate any reports of fish escapes from salmon farms during the period referred to by the Deputy.

Re-introduction of Grey Wolf

Questions (169)

Mick Wallace

Question:

169. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider examining the feasibility of reintroducing the grey wolf species as a cost effective alternative or additional measure to the BTB eradication programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25899/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (the IUCN) have developed Guidelines on Reintroductions and Conservation Translocations. These guidelines were developed by conservation experts and practitioners and they provide the benchmark for international best practice in this field.

The IUCN document sets out an initial checklist for those considering a reintroduction project such as the grey wolf. One of the first requirements is that: “There should be strong evidence that the threats that caused any previous extinction have been removed.”

The National Parks & Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have advised my Department that any feasibility assessment for the reintroduction of the grey wolf to Ireland would fall at this first hurdle as there is limited evidence that the causes of its previous extinction have been removed.

Research carried out on TB in deer in Ireland had found that in certain areas where there are high densities of deer, cattle and badgers living alongside each other, the same strains of TB can circulate between them. However, there is currently no evidence that deer play a significant role in the spread of TB to cattle in most parts of Ireland.