Voluntary Sector Funding

Question No. 491 answered with Question No. 488.

Questions (490)

Micheál Martin

Question:

490. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an organisation (details supplied) was informed recently that there is no obligation from the HSE to contribute towards staff pension payments, that is, the 7% obligation through the pension scheme of an organisation; if this decision is finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29847/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Question No. 491 answered with Question No. 488.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (492)

Seán Fleming

Question:

492. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health if the FreeStyle Libre device will be made available to each person with type 1 diabetes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29852/19]

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.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (493)

Seán Haughey

Question:

493. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if a residential placement will be provided for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29855/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

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

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (494)

Alan Kelly

Question:

494. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a full list of all travel, locations, cost and purpose of travel undertaken by a person (details supplied) or any member of their team as part of their review into the CervicalCheck scandal by chronological order and in tabular form. [29858/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Dr Scally's Scoping Inquiry into CervicalCheck was conducted on an independent basis. As was previously advised to the Deputy, my Department does not hold records of the travel arrangements of Dr Scally or other members of the Scoping Inquiry team. 

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (495)

Michael McGrath

Question:

495. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health when a wheelchair will be provided to a child (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29862/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (496)

Michael McGrath

Question:

496. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health when necessary orthotics will be provided to a child (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29863/19]

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.

HSE Staff

Questions (497)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

497. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 201 of 19 June 2018 and 345 of 5 February 2019, if the HSE will consider using the draft HSE staff breastfeeding in the workplace policy as an interim measure for staff with immediate effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29867/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the question relates to service matters it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy

Dental Services

Questions (498)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

498. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if the Dental Council refers complaints of illegal practice involving a risk to public safety to An Garda Síochána for investigation and prosecution; if this is the normal practice in all such situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29868/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am informed that the Dental Council has on occasion referred matters to An Garda Síochána for investigation. 

The Dental Council decides, based on the facts of each case, whether to refer the matter to An Garda Síochána or to deal with the matter under the Dentists Act, 1985.

I am informed that the Dental Council takes allegations of illegal practice seriously and that it takes the appropriate steps whenever necessary.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (499)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

499. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health his views on the waiting lists for pain, MRI, rheumatology and neurology clinics; and the way in which he plans to address the waiting times. [29870/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures. The number of patients waiting for an Inpatient or Day case procedure fell by 18% from July 2017 to the end of December 2018 while the number of patients waiting more than 3 months fell by more than 17,700, or 31% in the same period .

The Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 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.

As a result of on-going investment and successive waiting list initiatives, a reduction across a wide range of specialties has been recorded, including for pain relief, neurology and rheumatology.  More specifically in June 2019 compared to July 2017, there has been a 4% reduction in the number of patients on the IPDC waiting list for rheumatology, an 11% reduction in the number of patients on the neurology waiting list, and a 15% reduction in the number of patients on the pain relief waiting list.

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. The NTPF continues to welcome proposals from all acute hospitals for initiatives to improve access for patients awaiting outpatient appointments. 

In terms of MRI waiting lists, the HSE advise that a pilot project was commenced in 2016 by the HSE Acute Hospitals Division to progress the collection of national radiology waiting list data. The project has been supported by the Radiology Clinical Care Programme and has involved key stakeholders across the system including the National NIMIS Team, Hospital Groups, and the support of the NTPF for data collection and data management expertise. At present, data is collected quarterly for MRI, CT and Ultrasound.  

The Sláintecare Action Plan 2019 which was published by my Department, includes a specific work stream on Access and Waiting Lists. Sláintecare emphasises the need to invest in increased capacity while also shifting the balance of care from hospitals to community services for better health outcomes and a more sustainable health service. In addition, many of the other service reforms and enhancements included in Sláintecare will support timely access to care for patients in the coming years.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (500)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

500. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for children seeking access to CAMHS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29871/19]

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.

Medicinal Products

Questions (501)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

501. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to concerns regarding the prescription of synthetic T4 drugs in response to a diagnosis of hypothyroidism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29872/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am informed that there have been concerns raised in several Member States regarding the reformulation of a particular brand of medicine containing the synthetic T4 hormone levothyroxine sodium. The brand of levothyroxine in question does not have a marketing authorisation in Ireland.

Levothyroxine is a medicine used to treat a variety of different thyroid conditions. It is a medicine with a narrow therapeutic index, which means that small differences in dose or blood concentration may lead to changes in therapeutic outcomes or side effects.

In this case, the manufacturer of the particular brand of levothyroxine made changes to the inactive ingredients, also known as excipients, to increase the stability of the medicine and reduce potential variability in dosing. However, there have been reports of increased incidents of adverse drug reactions among patients who were changed to this new formulation in the Member States concerned.

None of the levothyroxine containing medicinal products granted a marketing authorisation in Ireland, and which are actively marketed here, have been subject to reformulation in recent years.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is responsible for monitoring the safety, quality and effectiveness of medicines in Ireland, including reports of adverse drug reactions. This involves the operation of a national reporting system and inspection programme. Patients and healthcare professionals are encouraged to report suspected side effects, quality problems and other related issues through the HPRA website- http://www.hpra.ie//homepage/medicines/safety-information/reporting-suspected-side-effects

When new safety or quality information emerges the HPRA ensure that healthcare professionals are informed and when necessary new prescribing and dispensing advice is issued.

Patients taking levothyroxine-containing products should not stop taking their medicines. It is important that they continue to take their medicine as per their doctor’s instructions. If any patient has any questions or concerns about any medicine that they are taking they are encouraged to speak with their doctor of pharmacist.

Hospital Appointments Administration

Questions (502)

Robert Troy

Question:

502. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [29879/19]

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.

Charitable and Voluntary Organisations

Questions (503)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

503. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if the 20% funding cut imposed on an organisation (details supplied) will be reconsidered in view of its record in fighting for the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29889/19]

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 (504, 505, 506)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

504. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for adults with an intellectual disability in County Galway in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form. [29918/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

505. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for children with an intellectual disability in County Galway in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form. [29919/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

506. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for adolescents with an intellectual disability in County Galway in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form. [29920/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 504 to 506, inclusive, 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. 

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

Disability Services Data

Questions (507)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

507. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for residential care for adults with an intellectual disability in County Galway in each of the years 2008 to 2018, in tabular form. [29921/19]

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 (508)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

508. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of adults with intellectual disabilities in residential care in County Galway. [29922/19]

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 Availability

Questions (509, 510, 511, 513, 514, 515)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

509. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the lack of respite facilities and opportunities for persons with disabilities nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29923/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

510. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if he has access to the information collated at local area level for parents of children and adults requesting respite for each CHO; if there is information on requests granted and refused in each of the years 2011 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29924/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

511. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if he has received correspondence from disability service providers regarding their concerns in relation to providing respite for adults with disabilities within CHO 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29925/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

513. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the criteria used for respite care for persons with disabilities; if the age of the carer is taken into consideration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29927/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

514. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with disabilities between 30 and 40 years of age still being cared for by their parents; his plans for respite for such persons in view of the fact that their carers are older; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29928/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

515. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the funding allocation for providing respite care in 2019; the amount drawn down to date in 2019; if funding will be utilised for providing respite care in CHO 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29929/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 509 to 511, inclusive, and 513 to 515, inclusive, 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. 

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

Respite Care Services Data

Questions Nos. 513 to 515, inclusive, answered with Question No. 509.

Questions (512)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

512. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of respite weeks provided in each of the past three years for CHO 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29926/19]

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

Questions Nos. 513 to 515, inclusive, answered with Question No. 509.

Home Help Service

Questions (516)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

516. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if he has met with the Ministers of State with special responsibility for disability and with special responsibility for mental health to discuss the impact of the lack of home help hours being allocated and the impact on persons with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29930/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I meet regularly with the Ministers of State for Disability and Mental Health to discuss all aspects of their areas of responsibility.

The HSE is committed to providing and protecting the level of Personal Assistant services and Home Support services to persons with disabilities, to support them to maximise their capacity to live full and independent lives.

Individual’s needs are evaluated against the criteria for prioritisation for the particular services and then decisions are made in relation to the allocation of resources. Resource allocation is determined by the needs of the individual, compliance with prioritisation criteria, and the level of resources available.

While substantial resources are available to fund the provision of home support services, they are finite, as is the position with all other services.