Medicinal Products Supply

Questions (355)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

355. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of the FreeStyle Libre device to those with type 1 diabetes; and if the HSE will be instructed to take into account survey results carried out by an organisation (details supplied) as part of the HSE review when making the final decision. [29156/19]

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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.

HSE Expenditure

Questions (356)

Michael McGrath

Question:

356. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health if he will reconcile the statement by the new CEO of the HSE to the Oireachtas Committee of Public Accounts on 27 June 2019 that the HSE had an overrun of €103 million in the first three months of 2019 with the figures reported in the Exchequer returns for the same period which show an underspend of €5 million in health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29160/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE accounts record items of current expenditure and exclude items of a capital nature and are prepared on an Accruals basis. This is a method of recording accounting transactions for revenue when earned and expenses when incurred, so a financial transaction for a period is recognised regardless of when the cash settlement occurs. During the first three months of 2019 the HSE incurred a deficit of €82.7m as actual costs of €3,938.5m were greater than profiled costs of €3,855.7m. Adjusting for the effects of the 2018 1st Charge increases the overall March deficit by €20.5m to €103.2m.  

The Exchequer returns include both current and capital items of expenditure are prepared on a Vote (cash) basis. This means receipts are recorded during the period they are received, and expenses are recorded in the period in which they are paid. The Health Vote includes Department of Health, Agencies under its Aegis, and HSE expenditure. During the first three months of 2019 the Health Vote recorded a surplus of €4.4m as net expenditure of €4,176.2m was less than profiled expenditure of €4,180.5m.  

Therefore, different methods of accounting and the inclusion of additional categories of expenditure explain the difference between the deficit recorded by the HSE and the surplus by the Health Vote.

Health Care Infrastructure Provision

Questions (357)

Mary Butler

Question:

357. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the status of the replacement and refurbishment of 90 community nursing units announced on 26 January 2016; the funding allocated to each project in 2019; and the date on which each of the projects will be complete and operational. [29164/19]

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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.

Prescriptions Charges

Questions (358)

Robert Troy

Question:

358. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if persons (details supplied) will be allowed to avail of maximum prescription charges even though they attend different pharmacists. [29167/19]

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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.

Civil Registration Service

Questions (359)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

359. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health the reason the deaths, births and marriages registration office in Listowel, County Kerry was centralised; and when it was centralised. [29175/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Civil Registration Service is operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE) on behalf of the General Register Office under the aegis of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

As this is a service matter I have referred your question to the HSE for direct response.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (360)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

360. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29176/19]

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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.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (361)

Noel Grealish

Question:

361. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health his plans to recognise pertuzumab; his plans to ensure it is made available to all cancer patients regardless of their health insurer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29183/19]

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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 for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. 

In line with the 2013 Act and the national framework agreed with industry, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE, the company must submit an application to the HSE to have the new medicine added to the reimbursement list.

Reimbursement is for licenced indications which have been granted market authorisation by the European Medicines Agency or the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

Pertuzumab (Perjeta) has been granted marketing authorisation for a number of indications and is included on the HSE reimbursement list for one of those indications. In addition, a number of other indications are currently being assessed for reimbursement.

The HSE has approved reimbursement for the following licensed indication:

- Pertuzumab is indicated for use in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel in adult patients with HER2-positive metastatic or locally recurrent unresectable breast cancer, who have not received previous anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for their metastatic disease.

The HSE has received pricing and reimbursement applications in relation to this medicine for the treatment of early breast cancer in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy (both neoadjuvant treatment of adult patients with HER2-positive, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer at high risk of recurrence and adjuvant treatment of adult patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer at high risk of recurrence). 

These applications are under consideration are currently being processed by the HSE and the statutory assessment process is ongoing.  

I am aware that in March 2019, the Vhi sent a circular to Oncologists advising them that it was extending cover to a number of new cancer medicines.  The decision by the Vhi applies only to private care to private Vhi patients in private hospitals.  It will have no impact on the availability and use of medicines in public hospitals, where there is no distinction between public and private patients.

The effect of the Vhi decision will be that Vhi private patients in private hospitals may have access to a medicine that is not yet available in the public hospital system. However, a number of the medicines, or indications, which the Vhi has now decided to cover, are at various stages of the HSE assessment and reimbursement process with a view to making them available in the public hospital system.

Health Services Staff

Questions (362)

James Browne

Question:

362. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if an offer of employment will be honoured to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29187/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Primary Care Centres Data

Questions (363)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

363. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the primary care centres to be provided over the next ten years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29190/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (364)

Mary Butler

Question:

364. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for a surgical procedure; and if the procedure will be expedited. [29191/19]

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.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (365)

Micheál Martin

Question:

365. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting at stage 2 of the assessment of needs process in counties Cork and Kerry; and the number waiting 0 to 12, 12 to 26, 26 to 52 and more than 52 weeks, respectively. [29193/19]

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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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (366)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

366. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an urgent prosthetic appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29197/19]

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 Consultant Recruitment

Questions (367)

David Cullinane

Question:

367. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the new consultant posts sought by University Hospital Waterford and the South/South West hospital group for the hospital by posts agreed and posts still outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29222/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Emergency Departments Data

Questions (368)

David Cullinane

Question:

368. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of times the full capacity protocol has been deployed at University Hospital Waterford in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29223/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Staff Data

Questions (369)

David Cullinane

Question:

369. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of consultants attached to the dermatology department at University Hospital Waterford in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29224/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Staff Data

Questions (370)

David Cullinane

Question:

370. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of consultants attached to the urology department at University Hospital Waterford in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29225/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Services

Questions (371)

David Cullinane

Question:

371. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health when a report from the national review into cardiac services will be received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29230/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The aim of the National Review of Specialised Cardiac Services is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive through establishing the requirements for an appropriate configuration of specialist cardiac services throughout Ireland.

While much work has been completed in relation to informing the optimal configuration of adult cardiac services, some significant and important work remains outstanding. In order to allow this work to be completed, the work of the Steering Group will continue through the summer months. I am advised by the Steering Group that it will be in a position to confirm a completion date in September 2019.

Hospital Services

Questions (372, 373)

David Cullinane

Question:

372. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health if the national review panel examining cardiac services met with hospital consultants in the south east; if it met with the management of University Hospital Waterford and the South-South West hospital group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29231/19]

View answer

David Cullinane

Question:

373. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health if the South-South West hospital group has made a formal submission to the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29232/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 372 and 373 together.

The Chairperson of the National Review of Cardiac Services has conducted site visits and met with medical consultants, management and the wider multidisciplinary team in each of the Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) centres in Ireland. It is important to note that acute hospital care is just one element of cardiac service provision and as such meetings and consultations with other non-PCI centres and other relevant stakeholders continues.

All stakeholders were also given an opportunity to contribute you to the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services via a web-based public consultation which was undertaken last year.

Departmental Reviews

Questions (374)

David Cullinane

Question:

374. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the cost to date of conducting the national review of cardiac care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29233/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services is ongoing and therefore no final cost for undertaking the review to date is available.

The most significant cost that has been incurred so far by the Review process relates to the conduct by the Health Research Board - Collaboration in Ireland for Clinical Effectiveness Reviews (HRB-CICER) of an evidence synthesis review for submission to the Steering Group of the National Review.  Payment of €130,000 has been made in respect of this evidence synthesis review.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Questions (375)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

375. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting on orthodontic treatment by grade and length of waiting time at Letterkenny University Hospital in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29241/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

 

Air Ambulance Service

Questions (376)

Peter Burke

Question:

376. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of the proposed extension of the flying hours for the air ambulance based in Custume Barracks, Athlone, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29244/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to a feasibility study on the expansion of the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS), which also included a possible extension to night time flying. 

My Department engaged with the Department of Defence on the feasibility of extending the EAS to night time hours; however, it was concluded that night time flying carries additional risks.  All the risks associated with landing and departures are magnified at night including low visibility and crew fatigue.  There are also restrictions on helicopters landing at night time in Ireland, and landings can only take place on either a lit helipad or at an airport.  These restrictions would significantly reduce the number of emergency incidents that the service could respond to, and in fact, it is possible that most night-time calls would, in view of the risks involved, be better served by a land vehicle. 

The Deputy may wish to note that the HSE/ National Ambulance Service has recently agreed a Service Level Agreement with the Irish Community Rapid Response for a charitably funded Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in the South.   It is anticipated that service provision will commence later this month.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (377)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

377. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will be transferred to a different care home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29246/19]

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.

National Carers Strategy Implementation

Questions (378)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

378. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the efforts made and steps taken during 2018 and to date in 2019 to assess the health, mental health and needs of caregivers of children with medical needs; the relevant research undertaken or commissioned by his Department or the HSE; the pilot initiatives under way or completed; and if evaluation reports from same will be provided. [29248/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Family carers offer a valuable support to their loved ones, allowing them to remain living in their own homes and communities. While there are many positive and rewarding aspects of caring, it is evident that caring is a significant challenge, affecting all aspects of a family carer’s life. The needs of the cared for person can place great demands on the energy and time of the family carer, with many providing full time care, which can have a significant impact on their relationships with other people, their professional lives and their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The 2012 National Carers' Strategy represents a whole of Government response to the challenges faced by family carers and sets out the strategic direction for future policies, services and supports provided by Government departments and agencies for carers. The Strategy is designed around a core vision which recognises and respects carers as key care partners who are supported to maintain their own health and well-being, care with confidence and empowered to participate as fully as possible in economic and social life. Oversight of the Strategy is led by the Department of Health, while the HSE’s Multi Divisional Carer Strategy group continues to support the process across the service divisions to progress the actions in the Strategy. 

Funding has been secured through the Dormant Accounts fund for information and training supports for family carers. This is allowing family carers provide the best care possible to the care recipient, reduce the risk of injury to the carer and care recipient and helping family carers cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of their role. Funding is also being made available to provide for the dissemination of resource information for family carers, the development of support networks and support groups to assist with the transition back into social and economic life at the end of the caring role and measures that assist in promoting carer self-identification.

Identifying carers and their needs as early as possible, is of critical importance to ensure they are supported in their caring role. The introduction of the Carers’ Needs Assessment Tool will be a key step in helping to identify carers at all stages and will also play a role in identifying the supports required.   The Department of Health secured Dormant Accounts funding to pilot the Carers’ Needs Assessment Tool in a HSE Community Health Care Organisation this year. This pilot study will greatly benefit the development of a comprehensive, standardised Family Carer Needs Assessment for identifying family carer’s needs by providing an opportunity to refine and improve the needs assessment.

The Government is committed to the development of a new statutory scheme for home-support services to enable people with care needs to live at home for as long as possible. Family carers were invited to participate in the public consultation carried out by the Department of Health in 2017, to which approximately 2,600 submissions were received. A report on the findings of the consultation was published in June 2018 and is available on the Department’s website. This will also inform the development of the new scheme.

As part of the question relates to service matters, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (379)

Pat Deering

Question:

379. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Carlow will be seen in the ophthalmology department of University Hospital Waterford following a report by a doctor. [29280/19]

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.

Drug Rehabilitation Clinics

Questions (380)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

380. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for a person waiting to access a methadone clinic in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29294/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Drug Rehabilitation Clinics

Questions (381)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

381. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health when a methadone clinic will be built in Newbridge, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29295/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.