Nursing Staff Data

Questions (1045)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

1045. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of nurse staff vacancies in Mayo University Hospital by department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35816/19]

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.

HSE Agency Staff Data

Questions (1046)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

1046. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of agency staff hired at Mayo University Hospital; the funding spent on agency staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35817/19]

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.

HSE Agency Staff Expenditure

Questions (1047)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

1047. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the amount the Health Service Executive has paid for agency staff in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35818/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Nursing Home Services

Questions (1048)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

1048. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of a nursing home (details supplied); the number of staff employed at the unit; the number of staff vacancies at the unit; when these vacant posts will be filled; when day services will reconvene in a full-time manner without further cancellations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35820/19]

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.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (1049)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

1049. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if funding will be made available to provide essential supported accommodation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35821/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Supply

Questions (1050)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

1050. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health the progress made in the swift provision of new medicines to persons with multiple sclerosis here. [35824/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. As Minister, I have no role in this statutory process. I do, however, understand the following in terms of the timelines for the provision of medicines for patients, in Ireland:

The development and provision of new medicines for treating conditions, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), follows an important, scientific, and robust series of procedures. Under European and Irish legislation, the manufacturer must seek authorisation to market the product for human use from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and/or Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) in Ireland. European legislation, including Regulation (EC) No 726/2004 clearly sets out the defined timelines in processing such applications.

Once licensed for human use, the manufacturer may then seek taxpayer funding for the provision of their medicine in each Member State. For this they apply for inclusion of their medicine on each Member State’s respective public healthcare schemes. Typically, Member States consider the additional benefit of the applicant medicine compared to existing treatments available and the additional cost compared to the cost of existing treatments in their decision.

In Ireland, under the 2013 Health Act, a company must first submit an application to the HSE to have the medicine added to the Reimbursement List. It is further outlined in the Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines that the HSE will decide within 180 days of receiving the complete application, to either add the medicine to the reimbursement list, agree to reimburse it as a hospital medicine, or refuse to reimburse it.

HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific, and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE uses a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention. Working in the interests of the people of Ireland, patients and taxpayers alike, the HSE strives to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible. However, because of the significant monies involved, it must ensure that the best price is achieved, as these commitments are often multi-million euro investments on an on-going basis.

Where a manufacturer has failed to meet the requirements of the 2013 Health Act, it can lead to a negotiation process. The purpose of those negotiations is to assist the applicant manufacturer in meeting the statutory requirements in as swift a time frame as possible.

There are currently a number of medicines for the treatment of MS making their way through the reimbursement process and they will be assessed in line with the 2013 Act.

Medicinal Products Supply

Questions (1051)

Alan Farrell

Question:

1051. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health if an updated timeline on the roll out of a PrEP programme here will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35826/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Sexual health is a key priority, both for me and for this Government as a whole. The Health Information and Quality Authority Health Technology Assessment report on PrEP was published in June, which found that the introduction of a PrEP HIV prevention programme would be safe, effective and cost saving.

Considerable work is underway in order to introduce a PrEP programme in the autumn. Further details on the specific timeline and details of the programme will be available shortly. It is intended to roll out an awareness campaign on PrEP once the programme is ready to commence.

Dental Services Provision

Questions (1052)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

1052. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the dental cover available to children in the south-west areas of County Cork in circumstances in which primary school children are only receiving appointments after they have left primary school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35828/19]

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.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Questions (1053)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

1053. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health if vacant nursing and midwifery posts will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35830/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Rare Diseases Strategy Implementation

Questions (1054)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

1054. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he and his officials will meet with persons (details supplied) regarding Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and the issue in relation to the availability and quality of treatment of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35836/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The question of availability of quality treatment for EDS sufferers is addressed in the National Rare Disease Plan for Ireland which is a generic policy framework for rare diseases. The scope of the plan is broad given that there are approximately 8,000 rare diseases affecting millions of EU citizens; and consequently, there can be a dearth of expertise and knowledge about some rare diseases, simply because they are so rare.

The HSE National Clinical Programme for Rare Diseases was established in 2013 and is responsible for assisting with mapping and developing care pathways for rare diseases; facilitating timely access to centres of expertise – nationally and internationally; and developing care pathways with European Reference Centres for those ultra-rare disorders where there may not be sufficient expertise in Ireland. The National Rare Disease Office was established by the HSE in 2015 and is headed up by Professor Eileen Treacy, Director of that Office.

It is important to note that a revised Model of Care for Rare Diseases has been finalised and approved by the HSE. This model includes the further development of a model of care for transition from paediatric to adult healthcare providers. The more severe forms of EDS require specialist treatment often by multiple specialists but usually under the care of the specialist for the most severely affected organ system. These specialists can be paediatric cardiologists, rheumatologists, neurologists, orthopaedists etc. The provision of rheumatology services for all patients with musculoskeletal disease is addressed in the implementation of the National Clinical Programme for Rheumatology (NCPR) Model of Care for Rheumatology Services. The Model of Care aims to ensure that the rheumatology patient is seen, assessed and treated by the right person, in the right place and in the timeliest manner. The Model of Care for Rheumatology recommends minimal staffing standards, based on population, for each department in order to provide appropriate treatment to patients with rheumatological diseases.

With the implementation of this model of care, disease specific pathways for rheumatological disease groups will be developed which will include EDS as part of hypermobility diseases. The Paediatric Consultant Rheumatologists in Ireland based at OLCHC have specialist training in the management of all types of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders, including EDS. They are supported by a multidisciplinary team and have access to other relevant consultant specialists needed for the care of EDS sufferers.

It is worth noting that I have had significant engagement with representatives in the rare disease area. For example, I met with the Rare Disease Taskforce (comprising Rare Disease Ireland, Medical Research Charities Group (MRCP), The Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI)) who represent the patient voice in the Rare Disease arena and also my officials met with them in February and May of this year and are scheduled to meet with this important stakeholder again in the Autumn to ensure that their input and the voice of the patient is represented in the continued implementation of the Rare Disease Plan.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Questions (1055)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

1055. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health the length of time a staffing embargo will be in place at Sligo University Hospital; his views on whether an embargo on hiring or replacing staff will be cost-effective in view of knock-on effects across the service; if this embargo will end at the start of 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35837/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (1056)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1056. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting a long period for an operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35840/19]

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 (1057)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1057. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35848/19]

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.

First-Aid Training

Questions (1058)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1058. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health his views on the recent proposals to increase the cost of first aid certification by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35850/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) is an independent statutory body with responsibility for professional regulation in the area of pre-hospital emergency care including the recognition of professional qualifications.

Accordingly, the Deputy's query has been referred to PHECC for direct response.

Departmental Funding

Questions (1059)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1059. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if funding for the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council has been reduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35851/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

There has been no reduction in the level of funding provided to PHECC in 2019. Funding of €2.997m has been allocated to PHECC in 2019; the same amount was provided in 2018. The Deputy may wish to note that funding provided in 2018 reflected a €200,000 increase as compared with funding provided in 2017.

Primary Care Centres

Questions (1060)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1060. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if there is a generalised car parking cost for each primary care centre; if not, the person or body that decides the rates charged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35852/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Questions (1061)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

1061. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if he will review the decision by the Health Service Executive to abolish the rehabilitative training allowance in view of the benefit which this allowance gives to persons with disabilities who are receiving same in their endeavours to learn to live independent lives. [35855/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

This 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. The 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 payment of the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus came into place on the transition of Rehabilitative / Training Programmes to the HSE following the dissolution of the National Rehabilitation Board in June 2000.

The decision to phase out the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus payment is designed to bring equity and consistency between people with a disability attending HSE funded rehabilitative training programmes who receive the payment, and those attending similar HSE funded Day Services or in other State schemes such as further education and training, who do not.

This action will ensure all HSE funded Day Services are provided on an equitable basis and will also ensure that the use of finite resources is maximised.

The Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus Payment is a historical payment, introduced in July 2001, aligned with a similar FÁS Training Bonus. However, during 2011 the FÁS Training Bonus was reduced to €20.00 and then eliminated the following year while to date the RT Bonus Payment has continued to be paid in the Health Sector

It is worth remembering that:

- There is no cut in the number of RT places available

- There is no cut in payment of the bonus - those who have it will continue to receive it for the remainder of their RT Placement

- All participants continue to be eligible for Disability Allowance of €203 per week

- All participants continue to be eligible for a free travel pass

- No expectation of an additional RT bonus payment has been created by HSE for 2019 participants

The redirected funding (€3.7 m over 4 years), which will be ring-fenced, will facilitate 148 full day placements or 370 enhanced day places nationally based on priority need.

Each CHO will have the flexibility to redirect its own savings to address local service requirements. The HSE will put in place a monitoring system and regularly report the additional placements realised to the Department of Health.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (1062, 1063)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

1062. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting for an assessment of needs in excess of three months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35857/19]

View answer

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

1063. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health the measures he will take to eliminate the waiting list for children requiring an assessment of needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35858/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1062 and 1063 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.

Medical Treatment Complaints

Questions (1064)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

1064. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a letter of complaint was received from a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; if so, when a reply will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35861/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As of 5 September 2019, the letter referred to by the Deputy was not received by the Minister's office. When a letter is received, the issues raised therein are investigated and a reply issued.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1065)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

1065. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal is being charged €4 per day for transport from their home to the community inclusion hub in Letterkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35862/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1066)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

1066. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with disabilities in receipt of home support hours in each local health office, LHO, area at the end of August 2019 or the latest date available; the number of persons on the waiting list for same in each LHO area; and the number waiting zero to three months, three to six months, six to 12 months and 12 months plus, respectively, in tabular form. [35869/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1067)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

1067. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with disabilities in receipt of personal assistance hours in each local health office, LHO, area at the end of August 2019 or the latest date available; the number of persons on the waiting list for same in each LHO area; and the number waiting zero to three months, three to six months, six to 12 months and 12 months plus, respectively, in tabular form. [35870/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1068)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

1068. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of residential places for persons with a disability being provided at the end of August 2019 or the latest date available by community healthcare organisation area in tabular form. [35871/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (1069)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

1069. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of new emergency places provided to persons with a disability at the end of August 2019 by local health office area in tabular form. [35872/19]

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.