National Maternity Hospital Status

Questions (143)

Barry Cowen

Question:

143. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if the national maternity hospital capital project has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38058/19]

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 relocation of the National Maternity Hospital from Holles Street to the St Vincent's University Hospital campus.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that the enabling works for this project are currently underway, including the construction of the decant facility comprising the new pharmacy block and an extension to the carpark at St Vincent's Hospital. These works will facilitate the construction of the new hospital, which is expected to commence in late 2020 or early 2021.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, including detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.  The final decision to proceed with the construction of a project cannot be made until the tender process has been completed and the costings reviewed to ensure that the proposal delivers value for money and remains affordable, and that sufficient funding is available to fund the project to completion, including equipping and commissioning costs.

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

The HSE actively manages the capital programme in order to ensure it has flexibility to progress as many projects as possible within the available funding, particularly in the event of any project not progressing as anticipated.

The HSE has advised that the capital expenditure to date in 2019 for this project is €11.44m (as at August) and the expected full year spend for 2019 is estimated at €24m.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Questions (144)

Barry Cowen

Question:

144. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if the Naas General Hospital endoscopy suite capital project has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38059/19]

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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 a number of projects at Naas General Hospital, including the development of new units for endoscopy, day procedures, physical medicine and oncology, for which planning permission has been granted.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that this project is anticipated to go to tender in 2020, with construction expected to commence in 2021 for completion in late 2022.

The Capital Plan also includes a new acute mental health unit, for which the design team been appointed and the design is being progressed with a view to making an application for planning permission in the first half of 2020.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, including detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.  The final decision to proceed with the construction of a project cannot be made until the tender process has been completed and the costings reviewed to ensure that the proposal delivers value for money and remains affordable, and that sufficient funding is available to fund the project to completion, including equipping and commissioning costs. 

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery. 

The HSE actively manages the capital programme in order to ensure it has flexibility to progress as many projects as possible within the available funding, particularly in the event of any project not progressing as anticipated.

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. 

Hospitals Capital Programme

Questions (145)

Barry Cowen

Question:

145. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if the Sligo acute mental health capital project has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38060/19]

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 a new acute mental health unit at Sligo University Hospital, which is currently under construction.

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.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Questions (146)

Barry Cowen

Question:

146. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if the Clonmel ward accommodation and outpatients department capital project has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38061/19]

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 new accommodation at South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, which is nearing completion.

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.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Questions (147)

Barry Cowen

Question:

147. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if the Sligo central sterile services department has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38062/19]

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 new central sterile services department (CSSD) at Sligo University Hospital, which is currently at design stage.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, including detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established. 

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

The HSE actively manages the capital programme in order to ensure it has flexibility to progress as many projects as possible within the available funding, particularly in the event of any project not progressing as anticipated.

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.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Questions (148)

Barry Cowen

Question:

148. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the stage the University College Hospital Galway, radiation oncology unit project is at; when the project will go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38087/19]

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 new radiation oncology unit at University Hospital Galway, for which enabling works are currently underway in anticipation that construction will commence in 2020.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, including detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.  The final decision to proceed with the construction of a project cannot be made until the tender process has been completed and the costings reviewed to ensure that the proposal delivers value for money and remains affordable, and that sufficient funding is available to fund the project to completion, including equipping and commissioning costs.

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

The HSE actively manages the capital programme in order to ensure it has flexibility to progress as many projects as possible within the available funding, particularly in the event of any project not progressing as anticipated.

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.

Patient Transfers

Questions (149)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

149. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason a patient (details supplied) referred from Letterkenny University Hospital to St. James’s Hospital, Dublin was returned to Letterkenny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38104/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

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

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

Patient Transfers

Questions (150)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

150. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) was not informed of a decision to return their referral from St. James’s Hospital, Dublin to Letterkenny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38105/19]

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 (151)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

151. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for a procedure at St. James’s Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38106/19]

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 Provision

Questions (152)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

152. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason a respite care allocation was reduced for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; when a full respite care service will be reinstated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38107/19]

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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.

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (153)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

153. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive an appointment for an assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38108/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Questions (154)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

154. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if he will reinstate the rehabilitation training allowance for new entrants; if his attention has been drawn to the difficulty the decision to terminate the payment is having on new entrants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38109/19]

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

Alcohol Advertising

Questions (155)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

155. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health if online influencers are subject to the provisions of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38128/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Section 13 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act regulates the content of alcohol advertisements including that such advertisements must contain only factual information about the product and must contain prescribed health warnings and details of a public health website on alcohol.

Section 13 has not yet been commenced. It is my intention to commence it after the necessary regulations under the section have been developed and assessed at EU level. Currently the regulations are the subject of a public consultation.

After section 13 comes into operation it will ultimately be a matter for a court to decide whether a particular communication such as that from a social influencer constitutes an advertisement under the Act.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (156)

John McGuinness

Question:

156. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the options and interventions being put in place for the long-term care by CAMHS of a person (details supplied); if family support will be provided in this case; and if he will expedite the matter. [38129/19]

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 Care Packages Provision

Questions (157)

Willie Penrose

Question:

157. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health when home support assistance will be allocated to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38141/19]

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.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (158, 159)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

158. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from his Department in the past ten years who were bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year and sector the staff moved on to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38154/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

159. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from his Department in the past ten years who were not bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year, and sector the staff moved on to; the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38170/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 158 and 159 together.

Civil Servants at my Department are subject to the terms of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. Section 20 of the said Code addresses the matter of officials engaging in private sector employment or in consultancy work following resignation or retirement.

Section 22 of the Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2015 addresses the matter of Designated Public Officials engaging in employment and or consultancy work following resignation or retirement.

Under the Code of Practice and the Regulation of Lobbying Act, the onus is on the individual former employee to inform and seek consent from the appropriate authority, i.e. the Secretary General of the Department or the Outside Appointments Board, as appropriate. This consent is required if they intend to take up employment within one year of their retirement or resignation which could constitute a conflict of interest in the context of section 20 of the Code of Conduct.

Home Care Packages

Questions (160)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

160. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health the measures he plans to take as part of the winter plan initiative to alleviate the backlog at present in allocating home help hours in County Donegal; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the present waiting times are the longest ever in duration and that the current length of time to obtain a home care package is up to 20 weeks before patients can avail of hours approved; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that this is having an adverse effect on bed occupation in hospitals nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38180/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health is engaging extensively with the HSE in the context of planning for winter, including consideration of the response to dealing with current challenges such as the high level of delayed transfers of care. While this engagement continues the HSE has been authorised to undertake immediate action to mitigate the challenges. Discussion will continue over the coming weeks having regard to the Estimates 2020 process.

I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy regarding the current challenges experienced in County Donegal in relation to home support hours.

Hospital Overcrowding

Questions (161)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

161. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health if the short-stay unit consisting of 20 beds at Letterkenny University Hospital, County Donegal will be fully funded under the winter plan initiative; if the unit will be fully staffed and resourced in order that it can play its part in alleviating overcrowding at the hospital which is already exercising its full capacity protocol; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38181/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I wish to acknowledge the distress overcrowded Emergency Departments cause to patients, their families, and front-line staff working in very challenging conditions in hospitals throughout the country. My Department is engaging extensively with the HSE this year to identify mitigating actions to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in the ED in the face of growing demand. 

The Health Service Capacity Review, published last year, was clear on the need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community – combined with a wide scale reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.

Since 2017, an additional 267 beds have been opened. The Capacity Programme for 2019 provides for the following increases in capacity, as set out in the National Service Plan 2019:

- The provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19 – the HSE has confirmed that all the acute beds and 59 community beds have opened to date. This includes 5 acute beds that opened in Letterkenny University Hospital in June 2019.

- 47 additional beds, including the 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH), 3 HDU beds in the Mater Hospital and 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital.

- preparation of 202 beds, of which 16 are critical care, during 2019, with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in the first quarter of 2020.

- Commencement of works on a 60-bed modular ward in University Hospital Limerick

With regard to the specific questions the Deputy has asked, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (162)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

162. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a home care package and or home help hours will be offered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38188/19]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Questions (163)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

163. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties being experienced by users when trying to access speech and language services at a hospital (details supplied) during the maternity leave of the post holder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38191/19]

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.

Disability Support Services Provision

Questions (164)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

164. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a vacant post for a special needs counsellor (details supplied) in west County Donegal has been filled; the reason for the delay in having a permanent post holder take up the position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38192/19]

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.

Disability Support Services Provision

Questions (165)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

165. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties service users are encountering in having referrals to vital services, including respite, due to a special needs counsellor post (details supplied) in County Donegal remaining unfilled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38193/19]

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 Applications

Questions (166)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

166. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when applications for medical cards submitted will be awarded in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38210/19]

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.

European Health Insurance Card

Questions (167)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

167. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) has an entitlement to health insurance cover in respect of their attendance at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38212/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE informs me that if the EHIC for which details were provided by the Deputy has a validity date which predates the time of the treatment in question being received,  then they should provide details of this card to the institution which treated them.  The institution will then be able in a position to process the charges under the EHIC scheme rather than charging the individual personally.

If, however, the EHIC which the Deputy refers to in his question has a date of issue which is later than the period in which the treatment was received, then the person concerned should contact the authority in their competent Member State which issued the EHIC.  The person should request a temporary certificate verifying that they had cover for necessary health care during a temporary stay in another EU\EEA Member State for the period when they were receiving treatment in this State.  This temporary certificate may then be given to the institution of treatment who will then be in a position to process the charges under the EHIC scheme rather than charging the individual personally.