Hospital Staff

Questions (408)

Gerry Adams

Question:

408. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of hospitals using rolling theatre closures to manage staff shortages. [26354/19]

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 as soon as possible.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Questions (409, 410)

Gerry Adams

Question:

409. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health his plans to address the crisis in consultant recruitment further to information in recent media reports. [26355/19]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

410. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he has been provided with the HSE report into the employment of medical consultants cited in recent media reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26356/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 409 and 410 together.

I have received the Report referred to by the Deputy. It was submitted by the HSE to my Department on 13 May 2019 and is currently receiving consideration. The Report was prepared in response to requests I and my Department made to the HSE asking that it address the issues raised in the Judgement of Justice Kelly mentioned in the media reports and broader issues relating to medical recruitment.

While the number of consultants has increased by 109 in the 12 months to the end of April 2019 and by 509 in the past five years, the Government is aware that there are significant difficulties in filling certain consultant posts, particularly in smaller hospitals, though not exclusively, and in a number of specialties, as identified by the Public Sector Pay Commission. The Commission in its Report published on 4 September 2018 identified difficulties in attracting consultant applications for many posts at present and acknowledged that the pay rates for new entrants had been highlighted as a factor in this.

Given its analysis, the Commission proposed that the Parties to the Public Service Stability Agreement jointly consider what further measures could be taken, over time, to address the pay differential. The proposal of the Commission does need to be addressed. The next step is to engage with the representative organisations of consultants. However, brokering an affordable solution will be a significant challenge, in particular within the context of budgetary pressures and broader public sector policy.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Questions (411)

Gerry Adams

Question:

411. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the locations in which the reported 500 vacant consultant posts exist by CHO area in tabular form. [26357/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Questions (412)

Gerry Adams

Question:

412. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of vacant consultant posts that exist at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, and Louth County Hospital; the length of time these posts remained vacant; and his plans to fill these vacancies. [26358/19]

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 as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (413)

John Brassil

Question:

413. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the average wait time for an adult hearing aid test in County Kerry for persons with medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26365/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (414)

John Brassil

Question:

414. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an audiology appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26367/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (415, 416)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

415. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) in County Donegal is on the routine or urgent waiting list to attend Crumlin hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26368/19]

View answer

Pearse Doherty

Question:

416. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can be considered for an earlier appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26369/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 and 416 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.

Audiology Services Data

Questions (417)

John Brassil

Question:

417. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the average wait time for audiology services for persons under 18 years of age in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26370/19]

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.

Audiology Services Data

Questions (418)

John Brassil

Question:

418. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the average wait time for adult audiology services in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26371/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (419)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

419. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the review of the cost effectiveness of making flash glucose monitoring technology available for all persons with type 1 diabetes; if he has received a survey conducted by an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26372/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Staff Data

Questions (420)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

420. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the number of podiatrists attached to a hospital (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26375/19]

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.

Freedom of Information Data

Questions (421)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

421. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the number of freedom of information requests granted, part granted, refused, transferred to an appropriate body, withdrawn or handled outside freedom of information in 2018, in tabular form. [26394/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The information requested by Deputy O'Brien is contained in the following table.

Granted

Part-Granted

Refused

Transferred

Withdrawn

Administrative Access

2018

117

152

125

4

57

11

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (422)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

422. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring technology will be made available for all persons with type 1 diabetes; his plans to ensure survey findings by an organisation (details supplied) are considered as part of a HSE review in view of the quality of life improvement for the individual and cost savings resulting from the reduction in blood glucose strip usage by users of the device; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26401/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Beds Closures

Questions (423, 424)

Gerry Adams

Question:

423. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the staffing levels at the Cottage Hospital, Drogheda, further to recent local media reports; and the demand for services from the local acute hospital. [26402/19]

View answer

Gerry Adams

Question:

424. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of the beds temporarily closed at the Cottage Hospital, Drogheda in April 2019 that have since been reopened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26403/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 423 and 424 together.

As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (425, 426)

Gerry Adams

Question:

425. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting outpatient treatment across all specialities in CHO area 8; and the number of children waiting for periods (details supplied) in tabular form [26404/19]

View answer

Gerry Adams

Question:

426. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting inpatient treatment across all specialities in CHO area 8; and the number of children waiting for periods (details supplied) in tabular form. [26405/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 425 and 426 together.

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. Last year saw considerable improvement in the number of patients waiting for procedures. As a result of increased activity and the ongoing collaboration between the HSE and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), the number of patients waiting for an Inpatient or Day case procedure fell to 70,204 in December 2018, from a peak of 86,100 in July 2017. This represents a reduction of over 18% in the overall number of patients waiting for a procedure. The number of patients waiting more than 3 months fell by more than 17,700, or 31% in the same period from July 2017 to the end of December 2018.

The impact is particularly notable when one considers the improvements to the Waiting Lists for those particular specialties which were the focus of the Inpatient/Daycase Action Plan in 2018. These include the numbers waiting over 3 months for a tonsillectomy procedure which fell by 65% from July 2017 to the end of December 2018.

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 first outpatient appointments.

- Projections by year end to reduce the overall number of patients on the Inpatient/Day Case waiting list (excluding GI scopes) from just over 70,200 in Dec 2018 to under 60,000;

- Within this overall reduction the number of patients waiting longer than 3 months will reduce from 40,200 at the end of 2018 to 31,000;

- It is also projected that for ten identified high volume procedures, 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.

A key element of the Scheduled Access 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.

The plan also includes a target that the number of patients waiting for a first Outpatient appointment will fall from over 516,000 at the end of 2018 to under 509,000 by the end of 2019. This target takes into account the more than 800,000 new patients who will be added to the Outpatient waiting list in 2019; a figure that is based on trends for the previous two years.

While the meeting of short-term targets is always welcome, more can be achieved and, in this regard, the HSE, Department of Health and NTPF, under the Access Plan, will work together 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.

The data requested by deputy on the number of children on IPDC & Outpatient waiting lists in CHO Area 8 is outlined in the following document.

IPDC Total Children Waiting in CHO Area 8 by Time Band as at 30/05/2019

Area of Residence

0-3 Months

3-6 Months

6-9 Months

9-12 Months

12-18 Months

18 Months +

Grand Total

Laois

31

20

23

9

8

14

105

Longford

12

11

8

6

8

7

52

Louth

44

29

28

13

12

11

137

Meath

86

35

33

16

19

13

202

Offaly

36

20

20

12

18

12

118

Westmeath

49

30

30

14

18

9

150

Grand Total

258

145

142

70

83

66

764

OP Total Child Waiters in CHO Area 8 by Wait Time Band as at 30/05/2019

Area of Residence

0-3 Months

3-6 Months

6-9 Months

9-12 Months

12-18 Months

18 Months +

Grand Total

Laois

520

393

233

139

187

448

1920

Longford

253

162

99

39

98

213

864

Louth

730

529

360

180

279

446

2524

Meath

1126

722

451

328

490

786

3903

Offaly

557

369

189

133

205

488

1941

Westmeath

523

320

222

145

195

451

1856

Grand Total

3709

2495

1554

964

1454

2832

13008

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (427)

Gerry Adams

Question:

427. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting an initial assessment for treatment across all specialities in CHO area 8; and the number of children waiting for periods (details supplied) in tabular form [26406/19]

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.

Departmental Funding

Questions (428)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

428. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of an application by an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26408/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I can confirm that the application referred to in the question has been received by the relevant unit in my Department, and that this application will be examined under the same criteria as all the qualifying applications using the scoring mechanism detailed in the application form.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (429)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

429. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health his views on the report submitted to his Department by an organisation (details supplied); his plans to ensure the survey findings are considered as part of the HSE review into the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26409/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Eating Disorders

Questions (430)

James Browne

Question:

430. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the national eating disorder plan and its key actions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26410/19]

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 Beds Data

Questions (431)

James Browne

Question:

431. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the location of three hospital beds dedicated to eating disorders here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26411/19]

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.

Eating Disorders

Questions (432)

James Browne

Question:

432. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if a location (details supplied) is regarded as a specialist facility for eating disorders; the location of a more specialised service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26412/19]

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 (433)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

433. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health his plans to appoint a cross-direct route national working group for alcohol-related brain injury as recommended by a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health in early 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26414/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

While I note there were a number of issues discussed at the Joint Committee on Health of 8th May last, I am not aware of any correspondence from the Committee or proposal to consider regarding the issue raised by the Deputy. In relation to health needs, 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.

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to publish a plan for advancing neuro-rehabilitation services in the community.

The Health Service Executive recently published its implementation framework in respect of the recommendations of the National Policy and Strategy for the provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011-2015. This was the culmination of the work of the National Steering Group established in 2017, which included representation from stakeholder groups including the Neurological Alliance of Ireland.

The focus of the Neuro-Rehabilitation Strategy is on achieving best outcomes for people, by providing safe, high quality, person-centred care at the lowest appropriate level of complexity. This must be integrated across the care pathway and provided as close to home as possible or in specialist centres, where necessary.

The framework will guide the reconfiguration and development of neuro-rehabilitation structures and services at national and local level, through a 10-step Framework. It proposes the formation of Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Networks (MCRNs), with the set-up of one demonstration MCRN suggested as the first step. The ultimate goal of this approach is to put in place a national framework of acute, inpatient and specialist community services.

The Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Network (MCRN) model acknowledges that different service users need different input and different levels of expertise and specialisation at different stages in their rehabilitation journey.

The critical point of this model is that, although service users may need to access different services as they progress, the transition between services should be facilitated by appropriate communication and sharing of information between services so that they progress in a seamless continuum of care through the different stages:

- Acute hospital;

- Complex specialist rehabilitation services;

- Post-acute specialist inpatient rehabilitation services;

- Community based specialist rehabilitation services;

- Primary care; and

- Voluntary organisations.

This National Implementation Framework is evidence-based and informed by population needs. It addresses the continuum of care for those in need of neurological rehabilitation services. It describes the requirement for a whole system approach and provides the blueprint for how we should deliver care and services for those who suffer from neurological conditions who require individualised, goal focused rehabilitation. The implementation framework covers an initial period from 2019 into 2021. However, it is recognised that continued investment in and development of neuro-rehabilitation services will need to be prioritised beyond the three-year implementation period of this Implementation Framework.