Emergency Departments Data

Questions (1705)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1705. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the number of children presenting at emergency departments here with self-harm injuries, suicide attempts and-or overdoses in each of the years 2014 to 2018; the location of same in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33809/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (1706, 1737)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

1706. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if persons given a cancer diagnosis will receive emergency medical cards (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33811/19]

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Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

1737. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if persons who receive a cancer diagnosis receive emergency medical cards in view of the fact they have to wait a long time to get their medical cards assessed and in the meantime endure very high medical expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33874/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1706 and 1737 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the HSE's Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility examined the issue of awarding medical cards on the basis of illness and concluded that it was not feasible, desirable, nor ethically justifiable to list medical conditions in priority order for medical card eligibility. The Expert Group also concluded that a person’s means should remain the main qualifier for a medical card. This position remains unchanged.

Nevertheless, every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of the difficult circumstances in the case of applicants who may be in excess of the income guidelines. The HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card, even though an applicant exceeds the income threshold where they face difficult financial circumstances, such as extra costs arising from an illness.

Social and medical issues are considered when determining whether undue hardship exists for an individual accessing general practitioner or other medical services. The HSE affords applicants the opportunity to furnish supporting information documentation to fully take account of all the relevant circumstances that may benefit them in the assessment including medical evidence of cost and necessary expenses.

While it is none the less important to note that eligibility for a medical card remains primarily on the basis of financial assessment, I do recognise that patients require a responsive and efficient health system to meet their medical needs, which may often be required urgently. With regard to persons suffering from cancer and other serious medical conditions the HSE also has a system in place for the provision of medical cards in response to emergency situations i.e. in circumstances where persons are in need of urgent or on-going medical care that they cannot afford and also for persons in palliative care who are terminally ill. These medical cards are issued within 24 hours of receipt of the required patient details and a letter which confirms the medical condition from a doctor or consultant. With the exception of terminally ill patients, all medical cards, granted on an emergency basis, are followed up with a full application within a number of weeks.

I would also like to note that since 1 July 2015, the HSE adopted the position that all children under 18 years of age with a diagnosis of cancer are awarded a medical card. This card is valid for a period of five years.

Emergency Departments Data

Questions (1707)

James Browne

Question:

1707. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 485 of 2 January 2019 and 710 of 26 March 2019, the number of children referred to a psychiatric service following an emergency department attendance with health issues including but not limited to self-harm injuries, suicide attempts or overdoses in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the location of same in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33814/19]

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.

Healthcare Policy

Questions (1708)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1708. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the development of a target operating model for integrated information services within the HSE. [33821/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

An update on the action that the Deputy refers to has been provided in the Quarter 2 Sláintecare deliverables report which has been published on the Department of Health website at https://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/slaintecare-mid-year-report-2019/.

Healthcare Policy

Questions (1709)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1709. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if principles for the national framework for models of care design have been finalised. [33822/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

An update on the action that the Deputy refers to has been provided in the Quarter 2 Sláintecare deliverables report which has been published on the Department of Health website at https://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/slaintecare-mid-year-report-2019/.

Ambulance Service

Questions (1710)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1710. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the development of ambulance bypass protocols. [33823/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Health Services

Questions (1711)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1711. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the review and report of specialist cardiac services. [33824/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

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

Health Services

Questions (1712)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1712. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if a lean capacity improvement plan has been developed. [33825/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

An update on the action that the Deputy refers to has been provided in the Quarter 2 Sláintecare deliverables report which has been published on the Department of Health website at https://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/slaintecare-mid-year-report-2019/.

Health Services Charges

Questions (1713)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1713. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the review of the basis for existing hospital and medication charges. [33826/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The vision of Sláintecare is to achieve a universal single-tier health and social care system where everyone has equitable access to services based on need and not ability to pay. In its report, the Houses of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare called for a universal health system accessible to all on the basis of need, free at the point of delivery (or at the lowest possible cost). Over time, the vision is that everyone will have entitlement to a comprehensive range of primary, acute and social care services at no cost or at a substantially reduced cost and that the vast majority of this care will be provided in primary and community settings.

Within the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, Strategic Action 6 aims to expand eligibility on a phased basis to move towards universal healthcare and support a shift to community-based care. The vision is that all citizens will have universal access to healthcare, in both the acute and community settings. In order to achieve this goal, there will need to be an expansion in eligibility, particularly for primary and community care. Although there is wide-ranging agreement that Ireland should move in the direction of a universal single-tier health service, there is also widespread acknowledgement that this goal presents a number of challenges.

As detailed in the Sláintecare Action Plan for 2019, the department is currently reviewing the basis for existing hospital and medication charges and it is anticipated that the review will be finalised shortly. By the end of 2019, the Department will seek to develop options for future changes to hospital and medication charges and develop policy options for achieving universal eligibility.

Multi-annual Budget Plans

Questions (1714, 1808)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1714. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the work of the interdepartmental working group to review multi-annual health budgeting. [33827/19]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1808. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of plans to base health expenditure on multi-year budgeting supported by a five-year health service plan based on realistic and verifiable projections [34088/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1714 and 1808 together.

The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to reforming the funding system to support new models of care and drive value to make better use of resources. My Department is examining the feasibility of introducing a multi-annual budgeting process including examination of international best practice in relation to the implementation of multi-annual budgeting in healthcare systems. This work will inform the interdepartmental working group which is due to meet later in the year.

Consultancy Contracts

Questions (1715)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

1715. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the governance review of drugs approval and procurement process. [33828/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department has completed a tender process for a review of the HSE reimbursement and pricing decision-making process and Mazars has been appointed as the consultancy firm to complete this review. Work on the review is progressing.

The review will make recommendations, as considered appropriate, in respect of any required improvements to the HSE’s systems, structures, processes, governance arrangements or use of specialist resources in respect of the review.

In making its recommendations, the review will have regard to best practice regarding the procurement of medicines, the conduct of high-value commercial negotiations, governance, organisational structures, skill-mix and oversight.

Autism Support Services

Questions (1716, 1717, 1718, 1719)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1716. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the current model of care and clinical pathway for persons with autism spectrum disorder employed by the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33829/19]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1717. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if audits have been carried out by the HSE over the past three years to monitor provision of services and supports to persons living with autism spectrum disorder; if he will provide such audits which have taken place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33830/19]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1718. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the training model provided to health professionals that are engaged to work with persons with autism spectrum disorder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33831/19]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1719. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the model of care for adults living with autism here; the services that exist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33832/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1716 to 1719, 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.

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1720)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1720. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health his plans to open new full-time residential units for persons with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33833/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

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

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1721)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1721. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the number of business cases within the HSE for the development of new full-time residential units for persons with disabilities; the locations of these business cases; the funding required to develop these units; the amount of funding provided in 2019 if a unit opened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33834/19]

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 Funding

Questions (1722)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1722. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the business cases and additional funding applications submitted by Cavan and Monaghan hospitals, which require additional capital and revenue funding; the capital required; the status of each such project; the timeline for delivery of each project in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33835/19]

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.

Mental Health Services Data

Questions (1723)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1723. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the number of adult and older persons community mental teams operational by CHO in tabular form; the number of clinical staff at all grades attached to these teams; the number of vacancies that exist in these teams; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33836/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Staff Remuneration

Questions (1724)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1724. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the number of staff employed by the HSE or employed through agencies that earn an hourly rate below the living wage of €12.30 per hour; the estimated cost of increasing their salary to pay the living wage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33837/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked that the HSE respond to you directly on the aspect of the question that relates to their public sector employees. In relation to Non-Commercial State Agencies under the remit of the Department, this information is being sought and will be forwarded to the Deputy when collated.

Home Help Service Expenditure

Questions (1725)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1725. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the estimated full-year cost of providing an additional 1 million home support hours for older persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33838/19]

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 Reimbursement

Questions (1726)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1726. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the cost of the recent decision to approve Spinraza for children up to 18 years of age; the estimated cost for extending approval and reimbursing Spinraza for adults living with spinal muscular atrophy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33839/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Programme for Government Implementation

Questions (1727)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1727. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the progress made establishing a single national means testing body ensuring a single application process for services or entitlements across all agencies as per A Programme for a Partnership Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33840/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government commitment in this area would be a major project across a range of Government Departments and agencies that operate schemes and services on a means/income tested basis. Significant operational, legislative and technical challenges would be involved.

However, some progress has been made in simplifying the means assessment process.

For example, in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, IT developments in recent years have allowed for the capture and storage of means data and the reuse of that data. Among the many potential benefits of this reuse are a reduced administrative burden on staff and customers through greater accuracy of information, a reduced need to repeatedly ask for the same information and the ability to make better informed decisions regarding reviews.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1728)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1728. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if an examination of transport service provision for young persons with disabilities was undertaken to ensure that the service was fit for purpose and consistent with their needs as outlined in A Programme for a Partnership Government; the outcome of the examination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33843/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Transport has been raised as an issue and the HSE are in the process of carrying out a mapping exercise of disability transport routes nationally.

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 (1729)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1729. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the number of day places for school leavers with disabilities available; if there is a waiting list for additional day places; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33844/19]

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.