Cancer Services Provision

Questions (325)

John Brassil

Question:

325. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the progress made to progress the stand-alone chemotherapy unit at University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39329/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

University Hospital Kerry currently provides day-case chemotherapy services as part of the regional SSW Hospital Group service. The service is provided by 3 visiting Consultant Oncologists from Cork University Hospital.  

Since the service in University Hospital Kerry opened in 2001, demand has increased substantially, with 831 patients treated in 2001, rising to 4,762 in 2018.  There is also an associated increase in the number of patients attending for review.

An appraisal of the future needs of chemotherapy and other cancer services is currently underway in University Hospital Kerry, in conjunction with HSE Estates.  On conclusion of this appraisal, decisions will be made on the future requirements and funding will be sought for the capital project involved.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (326)

John Brassil

Question:

326. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person to the oncologist post at University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39330/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (327)

John Brassil

Question:

327. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person to the cardiologist post at University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39331/19]

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.

Traveller Community

Questions (328)

Gerry Adams

Question:

328. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health when the national Traveller health action plan will be published in view of the fact that a commitment was given to publish same by the end of March 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39341/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, the HSE is committed to developing and implementing a detailed action plan to continue to address the health needs of Travellers, using a social determinants of health approach.

The HSE circulated a first draft of the action plan in March 2019 for consultation with stakeholders, including the Department of Health. The draft is currently being revised to take account of feedback and is expected to be finalised in quarter 4 2019.

The Department of Health is actively engaged with the HSE and Traveller organisations in developing the action plan. I am very supportive of the action plan and look forward to receiving it in due course.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (329)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

329. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health his plans to withdraw funding for the medication Simponi used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis under the drugs payment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39347/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

HSE Staff

Questions (330)

Micheál Martin

Question:

330. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the number of inspections that EHOs have undertaken of service stations; if they are inspected as regularly as restaurants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39356/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

This is a matter for the HSE, so I have referred it to the HSE for attention and direct reply. 

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (331)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

331. 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. [39357/19]

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.

Departmental Schemes

Questions (332, 333)

Martin Heydon

Question:

332. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of the motorised transport grant scheme; and when details of a new scheme will be announced. [39364/19]

View answer

Martin Heydon

Question:

333. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of the review of the mobility allowance; and when details of a new scheme will be announced. [39365/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 332 and 333 together.

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.

With regard to the Motorised Transport Grant, this scheme operated as a means-tested grant to assist persons with severe disabilities with the purchase or adaptation of a car, where that car was essential to retain employment. The maximum Motorised Transport Grant, which was payable once in any three-year period, was €5,020. Following closure of the scheme in February 2013,  no further Motorised Transport Grants have been payable.

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 in July last, my colleague the Minister for Rural and Community Development 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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (334)

John Brassil

Question:

334. Deputy John Brassil 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. [39366/19]

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.

HSE Expenditure

Questions (335)

James Browne

Question:

335. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the amount spent by the HSE on agency staff to date and the amount of same spent on mental health agency staff. [39375/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (336)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

336. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for cataract surgery for a person (details supplied). [39376/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (337)

John Brassil

Question:

337. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39381/19]

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.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (338)

Alan Kelly

Question:

338. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health when the new audit of CervicalCheck will commence; if it will commence from the date the previous audit finished in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39386/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Since 2010, as part of quality assurance measures, CervicalCheck reviewed the screening history of every woman notified to it as having a diagnosis of cervical cancer, who had previously been screened by the programme. The objective of audit and quality review at CervicalCheck was to facilitate continued improvement and ongoing learning within the programme. Following the issues which arose in relation to the non-disclosure of audit findings, a decision was taken to pause the audit.

The Scoping Inquiry led by Dr Gabriel Scally made a number of recommendations, one of which was that “Audit should continue to be an important component of cervical screening as this complies with all good clinical practice. Common, robust and externally validated approaches to the design, conduct, evaluation and oversight of audits should be developed across the screening services.” (Recommendation 26).

As set out in the approved plan for the implementation of Dr Scally's recommendations, the HSE established an Expert Group within the National Screening Service (NSS) to review the clinical audit processes for interval cancers across all screening programmes. This work is ongoing and is expected to be complete by the end of this year, following which its recommendations will be implemented by the National Screening Service.

HSE Funding

Questions (339)

Peter Burke

Question:

339. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health if grant funding will be provided for renovations (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39387/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Questions (340)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

340. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will secure treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39388/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (341)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

341. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health when funding will be provided to staff a care home (details supplied) for young men with intellectual disabilities following the generous donation of a house for this purpose. [39397/19]

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.

Departmental Correspondence

Questions (342)

Alan Kelly

Question:

342. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if a copy of all correspondence between his Department and the HSE regarding University Hospital Limerick since 1 January 2017 will be provided. [39403/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

University Hospital Limerick is a Model 4 hospital which provides a wide range of services within the UL Hospital Group. It would be expected that correspondence between the HSE and my Department in relation to this hospital would be extensive, reflecting ongoing engagement on a wide range of issues cutting across many Divisions in the Department including, for example, funding, service developments, delivery of services, staffing issues, health service reform matters and, in addition, engagement on representations and Parliamentary Questions received in my Department.

While the precise extent of correspondence between my Department and the HSE in relation to UHL is difficult to quantify precisely,  it can be anticipated that the volume would be significant. From a practical perspective, it would not be possible to arrange for the search, retrieval and compilation of the full extent of correspondence within the normal timeframe for response to Parliamentary Questions, nor to review the documents from the perspective of compliance with data protection principles.

I will be more than happy to respond to a request from the Deputy for specific information in relation to any particular matter relating to UHL.

Hospital Beds Data

Questions (343)

John Brassil

Question:

343. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of additional beds opened at University Hospital Kerry in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39409/19]

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.

Departmental Correspondence

Questions (344)

Alan Kelly

Question:

344. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide all correspondence between his Department and BreastCheck from 2017 to 22 September 2019. [39410/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

BreastCheck currently provides screening to women through a network of static and mobile units. Screening is offered to eligible women by personal invitation on a two year cycle. The objective of the programme is to provide an effective screening service to the highest possible quality, so that the maximum number of breast cancers can be detected at the earliest possible stage. The programme is part of the National Screening Service within the HSE. It would be expected that correspondence between BreastCheck and my Department would encompass a wide range of issues, including for example funding, service developments and service updates but also ongoing engagement on general service issues and on, for instance, representations and Parliamentary Questions received in my Department.  

While the precise extent of correspondence between BreastCheck and my Department is not presently quantified, it can be anticipated that the volume would be significant. From a practical perspective, it would not be possible to arrange for the search, retrieval and compilation of the full extent of correspondence within the normal timeframe for response to Parliamentary Questions, nor to review the documents from the perspective of compliance with data protection principles. 

I will be more than happy to respond to a request from the Deputy for specific information in relation to BreastCheck.