Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (667)

Robert Troy

Question:

667. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31177/19]

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.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (668)

Tom Neville

Question:

668. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health if a matter will be addressed in regard to a person (details supplied). [31189/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (669)

Robert Troy

Question:

669. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [31199/19]

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.

Autism Support Services

Questions (670)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

670. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if a grant or other funding is available for parents of children with autism who seek to avail of early intervention services privately. [31222/19]

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.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (671)

James Browne

Question:

671. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the details of the telehealth pilot sites for mental health services. [31240/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Both the Department of Health and the HSE are committed to progressing e-mental health initiatives. The HSE is currently running a number of pilot schemes within the fields of tele-counselling and tele-psychiatry.

The HSE, working in close collaboration with Turn2Me.org, is currently undertaking two six-month national pilot projects exploring the potential to develop the use of online tele-counselling. All counselling sessions are conducted on a secure encrypted cloud-based platform, and can be conducted through video, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone calls, or through instant text messaging.

- Pilot 1 commenced in November 2018 and is being trialled with South Wicklow area-based service users. The pilot has progressed to the stage where GPs are issuing their patients with access details.

- Pilot 2 is currently in progress in the Galway/Mayo region (CHO2). In Galway, patients on the waiting list are being written to by CAMHS teams, to be offered the opportunity to avail of free online counselling.

Additionally, four tele-psychiatry pilots are now being undertaken by the HSE. These pilots are conducting remote psychiatric consultations to address a variety of different needs and demands.

- Pilot 1 will address the needs of people on CAMHS waiting lists in the Wexford/Waterford region (CHO 5).

- Pilot 2 will focus on the demand for specialist adolescent addiction and substance abuse service.

- Pilot 3 will address adult mental health service demands within the Galway/Mayo region (CHO 2).

- Pilot 4 will engage with the demand for services for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in Kerry/Cork region (CHO 4).

In conclusion, I am satisfied with the HSE's work in piloting different types of e-mental health treatments and can assure the Deputy of my own commitment to the further development of e-mental health initiatives.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (672)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

672. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31242/19]

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 Status

Questions (673)

Robert Troy

Question:

673. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31243/19]

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.

Health Reports

Questions (674)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

674. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health when it is planned to carry out further evaluations to determine the reason for the identified variation on recent findings regarding mortality rates in the case of acute myocardial infarction. [31249/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS), published 8th July 2019, aims to give information on the quality of the health service in Ireland and it is part of this Government’s commitment to quality healthcare and patient safety.

The 2019 NHQRS reported information on mortality rates for acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs). It identified that there was a 30% reduction in mortality rates for AMIs over the past decade. It also showed that Ireland performs better than internationally reported averages in this area (OECD shows an age-sex standardised rate of 7.8 deaths per 100 admissions as compared to Ireland at 6.4 deaths per 100 admissions). The report also notes that there exists some variation in these rates between hospitals.

The reporting of performance and outcome indicators is designed to enable the health service to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Indicators are presented to allow for comparisons between regions, nationally, internationally and over time. When examining a data report, it is usual to see some variation between regions or between previous years. While it is universally acknowledged that variation in data can sometimes be attributed to differences in recording practices, the use of different definitions or even chance, the data and variation is intended to be used by service providers and policy makers to inform our strategies to improve healthcare.

The Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Clinical Programme of the Health Service Executive (HSE) is a national clinical programme for acute coronary syndromes, including acute myocardial infarction. The programme has over a number of years been involved in a major programme of work to save lives by identify variation and standardising care across the country.

In addition, the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services commenced in my Department in January 2018 and is ongoing and seeks 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. It will be a comprehensive national plan based on a recognised methodological approach to service planning that is inclusive, consultative, robust and data driven.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (675)

Robert Troy

Question:

675. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31257/19]

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.

Departmental Communications

Questions (676)

Shane Cassells

Question:

676. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by his Department following these results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31327/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health does not have a compliance Unit. In fulfilling the Department's role and function Units within the Department carry out governance and performance oversight to ensure accountable and high quality services.

The Department has an Internal Audit Unit that supports, develops and reviews the internal control environment and corporate governance procedures across all areas of activity for which the Accounting Officer has responsibility.

If the Deputy is seeking particular information then I might suggest he make contact with my office and I will endeavour to provide a response on the matter.

Climate Change Policy

Questions (677)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

677. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health the recurring weekly meetings attended by either him or the Secretary General of his Department in 2019 at which climate change and or preparations within his Department to enact a climate plan has been an agenda item; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31343/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Climate change has been a meeting agenda item both in discussions I have held with the Department’s Management Board and at the Management Board itself.

My Department officials are currently conducting work in relation both to climate change adaptation and to climate change mitigation.

A joint Department-HSE team has been established which is developing a five-year health sector adaptation plan. The team has consulted widely with relevant stakeholders and will also engage in public consultation shortly on the draft adaptation plan. The plan will be completed by September.

In response to a recommendation of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action in their report “Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus Action” (2019), Department officials have recently completed a review of the Health risks of Climate Change and the Health benefits of Climate Action.

Climate mitigation activities are also underway in my Department, notably in relation to reestablishing targets for energy reduction in our new premises at Miesian Plaza, early completion of the decommissioning of Hawkins House, the elimination last year of the use and purchase of bottled water and single-use plastic cups, and other relevant mitigation initiatives.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (678)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

678. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a full medical report will be made available in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31367/19]

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.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (679)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

679. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will have an early appointment to address their psychiatric health issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31379/19]

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.

Orthodontic Services

Questions (680)

Robert Troy

Question:

680. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if he will address the fact that the post of consultant orthodontist has been vacant within CHO8 for some time; the length of time the post has been vacant; the increased efforts being made to fill the post; the waiting times as a result of this vacancy in CHO8 in comparison with other areas of the health service in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31413/19]

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.

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Questions (681)

Robert Troy

Question:

681. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health when the building to house the MRI scanner for the Regional Hospital, Mullingar will commence (details supplied). [31445/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (682)

Robert Troy

Question:

682. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for surgery in Cappagh Hospital. [31446/19]

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 (683)

Robert Troy

Question:

683. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled for an ASD assessment for a child (details supplied). [31447/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (684)

Robert Troy

Question:

684. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the reason an alternative date for surgery has not been scheduled for a person (details supplied). [31448/19]

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 Status

Questions (685)

Robert Troy

Question:

685. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [31449/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Home Help Service Data

Questions (686)

John McGuinness

Question:

686. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the amount spent in each CHO area of the HSE on private providers of home help services; if private providers are used only after HSE workers in the same area are given their full hours of employment including weekends; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31458/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (687)

Robert Troy

Question:

687. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied). [31460/19]

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.

Commissions of Investigation

Questions (688)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

688. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health the reason the Farrelly commission is not considering loss of wages as eligible for payment as per the Commission of Investigation Act 2004 regarding key witnesses that have contributed their time and resources to the commission; and the remedy open to persons to achieve a more equitable or different outcome. [31461/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Commission of Investigation (Certain matters relative to a disability service in the South East and related matters) was established by the Government under the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 (No. 23 of 2004) to investigate the role of relevant public authorities in relation to the care of "Grace" (pseudonym) and other individuals in a former foster home in the South East.

The Commission's Sole Member is Marjorie Farrelly, S.C.

The Commission is independent in undertaking its functions. I am not in a position to comment on its ongoing work. This includes determinations on applications for the recovery of costs.

Sections 23 and 24 of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 provide for guidelines concerning the recovery of legal costs necessarily incurred by witnesses (section 23) and requests for the recovery of legal costs necessarily incurred and certain other expenses (section 24). These guidelines and the payment of witnesses' expenses and other costs are included within the Farrelly Commission's rules and procedures (section 13 to 17 and appendix 2). Section 15 of the Act provides for the power of the Commission to establish or adopt rules and procedures. The Commission is obliged to provide copies of its rules and procedures to persons likely to be affected by them.

Brexit Supports

Questions (689, 729)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

689. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the resources that will be made available to farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31358/19]

View answer

Lisa Chambers

Question:

729. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the resources, financial and otherwise that will be made available to fishermen and farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31364/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I have introduced a number of supports to assist the agrifood sector in preparing to address the challenges posed by Brexit. These include:- the €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme for Brexit-impacted SMEs and mid-cap businesses. The funding arrangements ensure that at least 40% of the fund is available to food businesses. Up to 14 June 2019, 585 applications have been approved. The total number of loans progressed to sanction at bank level is 141, with a total value of €30.6m, of which 29, with a value of €8.2m, relate to food businesses;

- a market prioritisation exercise undertaken by Bord Bia to identify priority markets across all food and drinks categories;

- tailored supports and analysis are being provided to food companies through Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer;

- an intensified series of trade missions to develop and grow new markets;

- the recently launched DBEI/DAFM “Future Growth Loan Scheme” will bring up to €300 million of long-term strategic investment loans available to eligible Irish businesses, including farmers and the agrifood & seafood sectors. The fund is leveraged by exchequer funding of €62 million, of which 40%, or some €25 million, has been provided by my Department. Businesses have been able to apply for loan eligibility through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) since 17th April 2019.

I also have had ongoing discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. The Commission have already made €50m available to Irish beef farmers as a response to market pressures, and this can be matched by national funding. I expect to be rolling out a support scheme with this funding in the very near future. I have also stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a further range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the agrifood and fisheries sector. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

And, of course, our practical preparations for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit, continue to be progressed and refined through the whole-of-Government coordination structures that have been in place for some time.

Brexit Supports

Questions (690)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

690. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will address a matter regarding funding for the agriculture sector (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30488/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I have had ongoing discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. I have stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the agrifood and fisheries sector. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

I am also keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular, following a difficult year for farm incomes in 2018 due to weather conditions. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

The recent announcement by Commissioner Hogan of EU exceptional aid for the Irish beef sector is very welcome in this context.  I have been making the case for some time for an exceptional aid package from the EU Commission for Irish beef farmers, at EU Council of Agriculture Minister meetings, and in direct consultation with the Commission. The announcement by the Commissioner is another example of the importance of EU solidarity when it comes to facing significant economic challenges.

This exceptional aid provision will be given effect through a Commission Implementing Regulation. While Member States were invited to give an opinion on the draft Regulation through the Commission’s Common Market Organisation (CMO) Management Committee, the Regulation is within the Commission’s own legal competence, and was not for negotiation with Ireland or indeed other Member States, in terms of its content. The regulation was passed by the CMO committee last month and will now be enacted. Ireland must now notify the Commission, no later than 31 July 2019, of the measures to be taken in accordance with the Regulation.

Further details on the aid package will be announced in due course following the appropriate stakeholder consultation.

Animal Slaughtering Standards

Questions (691)

Michael Collins

Question:

691. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if all equine slaughter carried out for the human food chain is carried out in accordance with European legislation; if the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is satisfied that this is the case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30489/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Equine slaughter plants whose meat is destined for human consumption must meet the requirements set out in detailed EU regulations relating to food safety and animal health and welfare. Primary responsibility for compliance with these regulatory requirements rests, in the first instance, with the food business operators. There are currently two such equine slaughtering plants in operation in Ireland and slaughter activities at both plants are supervised by my Department.

The slaughter process and the handling of animals going to slaughter takes place under strictly supervised conditions. My Department has a permanent presence in each of the slaughter plants under its supervision and Department staff, with the assistance of temporary veterinary inspectors engaged on a contract basis, carry out regular checks as part of official regulatory controls. In addition, each slaughter establishment has a qualified animal welfare officer who oversees the welfare of the animals at the time of slaughter.