Question No. 1630 answered with Question No. 1113.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (1631)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1631. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting so long for an operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33639/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

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

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

Hospital Accommodation Provision

Questions (1632)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1632. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of additional high-dependency unit beds in Cavan General Hospital. [33650/19]

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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.

Health Services Provision

Questions (1633)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1633. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) can no longer attend Crannog day centre, Castleblayney, County Monaghan; the reason they have been told the service can not cater for persons over 65 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33651/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (1634)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1634. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting so long on hearing aids; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33652/19]

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.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (1635, 1636, 1637)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1635. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the time for which women in counties Cavan and Monaghan have been waiting on smear test and CervicalCheck results to return to their general practitioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33653/19]

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Niamh Smyth

Question:

1636. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of women in counties Cavan and Monaghan waiting on smear test results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33654/19]

View answer

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1637. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of women in counties Cavan and Monaghan who availed of the CervicalCheck scan since 2018 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33655/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1635 to 1637, inclusive, together.

Regrettably, lab turnaround times for smear test results increased significantly during 2018 as a result of both out of cycle smears and greater uptake generally. However, the programme is now back to normal call-recall procedures and lab turnaround times are improving. As of 30 June, two laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and the Coombe, are processing tests in five weeks or less and the backlog of tests in MedLab has been reduced significantly, by more than 50%, and is now down to approximately 21,500, from 55,000 on 1 May last.

In relation to the specific data requested by the Deputy, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to her.

Home Help Service Eligibility

Questions (1638)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1638. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his views on the cuts to home help hours for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33657/19]

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.

Emergency Departments

Questions (1639)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

1639. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health his views on the safety of staff and patients in the emergency department of University Hospital Limerick in view of the fact it is regularly the most overcrowded hospital and overcrowding has necessitated calls to the fire chief in Limerick (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33658/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

This is a very busy period for our health services, with many hospitals reporting significant numbers of patient attendances. For the first six months of 2019, the number of patients attending hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) increased by 3.6%, and the number of ED admissions increased by 2.5% compared to the same period last year.

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has one of the busiest EDs in the country. Despite a 4.7% reduction in the number of patients waiting on trolleys at 8am in EDs nationally in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the number of patients recorded waiting on trolleys at 8am in UHL ED increased by 14% in this period compared to last year.

UHL was identified as one of the nine focus sites requiring additional investment and support during the winter period 2018/2019. This included additional home support packages, transitional care beds, and bed capacity. A further €1 million in funding was allocated to University Hospital Limerick for enhanced measures during the Winter Plan Focus Period. Key initiatives included extended opening hours in the AMAU, the opening of a surgical short stay unit, and additional access to diagnostics.

An independent expert review aimed at identifying the specific factors that contributed to performance over the winter period is now under way. The group will carry out a comparative analysis of unscheduled care performance across the nine hospital sites and the relevant Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) that were the subject of specific focused support through Winter 2018/2019. This will include UHL and CHO Mid-West. My Department and the HSE will receive the report of the independent review group and its recommendations in due course.

In relation to the Deputy's specific question about fire safety at UHL ED, I have asked the HSE to provide a response to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Car Parks

Questions (1640)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

1640. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the amount raised through public hospital car parking charges in 2017 and 2018 and to date in 2019; the amount paid to the private companies that operate hospital car parks; the amount retained by the hospital; the way in which it is used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33659/19]

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.

Addiction Treatment Services

Questions (1641, 1642)

Michael McGrath

Question:

1641. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the steps the HSE has taken to address the issues raised in the 2006 report Drug and Alcohol Detoxification Services: a needs assessment for Cork and Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33660/19]

View answer

Michael McGrath

Question:

1642. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number and location of medically supervised detox beds in Cork city and county; the plans of the HSE to increase the number of such detox beds; the services provided in a situation in which a detox bed is not available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33661/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1641 and 1642 together.

As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (1643)

Seán Haughey

Question:

1643. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health when a homecare package will be approved for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33698/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Services

Questions (1644)

David Cullinane

Question:

1644. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the estimated full-year cost of providing a mobile catheterisation laboratory for Waterford University Hospital, by current and capital expenditure, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33699/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1645)

John Lahart

Question:

1645. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the number of recommendations from the report on the residential needs of vulnerable deaf adults who are Irish sign language users that have been implemented; his plans to carry out a new report into the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33701/19]

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 (1646, 1647)

John Lahart

Question:

1646. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce an adult mental health and deafness service; the stage of the plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33702/19]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

1647. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there has never been specialist provision for deaf children despite research showing their increased risk in respect of mental health issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33703/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1646 and 1647 together.

As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1648)

John Lahart

Question:

1648. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health his plans to allocate funding to address the lack of services available for the deaf sign language community here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33704/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

A commitment of €60,000 additional funding is being provided to the Irish Deaf Society under a cross-departmental initiative.

The funding is a once-off grant for the purpose of developing a Business Plan and implementation strategy setting out a clear and detailed pathway to financial sustainability. Pobal are assisting in the oversight of the additional funds and related activities.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (1649)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

1649. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the steps that have been taken for children born before 2016 requiring access to the meningitis B vaccine in view of the cost for families in the low-income bracket; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33723/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is an independent committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland comprising of experts from a wide range of specialties, including infectious diseases, paediatrics, and public health, which makes recommendations to my Department on vaccination policy in Ireland. Its recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. NIAC continues to revise its recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in patterns of disease. Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time.

On foot of a previous recommendation by NIAC, the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule was amended in 2016 to include the introduction of the Meningitis B vaccine for all babies born on or after 1 October 2016. This change to the immunisation schedule took effect from 1 December 2016. The first dose of the vaccine is administered to children when they reach two months of age; a second dose is administered at four months and a third and final dose at twelve months. As Meningitis B disease is most common in babies under the age of 1 year old, the scheduling of the administration of the vaccine under the immunisation programme takes this into account.

In Ireland, Men B; Men C; PCV and Hib vaccines are offered to young children to protect them against meningitis and septicaemia. Ireland is the second country in Europe to make the Men B vaccine available free of charge as part of its national immunisation programme. All vaccines administered through the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule are provided free of charge.

There are no plans to introduce a catch-up programme for the Men B vaccine to be given to older children as NIAC has never recommended a catch up programme for children born before 1 October 2016. Parents may choose to have their older children vaccinated privately if they wish. While the purchase of the vaccine itself is not covered by the medical card scheme, those who have a medical card are eligible to have the vaccine administered free of charge by their GP.

Mental Health Services Data

Questions (1650)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1650. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the number of adults waiting for an outpatient assessment by a consultant psychiatrist in each month from June 2018 to date in 2019, in tabular form. [33724/19]

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 Staff

Questions (1651)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1651. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the number of consultant psychiatric posts across the health service; the number filled by permanent consultants; the number temporarily filled; the number currently vacant; and the length of time each has been vacant. [33725/19]

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 Data

Questions (1652)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1652. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the number of HSE community mental health teams operational nationally; the number of consultants employed in the teams permanently; the number temporarily filled; the number currently vacant; and the period each post has been vacant [33726/19]

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.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Questions (1653)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1653. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the number of HSE CAMHS teams established nationally; the number of consultant psychiatric posts allocated to the teams; the number of posts which are permanent; the number temporarily filled; the number unfilled; and the period for which the posts have been vacant. [33727/19]

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 Data

Questions (1654)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1654. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the number of HSE specialist community mental health services for older adults teams across the health service nationally; the number of consultant psychiatric posts allocated to the teams; the number of posts which are filled permanently; the number temporarily filled; the number unfilled; and the period the respective posts have been vacant. [33728/19]

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.