Respite Care Services Provision

Questions (1230)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1230. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the average waiting time for respite approval for each of the months from January to June 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32207/19]

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 Availability

Questions (1231)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1231. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health when patients in need of Spinraza will be able to access the drug; the length of time it will take and the criteria and conditions under which it will be available to patients; the reason there is no reference to its approval on the websites of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, NCPE, and the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32211/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Health Services

Questions (1232)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1232. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the steps that can be taken to improve the standard of healthcare for farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32213/19]

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 Staff Data

Questions (1233)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1233. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of consultants working in Cavan and Mullingar regional hospitals in each of the years from 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and the number of consultant vacancies in the same period, in tabular form. [32216/19]

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.

Suicide Incidence

Questions (1234)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1234. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of deaths recorded as suicide which took place in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the preventative service provision in response to the figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32217/19]

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 Charges

Questions (1235)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1235. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 122 and 123 of 27 June 2019, the name of the 29 HSE statutory acute hospitals that used debt collection agencies during 2018. [32218/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a matter for the Health Service Executive, I have asked them to respond to you directly.

Parliamentary Questions

Questions (1236)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1236. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the HSE cannot request, collate and issue information in replies to parliamentary questions in cases in which health information is managed at local level. [32219/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has standardised processes for gathering a range of health data which it collects and collates from local areas and provides this data information to Deputies who request it via Parliamentary Questions. However on occasion, Deputies may request information that is not routinely collected and collated nationally from local service areas or where there is not an agreed standard template to gather such information requests, it may not be feasible to collate such information. However, in cases where this may arise, the HSE offer to provide the information requested for the Deputy for their area.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (1237)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

1237. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for additional home help hours for a person (details supplied) in County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32223/19]

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.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (1238)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

1238. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the reason for the reduction in the hours and availability of the podiatry clinic service in the HSE Boyne primary care centre in Drogheda, County Louth; when the full hours of operation of the clinic will be restored; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32225/19]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Questions (1239)

Brian Stanley

Question:

1239. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health when a derogation will be approved to allow the HSE to fill vacant speech and language posts in County Laois. [32228/19]

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.

Hospitals Building Programme

Questions (1240)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

1240. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the timeframe for completion of the St. Joseph’s Hospital development in Ardee, County Louth; the number of beds that will be available at the facility on completion of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32229/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Questions (1241)

John Brady

Question:

1241. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the reason the rehabilitative training allowance is being cut; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32237/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE’s New Directions policy seeks to reconfigure and personalise HSE funded adult day services to offer a flexible and individualised set of supports to enable each person to live a life of their choosing in accordance with their own wishes and needs.

Rehabilitative Training (RT) Programmes are designed to equip participants with basic personal, social and work-related skills. Approximately 2,300 people attend RT programmes, with 400 new attendees due to start this coming September. Payable in addition to Disability Allowance, the RT Bonus payment is currently payable at a rate of €31.80 per week to attendees of these RT Programmes, who can attend for a period of up to 4 years. The RT Bonus was introduced in 2001, aligned with a similar FÁS Training Bonus. This FÁS Training Bonus later became the Solas Vocational Training Programme payment, which was reduced in 2011 and discontinued in 2012.

Over the next four years, from September 2019, the RT Bonus will not apply to new attendees while this measure will have no impact on current participants as their payments will continue until they complete their 4 year programme. Importantly, the phasing out of the RT Bonus will mean that HSE Community Healthcare Organisations will have some funding to reallocate towards increasing the number of days per week available to those who did not receive a full service during the recession, or who are on a waiting list for a day service.

The phasing out of this Bonus payment by the HSE will ensure more people have access to a day service on an equitable basis, consistency in treatment of all day service users and maximise the use of finite resources.

Consultancy Contracts Data

Questions (1242)

Shane Cassells

Question:

1242. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each of the years from March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of same; the company involved; and the title and publication date, by report, in tabular form. [32250/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department does not collect data in a manner which would allow the Deputy’s question to be answered in full. Published reports for the years in question are available in the publications section of the Department’s website.

Presented in the table are details from the Department's A7 expenditure for consultant reports commissioned (some may not yet be complete) by the Department from March 2011 to date together with associated costs.

It is the policy in my Department only to engage the services of external consultants where it is felt to be appropriate and cost-effective, taking account of Government decisions and policy including procurement protocols on the matter. Should the Deputy have a particular report for which details are required please provide details to my office and I will ensure that the matter is investigated further.

Year Commissioned

Consultants

Report

Cost to 23rd July 2019

2019

Ernst & Young

Outsourced Audit of ICT Security, Operations & Controls

€17,528

2018

UCC

Research to inform guidance in relation to Patient Safety Bill

€43,742

2018

Grant Thornton

Development of a strategic plan for national Healthy Cities and Counties Network

€16,118

2018

Royal College of

Physicians of Ireland & Irish College of General Practitioners

Development of clinical guidelines for termination of pregnancy

€230,000

2018

Ernst and Young

Independent Expert Review of Delayed Discharges 2018

€71,955

2018

Morrow Gilchrist Associates

Review of A Vision for Change

€56,271

2018

Mazars

Independent re-evaluation of the shared NI/ROI Congenital Heart Disease Network

€9,908

2018

McKinsey & Co

Support / Facilitate the development of a detailed response to the Sláintecare Report & design of a programme of reform and implementation plan

€220,935

2018

University of Sheffield

Modelling of comparative impacts of minimum unit pricing in alcohol research

€64,270

2017

NUIG

Develop accreditation model for Healthy Workplaces

€22,480

2017

Stephen O'Herlihy, barrister

Legal review of Patient Safety Complaints and Advocacy legislation

€12,300

2017

Work Research Centre

Expert evidence and review of mental health services

€33,210

2017

UCD

Baseline research - National Clinical Guidelines 9 & 10 - Palliative Care

€9,813

2017

Health Research Board (UCC)

Taskforce on Staffing and Skill Mix Phase 1 (overall 3yr project)

€592,249

2017

Aurion Ltd

Support the development of guidelines for the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy

€5,335

2017

Indecon

Regulatory Impact Analysis of Patient Safety Licensing Bill

€77,212

2017

UCC

Clinical effectiveness development - curriculum and competency framework for healthcare professionals

€24,668

2017

PA Consulting

Capacity Review across the Health Sector

€380,931

2017

Alpha Healthcare

Taskforce on Personalised Budgets

€51,383

2016

Alpha Healthcare

Independent Evaluation of Physician Associate Pilot - Beaumont Hospital - pathfinder for

the National Integrated Strategic Framework for Health Workforce Planning

€26,236

2016

Expert Group

Taskforce on Staffing and Skill Mix Phase II: review of National Reports

€4,295

2016

Crowe Horwarth

Report on current and future role of Public Health Specialists in Ireland

€47,355

2016

RPS Consulting Engineers Ltd

Report on the findings of the public consultation of the new National Drugs Strategy

€128,509

2016

Trutz Haase - Social & Economic Consultant

Provision of a performance Measurement Framework for Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

€78,720

2016

KPMG

Working Better Together - findings of consultation process on HSE performance/dialogue/performance management

€14,145

2016

Institute of Public Administration

Working Better Together - findings of consultation process on business planning and risk management

€21,525

2016

Alpha Healthcare Ltd

Working Better Together - findings of Project group consultation and engagement processes

€31,817

2016

The Performance Partnership

Working Better Together Department of Health Learning and Development Strategy including approaches to coaching and mentoring

€24,650

2016

Skills for Health

National evaluation of nursing and midwifery key performance indicators

€20,122

2016

Research Matters

Report on the Newborn Screening Archive Forum (27 October 2016)

€12,116

2016

UCC

Research on Teaching of evidence based practice in Ireland

€24,699

2016

Centre for Effectiveness Services

Training and resources in Implementation Science for National Clinical Guidelines

€24,900

2016

UCD

Prevalence of pain and constipation in patients attending Cancer Centres in Ireland: a national survey

€ 2,000

2016

Milliman

Report on incorporating DRGs into the Irish Risk Equalisation Scheme

€ 39,497

2016

University College Cork

Baseline research to inform update of NCEC NCG No. 2 and No. 3

€ 23,631

2016

DCU

Development of a framework for patient and public involvement in NCEC’s Clinical effectiveness process

€ 39,916

2015

UCC,UCD, NUIG

Publication of a policy on future community nursing and midwifery, public health nursing and related support grades within the context of health reform

€ 24,533

2015

DCU

Patient Engagement in the governance and development of national clinical effectiveness processes

€ 34,743

2015

Prospectus

Consultation and report to inform the development of a policy on Trauma System for Ireland

€ 104,242

2015

Amarach Research

Alcohol Labelling Research

€ 150,368

2015

NUIG

Suite of Literature Reviews to support National Clinical Guidelines

€ 159,645

2015

UCC

Clinical Guideline 2 (NEWS Update, NCG No. 1)

€ 22,743

2015

ICF Consulting Services/DKM Economic Consultants

An assessment of the economic costs of smoking in Ireland

€ 49,799

2015

Prospectus

Code of Conduct for Health and Social Service Providers

€ 86,138

2015

UCD

Provision of an Evidence Review to inform Future Specialist and Advanced Nursing Practice

€ 11,119

2015

UCD

Clinical Handover Guideline

€ 86,292

2015

DCU

Management of the Acute Adult Asthma Patient - provision of research

€ 9,973

2015

DCU

Paediatric Early Warning Score - Pre-implementation research

€ 23,978

2015

INDECON Economic Consultants

Analysis of potential measures to encourage the provision of Primary Care facilities

€ 143,485

2015

DKM Economic Consultants

Analysis of potential measures to encourage the provision of Nursing Homes and Community Nursing Unit facilities

€ 144,586

2014

Trutz Haase, OCC Ltd & University

of Sheffield

Development and implementation of an evidence based National Oral Health Policy

€34,804

2014

DCU School of Nursing

Report to support the Taskforce on Staffing and Skill mix for nursing

€ 7,418

2014

DCU School of Nursing

Literature Review and Nursing Workforce Evaluation to Support the Taskforce on Staffing and Skill Mix

€ 19,845

2014

Crowe Horwath

Thematic Analysis of Submissions in response to a Public Consultation on the White Paper for Universal Health Insurance

€ 39,176

2014

NUI Galway

Systematic literature review Maternity Early Warning Score

€ 23,935

2014

DCU

Systematic literature review Paediatric Early Warning Score

€ 20,095

2014

UCC

Systematic literature review Clinical Practice Guidance

€ 20,712

2014

Sinéad Shannon

Review of the international evidence and literature on selection criteria for the Outcomes Framework

€ 5,000

2013

Prospectus Strategy Consultants

Review of Staffing Resources and Organisational Structure of the Department of Health

€ 72,940

2013

Deloitte and Touche Consultants Ltd

Review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme

€ 61,800

2013

Matheson Ormsby Prentice

Legal Research and advisory services on the design and implementation of an insurance based health system providing universal coverage in Ireland

€ 123,000

2013

Prof. Oonagh Walsh

Report on symphysiotomy in Ireland, 1944-1984

€ 49,500

2013

Ernst & Young

Reports relating to the development of the Programme Management Office (cost includes a range of consultancy services)

€ 79,212

2013

Dr. Sinead Hanafin & Associates

Review of the Traveller Health Advisory Committee

€ 6,150

2013

Prospectus

Overview of the development of the Health & Wellbeing Programme

€ 15,156

2013

Research Matters

Provision of Research Management Services

€ 74,490

2013

Institute of Public Health

Analysis re Consultation (Tobacco Products Directive)

€ 5,000

2013

Professor Hammond

Research on Standardised Packaging- Irish Context

€ 5,000

2013

CJP Consultants

Preparation of report on the efficacy of minimum pricing and other public policies for alcohol.

€ 31,488

2013

Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland

Annual Report of the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body (AMCMB)

€ 21,115

2012

McGee Pharma International

Labelling of Medicinal Products in both Irish and English

€ 13,644

2012

Goodbody Stockbrokers and Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors

Further Analysis of Options in relation to the restructuring of the Irish Private Health Insurance Market

€ 62,349

2012

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with the assistance of PwC

Review of the Department of Health's Parliamentary and Legislative Processes

€ 18,020

2012

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

A survey of experience and qualifications in the Department of Health

None

2012

Michael Collins Associates

Supplementary Report and Addendum on Cost Comparison for the Dolphin Review Group

€ 12,423

2012

John Martin

Further assessment of planning issues in relation to proposed sites for the Dolphin Review Group

€ 6,000

2012

Simon Clear

Further assessment of planning issues in relation to proposed sites for the Dolphin Review Group

€ 9,475

2012

The Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCC, in conjunction with the Centre for Health Policy and Management, TCD.

The Efficiency Review of the BreastCheck Screening Programme

€ 71,270

2012

Mr. Gerard Mullaly

Reforming Chronic Care: Financing and Delivering Integrated Chronic Care

€ 5,227

2012

Mr. Gerard Mullaly

The Integrated Continuing Care System (ICCS): Reforming Elderly Care in Ireland

€ 7,558

2012

Matheson Ormsby Prentice

Options Appraisal of multi-payer universal health insurance models: Preliminary advice

€ 6,150

2012

Department of Health/SIRA Consulting

Report on the baseline measurement of the administrative burden from the Department of Health (as part of a cross Departmental project coordinated by Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

€ 14,000

2011

Goodbody Stockbrokers and Matteson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors

Commissioned to undertake are review of the Irish Private Health Insurance Market in Relation to the options which may exist for re-balancing

€ 300,080

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (1243)

Shane Cassells

Question:

1243. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the photography costs for his Department in each year since March 2011, including costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used, in tabular form; if there is a policy in his Department regarding the booking of photographers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32267/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The full information requested by the Deputy is not immediately available, photography costs for 2011 to 2017 are set out below, costs for 2018 and 2019 (to date) will be collated and forwarded to the Deputy in due course.

Please note that it is the policy in the Department only to engage external services, including photography, where it is felt to be appropriate and cost-effective, e.g., to promote awareness of new schemes or to invite public consultations on policy matters. In doing so, the Department takes account of Government decisions and policy.

Year

Amount €

Company

Details

2017

1,968

Conor McCabe photography

National Patient Safety Office Conference

2017

369

Conor McCabe photography

Launch of Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial resistance 2017-2020

2017

189

Maxwell Photography

EU Ambassadors Meeting re EMA bid

2017

344

Maxwell Photography

Steering Group on the role of Voluntary Organisations in publicly funded health services

2017

492

Andres Poveda Photography Ltd

Planning permission lodged for National Maternity Hospital

2017

646

Julien Behal

Launch of the National Cancer Strategy

2017

615

Robbie Reynolds Photography

EMA Campaign

2017

615

Robbie Reynolds Photography

Healthy Workplace Framework Consultation launch

2017

861

Marc O’Sullivan Photography

Healthy Ireland Network launch

2017

591

Barry Cronin Photography

Healthy Ireland Survey launch

2016

553

Conor McCabe photography

Launch of the National Physical Activity Plan

2016

301

Stephen Wall Morris

Conference – Reaffirming the Values of Nursing and Midwifery

2016

430

Conor McCabe photography

Launch of the Obesity Policy and Action Plan

2016

492

JCP Photography

Launch of the National Drugs Strategy Public Consultation

2016

553

Marc O’Sullivan Photography

Launch of the Healthy Ireland Survey Wave 2

2016

707

Marc O’Sullivan Photography

Launch of the Healthy Cities and Counties Network of Ireland

2016

1,968

Conor McCabe photography

1st National Patient Safety Conference

2015

600

Robbie Reynolds Photography

Department of Health Consultation Event 2015

2015

450

Mark Stedman

Launch of National Sexual Health Strategy

2015

450

Marc O'Sullivan Photography

Launch of the Healthy Ireland Survey 2015

2015

150

Conor O'Mearain

Photography for new Healthy

Ireland website and social media

2015

39

Shutterstock

Purchase of stock photography for Healthy Ireland website

2014

369

Conor McCabe photography

All Ireland Chief Nursing Officers' Conference

2014

308

Conor McCabe photography

HSE Aviva Stakeholder Consultation

2014

308

Robbie Reynolds Photography

All Ireland Chief Nursing Officers' Conference

2014

1,046

Conor McCabe photography

Portrait of Council Members

2014

431

Conor McCabe photography

Launch of the National Rare Disease Plan for Ireland

2014

246

Robbie Reynolds Photography

Ministerial Meeting of the British Irish Council – Misuse of Substances Sectoral Group, Dublin Castle

2013

738

Robbie Reynolds Photography

Symposium for Senior Pharmaceutical Policy-makers

2013

105

Fennells

Joint Meeting of Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nursing Officers

2013

117

Fennells

National Drugs Coordinators Meeting

2013

314

1 Image Photography

NPHDB/CHGB Joint Induction Day

2013

234

Donagh Glavin Photography

Photography costs for John Higgins Chair of the Strategic Board on Hospital Groups

2013

554

Tobacco Free Ireland Launch

Conor McCabe Photography Ltd

2013

437

Derek Speirs

First National Clinical Effectiveness Symposium

2013

559

Photocall Ireland

Launch of the Healthy Ireland Report

2013

615

Robbie Reynolds Photography

Launch of Healthy Ireland Report

2012

318

Derek Speirs

2nd National Patient Safety Conference

2012

431

Conor McCabe photography

Consultation Day on Rare Disease Plan for Ireland

2012

584

Closing Conference to mark the end of the European Year for Active Ageing and

Solidarity between Generations 2012 in Ireland (in which the Department of

Health was co-ordinating)

Tommy Clancy Photography

2011

800

Seminar: Parental Substance Misuse – Addressing its Impact on Children A review of the Literature

Conor Healy

Legal Costs

Questions (1244)

Shane Cassells

Question:

1244. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the expenditure incurred in respect of external legal fees in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32284/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The information is provided in the table.

Year

Value

2011 (since 01 March 2011)

35,854.56

2012

111,642.92

2013

39,950.51

2014

31,597.23

2015

28,697.21

2016

66,364.81

2017

35,981.54

2018

156,628.27

2019

33,303.34

TOTAL

540,020.39

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (1245)

Shane Cassells

Question:

1245. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the expenditure incurred in external information technology costs in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32301/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I assume that the Deputy is referring to ICT capital expenditure which is detailed in the following tables. Table 1 details HSE and non-HSE agency expenditure for each year from 2011 to 2018. Non-HSE agency ICT capital expenditure is drawn from my Department's Vote 38 Capital Services Grants. The equivalent HSE Vote allocation for the years 2011 to 2018 is listed in Table 2.

The Deputy will note that the increasing levels of ICT expenditure shown demonstrate a focused approach to the delivery of technology where it is needed across healthcare settings and systems nationwide.

A significant portion of the capital allocation and expenditure on ICT each year is to replace and upgrade the existing ICT infrastructure and ICT systems necessary to support patient care and to provide a range of corporate ICT systems. The balance of capital expenditure on information technology is for ICT projects that support my Department's eHealth strategy, the Sláintecare reform programme and the HSE Knowledge & Information Plan, as part of a rolling annual programme of work.

Table 1: Full Year ICT Capital Expenditure 2011 to 2018

Year

Expenditure €

Expenditure €

Total

HSE

Non-HSE Agency

2011

13,739,790

191,699

13,931,489

2012

18,693,307

317,624

19,010,931

2013

39,215,446

536,826

39,752,272

2014

39,824,906

519,584

40,344,490

2015

53,352,874

1,059,038

54,411,912

2016

52,240,935

1,120,095

53,361,030

2017

54,914,782

1,139,624

56,054,406

2018

59,592,511

742,179

60,334,690

Table 2: ICT Capital Allocation for HSE 2011 to 2018

Year

HSE Vote

2011

40,000,000

2012

40,000,000

2013

40,000,000

2014

40,000,000

2015

55,000,000

2016

55,000,000

2017

55,000,000

2018

60,000,000

Orthodontic Services Provision

Question No. 1247 answered with Question No. 1113.

Questions (1246)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

1246. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will be considered by the HSE for orthodontic treatment in view of the extenuating circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32341/19]

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.

Question No. 1247 answered with Question No. 1113.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (1248)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

1248. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delays in the opening of the Bettystown primary care centre; the services the centre will provide; the date for the opening of the centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32346/19]

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 Equipment

Questions (1249)

Seán Fleming

Question:

1249. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a MRI scanner at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32355/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (1250)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

1250. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Health the steps he taking to ensure that Irish nationals with multiple sclerosis have the same access to new medicines and in the same timeframe as persons throughout western Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32357/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under European and Irish legislation, before a medicine can be placed on the market the manufacturer must seek a marketing authorisation from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), or in the case of certain medicines, the European Medicines Agency. Medicines, containing a new active ingredient, indicated for use in, inter alia, a neurodegenerative disorder, such as Multiple Sclerosis, can only submit an application for a marketing authorisation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on behalf of the European Commission. European legislation, including Regulation (EC) No 726/2004 clearly sets out the defined timelines that must be met by the Agency in processing such applications.

Once a marketing authorisation has been granted by the European Commission this must be followed by an actual placing of the medicine on the Union market within 3 years else the marketing authorisation ceases to be valid. This means that the product must be marketed in at least one Member State. The decision to place a centrally authorised medicine on a particular Member State market is a commercial one for the marketing authorisation holder.

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

Under the 2013 Act, if a company wishes to have a medicine reimbursed through the community drugs schemes; it must first submit an application to the HSE to have the medicine added to the Reimbursement List.

As outlined in the Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines, and in line with the 2013 Act, the HSE will decide, within 180 days of receiving the application (or a longer period if further information is sought from the company in order to appropriately determine the application), to add the medicine to the reimbursement list, agree to reimburse it as a hospital medicine, or refuse to reimburse it.

HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE conducts health technology assessments (HTA) for the HSE and makes recommendations on reimbursement to assist HSE decisions. The NCPE uses a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention.

The HSE strives to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible. However, because of the significant monies involved, it must ensure that the best price is achieved, as these commitments are often multi-million euro investments on an on-going basis. This can lead to a protracted deliberation process.

The HSE has advised that it has received 2 applications for pricing and reimbursement of Ocrelizumab in Multiple Sclerosis.

Application 1 is for use of Ocrelizumab for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) with active disease defined by clinical or imaging features. Following a number of rounds of commercial negotiations, agreement has been reached in relation to the commercial terms which will apply to this indication when reimbursed. The HSE is currently working on putting in place the required administrative processes to support reimbursement of this specific indication.

Application 2 is for the use of Ocrelizumab for the treatment of adult patients with early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) in terms of disease duration and level of disability, and with imaging features characteristic of inflammatory activity. The HSE and the manufacturer have had a number of rounds of commercial negotiations in relation to this indication (use). Commercial discussions have concluded, the medicine has been reviewed by the HSE Drugs Group and the HSE Senior Leadership Team have received the Drugs Group recommendation. The HSE's final decision on reimbursement will take into consideration the statutory criteria contained in the 2013 Health Act.

The HSE has also commissioned a HTA of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabidiol, THC/CBD (Sativex) which is indicated as treatment for symptom improvement in adult patients with moderate to severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) who have not responded adequately to other anti-spasticity medication and who demonstrate clinically significant improvement in spasticity related symptoms during an initial trial of therapy. The NCPE are currently awaiting the manufacturer to supply them with information to continue the HTA process.

Hospital Staff

Questions (1251)

Seán Haughey

Question:

1251. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if the sanctioning of a career break will be facilitated for a hospital consultant (details supplied) in view of the circumstances of the case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32358/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (1252)

Seán Fleming

Question:

1252. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be facilitated in a hospital unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32359/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1253, 1254, 1255)

Joan Collins

Question:

1253. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health his views on whether there is acute inequality within dementia-specific community services nationally; and his views on whether a proposal (details supplied) would transform the lives of persons living with Alzheimer's disease. [32361/19]

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Joan Collins

Question:

1254. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health his views on whether there is an acute need for more intensive home care packages to enable persons to stay at home; and his views on whether a proposal (details supplied) is a much needed investment to allow persons to stay at home. [32367/19]

View answer

Joan Collins

Question:

1255. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health his views on whether a €1 million investment to resource dementia-inclusive community co-ordinators throughout Ireland is needed. [32369/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1253 to 1255, inclusive, together.

The National Dementia Strategy, which was published in December 2014 and is being implemented by the National Dementia Office, aims to improve care, services and supports for people with dementia. Progress made to date and future plans are outlined in the mid-term review of the Strategy, published in May 2018.

The HSE currently provides approximately €9 million per annum for intensive home care packages, including €7.9 million for dementia-specific packages. Since the packages were introduced at the end of 2014, 443 dementia-specific intensive homecare packages have been delivered, with 201 active at the end of March 2019.

A total of €426 million has been allocated for home support services in 2019, which also benefit people with dementia. It is expected that over 17.9 million home support hours will be delivered to over 53,000 people this year.

The HSE provides in the region of €12 million in annual funding to support the work of a range of organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers around the country.

In addition, the HSE provides €400,000 per annum in support for the Dementia Adviser Service which spans 12 counties and is operated by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. This funding supports 7 of the 9 dementia adviser posts delivering the service.

€6.26 million has been secured through Dormant Accounts funding for a range of dementia projects being rolled out by the National Dementia Office. This includes the salary and programme costs in 2018 and 2019 related to a Dementia Community Activation Coordinator, which is a joint role between the HSE and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The Coordinator is working with national organisations and key community stakeholders to increase the number of community dementia champions across Ireland in order to create sustainable dementia inclusive communities.

Last week, I launched a €1 million fund for community and voluntary groups to continue to support older people to stay well and remain connected with their local community. Approximately €250,000 of this funding will be dedicated to dementia related initiatives.

As the Deputy will be aware, during 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a baseline study into what, where and when dementia services are being offered. This study has also been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website which allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.

The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE, including proposals to enhance dementia services, will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.