Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Questions (1180)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

1180. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when persons (details supplied) who were assessed in 2016 by the HSE in Merlin Park, Galway, as needing orthodontic treatment will receive an appointment for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31957/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Questions (1181)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1181. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if media reports that the rehabilitation training allowance that is currently paid to school leavers with disabilities who wish to take up training will no longer be paid to new entrants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31959/19]

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.

Health Services Funding

Questions (1182)

Noel Grealish

Question:

1182. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the reason no funding was provided in response to the CHO 2 region application for a pilot enablement programme, which had been proven to reduce the number of persons requiring home help; if funding for such a programme, which is similar to one successfully run in Dublin previously, will now be granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31964/19]

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

Home Help Service Data

Questions (1183)

Noel Grealish

Question:

1183. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in County Galway and nationally waiting for an assessment or reassessment for home help hours and for additional home help hours; the number approved but on a waiting list; the length of time each has been waiting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31965/19]

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

Questions (1184)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

1184. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a project (details supplied) in County Cork. [31966/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (1185)

Robert Troy

Question:

1185. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [31967/19]

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 (1186)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1186. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for hip surgery at Cappagh hospital. [31968/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (1187)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1187. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health when Spinraza will be made available to adults with spinal muscular atrophy; the assessment undertaken on the effectiveness of the drug for adults with the condition; the estimated annual cost of extending provision of Spinraza to adults with the condition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31969/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (1188)

Barry Cowen

Question:

1188. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment. [31970/19]

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 Transfers

Questions (1189)

James Browne

Question:

1189. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive notice of when he or she will be transferred for rehabilitation at a hospital following a seven-month wait; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31975/19]

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.

Transport Support Scheme

Questions (1190)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1190. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health when a transport support scheme will be introduced for disabled persons; when a memorandum on same will be brought to the Government; and the expected cost of introducing such a scheme. [31977/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in 2013.

With regard to the proposals for a new Health (Transport Support) Bill, the Deputy may be aware that my colleague, the Minister for Health and I, brought a Memorandum to Government on proposals for a new Transport Support Payment Scheme. Following consideration of the matter, it was decided to withdraw the Memorandum from the Cabinet Agenda at that time. I intend to revert to Government in due course with revised proposals to reflect the discussions at that Cabinet meeting and further discussions between myself and Minister Harris, on the best way to progress the Transport Scheme.

As to the Deputy's question regarding projected costs of a new Transport Support scheme, the clear instruction from Government is that eligibility criteria for a new scheme must focus on those with the greatest need who have the least resources available to them. Defining eligibility criteria for any scheme requires careful consideration, is difficult to estimate and would involve major budgetary implications. Competing demands within the wider disability budget and elsewhere must also be factored in.

As of January this year, 3,790 persons who were in receipt of the Mobility Allowance at the time that the scheme closed, have continued to receive the monthly payment. I can assure the Deputy of our efforts continue to find a solution which meets the policy objective, is fair, financially affordable and legally sound.

It is important to note that the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme, operated by the Revenue Commissioners, remains in place. This scheme provides VRT and VAT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with a disability, who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in governing regulations made by the Minister for Finance. Specifically adapted vehicles driven by persons with a disability are also exempt from payment of tolls on national roads and toll bridges. Transport Infrastructure Ireland has responsibility for this particular scheme.

There are improvements in access to a range of transport support schemes available to persons with disabilities in the State and on-going work is being carried out by Government Departments, agencies and transport providers to further improve access to public transport services. Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of public transport for people with a disability.

The Deputy may wish to note that my colleague the Minister for Rural and Community Development recently announced CLÁR funding of €890,632 to 20 voluntary community organisations. This funding will support the purchase and/or fit out of vehicles to provide transport for people in rural areas with mobility issues. It will support voluntary organisations that provide:-

- transport for people with significant mobility issues, including those requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles, to day-care or other medical, therapeutic or respite services; or

- transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres under the National Cancer Care Programme.

Mental Health Services Staff

Questions (1191)

James Browne

Question:

1191. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if all front-line mental health staff in CHO 5 have access to Children First mandatory training. [31984/19]

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 (1192)

Seán Fleming

Question:

1192. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when Spinraza will be made available to persons who have been diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 2; if the matter will be reviewed in view of the fact that it has been made more widely available in other countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31992/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 to be applied in the making of reimbursement decisions which include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the product, the opportunity cost and the impact on resources that are available to the HSE.

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

However, I can advise you that on 11 June 2019, the HSE Leadership Team approved access to the drug Nusinersen (Spinraza) for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type I, II or III on an exceptional and individualised basis.

The HSE decision process in relation to Spinraza involved a full Health Technology Assessment followed by detailed consideration by the HSE expert groups on new drug therapies, including the Technology Review Group for Rare Diseases and the Drugs Committee. Evidence of the clinical effectiveness of this new drug therapy was also reviewed.

The recommendation is to approve access for children with genetically confirmed SMA Type I, II or III, in accordance with the controlled access criteria recommended by the Rare Diseases Technology Review Committee. The rare diseases committee recommendation was clearly targeted at the youngest and most severely affected SMA patients, and this group is the clear priority for the HSE. The actual patient assessment and approval process will be the means for determining access on an individual case by case basis.

Home Care Packages Data

Questions (1193)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1193. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of personnel engaged in the delivery of home care packages either directly through the HSE or through selected agencies; the extent to which the number has fluctuated in each of the past four years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31993/19]

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.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Eligibility

Questions (1194)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1194. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if children referred for orthodontic procedures and on the waiting list can have the procedures carried out under the treatment purchase fund or another scheme abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31994/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) works with public hospitals, as opposed to with patients directly, to offer and provide the funding for treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic.

The NTPF advise that they do provide treatment for patients who are awaiting procedures under the category of 'Dental/Maxilla-Facial Surgery'. The NTPF further advise that children can avail of treatment through the NTPF, including for dental procedures. The key criteria of the NTPF is the prioritisation of the longest waiting patients first. While the NTPF identifies patients eligible for NTPF treatment, it is solely on the basis of their time spent on the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List. The clinical suitability of the patient to avail of NTPF funded treatment is determined by the public hospital.

In relation to whether children referred for orthodontic procedures and on the waiting list can have the procedures carried out under another scheme abroad, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Questions (1195)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1195. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if radiographer vacancies for DEXA scanning services at Naas General Hospital have been filled further to a recent recruitment campaign; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31995/19]

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.

Health Services Data

Questions (1196)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1196. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in each CHO area waiting for an ophthalmology appointment in primary care at the end of June 2019 or the latest date available; and the number waiting zero to 12, 12 to 26, 26 to 52 and more than 52 weeks, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31996/19]

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.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (1197)

Noel Rock

Question:

1197. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Health if plans by the HSE to increase staffing levels in therapy disciplines to support the assessment of needs process for children in CHO Dublin north city and county will be expedited in view of the long waiting times for referrals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32005/19]

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.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (1198)

Seán Haughey

Question:

1198. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health when an assessment of needs will be carried out in respect of a child (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32006/19]

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.

Medical Card Administration

Questions (1199)

Martin Ferris

Question:

1199. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health the status of a person (details supplied) with cystic fibrosis whose medical card has lapsed and is in the process of renewal should he or she require hospitalisation or be called for a lung transplant while the card has lapsed. [32010/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Cancer Services Funding

Questions (1200)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1200. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of increasing funding of the national cancer control programme by 10%, 15% and 20%, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32016/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) has a budget of €94.7m in 2019. The cost of increasing the 2020 budget by 10%, 15% and 20% is set out below:

2019 Opening Budget

€94.7m

10% increase on 2019 Budget

€9.47m

15% increase on 2019 Budget

€14.20m

20% increase on 2019 Budget

€18.94m

Decisions on the funding of cancer services next year will be made in the context of the Estimates process for 2020.

Cancer Services Funding

Questions (1201)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1201. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided for the Skin Cancer Prevention Plan 2019-2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32017/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Skin Cancer Prevention Plan was an action arising from the National Cancer Strategy. I launched this important plan with Minister Simon Harris on 27th May 2019.

The plan was developed by the Department of Health in conjunction with the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and key stakeholders including other Government Departments and national organisations representing priority groups, including the Irish Cancer Society, Marie Keating Foundation, the Irish Skin Foundation and Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Funding for the implementation for the Skin Cancer Prevention Plan will be considered in the context of the estimates process.

Speech and Language Therapy Staff

Questions (1202)

John Curran

Question:

1202. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health his plans for additional therapy staff in order to meet demands for speech and language therapy services in the CHO 6 Dublin west area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32018/19]

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.

Hospitals Discharges

Questions (1203)

John Curran

Question:

1203. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the number of delayed discharges in Tallaght, St. James's, Blanchardstown and St. Vincent's University hospitals on account of an absence of home support services in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32022/19]

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.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (1204)

John Curran

Question:

1204. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the progress in meeting the target of providing home help to 53,000 persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32023/19]

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.