Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Question No. 487 answered with Question No. 484.

Questions (486)

Robert Troy

Question:

486. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if a refund under the cross-Border initiative will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [26723/19]

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.

Question No. 487 answered with Question No. 484.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (488)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

488. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health the status of a centre (details supplied); if the capital plan of the HSE will provide funding for a new building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26726/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department and the Health Service Executive are currently engaged in a process to finalise the HSE Capital Plan for 2019.

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the management of the healthcare property estate and the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to the Cleary Centre in Donegal town.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (489)

Denis Naughten

Question:

489. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health if he will give consideration to making the drug Spinraza available for adults; the research available on its effectiveness for adults; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26727/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria to be applied in the making of reimbursement decisions which include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the product, the opportunity cost and the impact on resources that are available to the HSE.

As Minister for Health, I do not have any statutory power or function in relation to the reimbursement of medicines.

However, I can advise the Deputy that on 11 June 2019, the HSE Leadership Team approved access to the drug Nusinersen (Spinraza) for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type I, II or III on an exceptional and individualised basis.

The HSE decision process in relation to Spinraza involved a full Health Technology Assessment followed by detailed consideration by the HSE expert groups on new drug therapies, including the Technology Review Group for Rare Diseases and the Drugs Committee. Evidence of the clinical effectiveness of this new drug therapy was also reviewed.

The recommendation is to approve access for children with genetically confirmed SMA Type I, II or III, in accordance with the controlled access criteria recommended by the Rare Diseases Technology Review Committee. The rare diseases committee recommendation was clearly targeted at the youngest and most severely affected SMA patients, and this group is the clear priority for the HSE. The actual patient assessment and approval process will be the means for determining access on an individual case by case basis.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (490)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

490. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive an appointment for a hip operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26728/19]

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 Delays

Questions (491)

Denis Naughten

Question:

491. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for a procedure; the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26729/19]

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.

Rare Diseases

Questions (492)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

492. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the full range of State supports provided to persons with Friedreich's ataxia; the annual resource support provided to an organisation (details supplied); the supports or level of involvement by Ireland in research towards identifying a treatment or cure for the disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26730/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this PQ refers to service issues, I have referred it to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Expenditure

Questions (493)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

493. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health if the HSE capital plan for 2019 has been approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26733/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department is continuing to work with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Health Service Executive in a process to finalise as soon as possible a multi-annual Capital Plan for the HSE, which will include capital projects to be funded in 2019 and beyond, having regard to the available capital funding and the number of large national capital projects currently underway.

The HSE Capital Plan will determine the projects that can progress in 2019 and beyond having regard to the available capital funding, the number of large national capital projects currently underway, the cashflow requirements attaching to each project and the relevant priority.

Projects that are currently in construction and are contractually committed will not be affected.

Once the HSE has finalised its Capital Plan for 2019, it will then be submitted to me for consideration.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (494)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

494. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if a surgery appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26739/19]

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.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (495)

Alan Kelly

Question:

495. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) was not granted a medical card; and the way in which the person's application can be reviewed without going through the application process again in view of the circumstances. [26741/19]

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 Support Services Provision

Questions (496)

Peter Burke

Question:

496. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the services available for a person (details supplied). [26742/19]

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.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Questions (497, 503)

David Cullinane

Question:

497. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health if a replacement speech and language therapist is being provided to cover maternity leave at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26761/19]

View answer

David Cullinane

Question:

503. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of children in County Waterford aged six to 18 years of age awaiting ASD diagnostic assessments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26777/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 497 and 503 together.

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.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (498, 499)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

498. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the status of a primary care centre (details supplied); if a site has been secured; if so, the list of services that will be provided on site; the reason for the delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26767/19]

View answer

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

499. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the status of a primary care centre (details supplied); if a site has been secured; if so, the list of services that will be provided on site; the reason for the delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26768/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 498 and 499 together.

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Hospitals Data

Questions (500)

Alan Kelly

Question:

500. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the hospitals with the highest rates of neonatal brain injury; and the number of same in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by hospital in tabular form. [26769/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospitals Car Park Charges

Questions (501)

Denis Naughten

Question:

501. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health his plans to tackle hospital parking charges; if he has received the recommendations of the HSE review group on same; the next steps that will be taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26770/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have made it clear that I want to see progress made in this area and am working with my Department and the HSE in this regard. In March 2018, I requested the HSE to conduct a review of hospital car parking charges with a view to establishing clear national guidelines in the area. The HSE is currently liaising with Hospital Groups nationally to develop an implementation plan, which will be submitted in July, to accompany the review report. My Department will then consider the implementation plan in collaboration with the HSE as part of the annual service planning process.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Question No. 503 answered with Question No. 497.

Questions (502)

Brendan Smith

Question:

502. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when the FreeStyle Libre device will be made available to all persons with type 1 diabetes; if consideration will be given to the issues raised in correspondence from a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26774/19]

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.

Question No. 503 answered with Question No. 497.

HSE Staff Data

Questions (504)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

504. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of HSE paediatric physiotherapists employed in County Mayo; if they are employed full time; the locations in which they are based; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26783/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (505)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

505. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a mechanism by which a family can have home care provided by way of a grant to purchase hours in cases in which the hours needed fall outside the normal working hours for a home care provider but could be purchased directly from the home care worker; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26784/19]

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.

Assisted Human Reproduction Legislation

Questions (506)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

506. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when the assisted human reproduction Bill is due to be published. [26785/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In October 2017, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. As the Deputy will be aware, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January of last year. The Joint Committee intends to report thereon before the summer recess and the recommendations in its report will be considered during the ongoing process of drafting this Bill in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. However, it is not possible at this time to give a definitive timeline for the completion of the draft Bill and its subsequent passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

HSE Data

Questions (507)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

507. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of STI clinics nationally; the staffing numbers at each; the vacancy numbers at each; the length of time the vacancies have existed; and the active recruitment campaigns for the vacancies in tabular form. [26786/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (508)

Joe Carey

Question:

508. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be facilitated with a medical procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26788/19]

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.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (509)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

509. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure that persons given a cancer diagnosis receive a medical card without delay; if his attention has been drawn to the long waiting times that cancer patients are waiting for a card and the high medical expenses they incur as a result of these waiting times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26801/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy is aware, the HSE's Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility examined the issue of awarding medical cards on the basis of illness and concluded that it was not feasible, desirable, nor ethically justifiable to list medical conditions in priority order for medical card eligibility. The Expert Group also concluded that a person’s means should remain the main qualifier for a medical card. This position remains unchanged.

However, it is undoubtedly important that the medical card application system is responsive and sensitive to people's needs, especially arrangements relating to the issuing of medical cards on a discretionary basis. To that end, the HSE has sought to implement revised processes to provide a more compassionate and more efficient process in the assessment of medical card applications. Such measures include the development of a Burden of Illness Questionnaire which is now being rolled out in selective circumstances where the assessing doctor in the HSE's National Medical Card Unit requires a more comprehensive assessment of an applicant's medical and social circumstances and any resulting undue financial hardship.

In addition, in January 2018 a new streamlined online medical card application system was launched. This enables applicants to find out immediately if they are eligible for a medical card and brings considerable benefits for people in terms of turnaround times, convenience and security. This measures aid the HSE's National Medical Card Unit to provide an enhanced service to applicants ensuring that the application process is as efficient and timely as possible.

With regard to persons suffering from cancer and other serious medical conditions the HSE also has a system in place for the provision of medical cards in response to emergency situations i.e. in circumstances where persons are in need of urgent or on-going medical care that they cannot afford and also for persons in palliative care who are terminally ill. These medical cards are issued within 24 hours of receipt of the required patient details and a letter which confirms the medical condition from a doctor or consultant. With the exception of terminally ill patients, all medical cards, granted on an emergency basis, are followed up with a full application within a number of weeks.

I would also like to note that since 1 July 2015, the HSE adopted the position that all children under 18 years of age with a diagnosis of cancer are awarded a medical card. This card is valid for a period of 5 years.

While it is none the less important to note that eligibility for a medical card remains primarily on the basis of financial assessment, I do recognise that patients require a responsive and efficient health system to meet their medical needs, which may often be required urgently. The processes in place by the HSE in granting an emergency medical card, the online application system and the Burden of Illness Questionnaire are aiding the National Medical Card Unit to provide an enhanced service to applicants ensuring that the application process is as efficient and timely as possible.

Home Care Packages Data

Questions (510)

Mary Butler

Question:

510. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the percentage of home care support services outsourced to private companies in 2018, by CHO, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26815/19]

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 Care Packages

Questions (511)

Mary Butler

Question:

511. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if the requirement for travel time payments to home care support staff will have to be covered from the existing 2019 budget for home care hours; if this will contribute to a reduction in hours available for persons in need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26816/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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