Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (820)

Kate O'Connell

Question:

820. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Health the progress in acquiring a site for the Knocklyon and Rathfarnham primary healthcare centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34831/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (821)

Kate O'Connell

Question:

821. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Health the funding to be allocated to drugs and alcohol local task forces in Dublin 24; if additional funding is being allocated in 2019; if so, the amount of additional funding; the timeline and criteria for its allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34833/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Drug and alcohol task forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of substance misuse in their areas, and in supporting community responses, as part of a coordinated approach involving all sectors at local and regional levels.

Task forces were allocated in the region of €28 million in funding for 2019. Tallaght Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force, which is responsible for the Dublin 24 area, was allocated €1,234,952 of this funding.

On 06 March 2019, I announced additional funding of €1 million for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy; Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery. This funding, which will be provided on a recurring, multi-annual basis, will address the priorities set down in the Strategy including early harm reduction responses, emerging trends in substance misuse, and improving services for at-risk groups.

Following consideration of the outcome of a consultation process with task forces and the HSE, I approved a three-strand funding model for this additional funding. Task forces were notified of this funding model on 18 May.

Strand 1 involves the allocation of €20,000 to each task force in 2019, which includes €10,000 provided on a recurring annual basis. This additional funding can be used to enhance local drug and alcohol services. The funding has been transferred to the HSE for distribution to the task forces.

Strand 2 provides funding for 12 strategic health initiatives on a regional basis, for a total of €190,000 over three years.

Strand 3 will support a strategic initiative on drug-related violence and intimidation.

The selection of the strategic initiatives will be based on a number of guiding principles, with a particular focus on actions which address emerging trends and patterns of drug use and improve drug and alcohol services for people with complex needs. An assessment committee is currently reviewing the applications and the results of this process will be announced shortly.

The additional funding reflects the Government's commitment to implementing an integrated public health response to substance misuse. I look forward to working in partnership with task forces, CHOs and other organisations to achieve the maximum impact from these resources.

Medical Card Eligibility

Questions (822)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

822. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the assistance which can be provided to a person (details supplied) in need of a medical card due to impending surgery for pancreatic cancer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34837/19]

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.

Ministerial Advisers Data

Questions (823)

Michael McGrath

Question:

823. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the name of each person employed as an adviser or special adviser to him and the Ministers of State in his Department; the salary of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34848/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the following table:

Adviser Name

Minister / Minister of State

Salary Scale(1 September, 2019)

Sarah Bardon

Simon Harris, T.D.

€87,325 - €107,399 (PPC)

Joanne Lonergan

Simon Harris, T.D.

€83,090 - €102,159

Gerard Maguire

Finian McGrath, T.D.

€83,090 - €102,159

Damien O'Farrell

Finian McGrath, T.D.

€87,325 - €107,399 (PPC)

Nicola Clavin

Catherine Byrne, T.D.

€67,659 - €83,740 (PPC)

Darren Hourihane

Jim Daly, T.D.

€67,659 - €83,740 (PPC)

In accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform instructions to Personnel Officers on Ministerial Appointments for the 32nd Dáil, the salary scale applicable to my advisers and those of Minister of State Finian McGrath, T.D. (who sits at Cabinet), is the standard scale for the grade of Principal Officer in the Civil Service as of 1 September 2019. The salary scale applicable to the special advisers appointed to Ministers of State Jim Daly, T.D. and Catherine Byrne, T.D. is the standard scale for the grade of Assistant Principal Officer in the Civil Service as of 1 September 2019.

Pharmacy Services

Questions (824)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

824. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the official HSE policy with regard to the filling of blister packs by pharmacists; if this process will incur a charge for patients; if the costs involved can be waived for medical card patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34854/19]

View answer

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.

Medicinal Products

Questions (825)

Seán Fleming

Question:

825. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when medicine will be provided for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34872/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Home Care Packages Data

Questions (826)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

826. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the percentage of home care provision being provided to persons under 65 years of age, aged 65 and over and 75 years of age and over; the smallest and largest number, respectively; the most commonly provided number of hours of service for persons aged 65 years of age and over in CHO 8; the number of persons in acute hospitals whose discharge is delayed while they await provision of a home care package; when the pilot for the single assessment tool information system commenced; and when it will be fully operational. [34875/19]

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.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (827)

Niall Collins

Question:

827. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the reason there is no clinical psychologist at a centre (details supplied); when it is expected one will be hired; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34886/19]

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 Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (828)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

828. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health when a device (details supplied) will made available for free to type 1 diabetics; the qualifying criteria for same; if patients on the earlier 640g model will be entitled to upgrade to the new 670g model automatically for free; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34893/19]

View answer

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.

Transport Support Scheme

Questions (829, 1169, 1335)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

829. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the progress made in replacing the mobility allowance and the motorised transport scheme with new schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34904/19]

View answer

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1169. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the progress regarding the introduction of a scheme to replace the previous mobility transport allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36049/19]

View answer

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1335. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the status of the transport support scheme. [36711/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 829, 1169 and 1335 together.

The Deputies 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. We 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 Support Payment Scheme.

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.

The Deputies may wish to note that the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D., 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.

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.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (830)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Question:

830. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a medical appointment. [34915/19]

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 Overcrowding

Question No. 832 answered with Question No. 801.

Questions (831)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

831. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter regarding overcrowding in hospitals, particularly in University Hospital Kerry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34918/19]

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.

Question No. 832 answered with Question No. 801.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (833)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

833. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34920/19]

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.

Respite Care Services

Questions (834)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

834. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a matter will be addressed with regard to travel to and from respite care (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34938/19]

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.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (835)

Gino Kenny

Question:

835. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties regarding accessing the drug Sativex here even when prescribed by a consultant neurologist; the status and prescription protocol in relation to the drug; the changes planned in the prescription of and access to the drug in the aftermath of the introduction of the medicinal cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34939/19]

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 for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.

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 (HTAs) 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.

On 11 July 2014, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1988 were amended to allow for certain cannabis-based medicinal products to be used in Ireland. The Health Products Regulatory Authority subsequently granted a marketing authorisation for the cannabis-based medicinal product Sativex to be marketed in this State. It was then open to the holder of that authorisation to make the product available for prescribing in Ireland.

A rapid review by the NCPE was completed on 3 April 2018 for Sativex and a full pharmacoeconomic assessment was recommended to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of Sativex compared with the current standard of care.

A full pharmacoeconomic assessment was commissioned by the HSE on 20 April 2018. The NCPE had a pre submission consultation with the applicant in September 2018. However, the NCPE was unable to continue with the HTA assessment at this time due to the dossier not being submitted by the applicant. The NCPE received the required submission from the manufacturer on 12 August 2019.

I am advised that this assessment is currently in process.

Hospital Services

Questions (836)

Peter Burke

Question:

836. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34946/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive recently published its Capital Plan for 2019-2021 outlining 250 projects to be progressed over the three-year period.

The Capital Plan includes the provision of an MRI at Regional Hospital Mullingar along with the development of a new ambulance base.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that the provision of a new MRI at Regional Hospital Mullingar is included in the proposed new extension of the radiology department at the hospital. A design team has been engaged and planning permission has been granted for the proposed extension to the radiology department. The development requires the decant of the existing ambulance base on the hospital site and a planning application for a new ambulance base in Mullingar has been submitted recently.

It is important to note that all proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (837)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

837. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is still waiting for heart surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34948/19]

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.

Disability Services Provision

Questions (838)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

838. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for residential care by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34949/19]

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.

Dental Services Provision

Questions (839)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

839. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of the case of a child (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34950/19]

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.

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Questions (840)

Joan Collins

Question:

840. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 244 of 3 July 2019, if he will provide the evidence of compliance for the site requested (details supplied); and if he cannot provide evidence, if he will investigate the issue and address same. [34956/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am having the matter investigated at present and have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to you in relation to this matter, as the HSE is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (841)

Peter Burke

Question:

841. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the position regarding home help hours for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34958/19]

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 (842)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

842. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive hearing aids; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34959/19]

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.

Medical Card Applications

Questions (843)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

843. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if he will address issues (details supplied) regarding the medical card application process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34961/19]

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.

Home Help Service

Questions (844)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

844. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason arrangements with respect to the provision of home help support for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal have been changed with regard to service times, hours of care and so on; if his attention has been drawn to the impact these changes are having on the welfare of the person in addition to the ability of the service provider to ensure continuity of care for the person; if the provider will reconsider these changes with the view to reinstating the previous timetable and service arrangements formally allocated to the person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34962/19]

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.