Thursday, 10 October 2019

Questions (51, 88)

Joan Collins

Question:

51. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to respond to the long delays for public patients applying for the cross-Border directive and the long delays for public patients on the remuneration of payments for their operations from the HSE; the number of persons that were working in the application section and remuneration section in May 2019; the number working in the section now; the number of patients waiting for clearance for their operations in May 2019; the number waiting now; the length of time it took to remunerate the costs to patients in May 2019; and the length of time it is taking now. [41161/19]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

88. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the additional resources provided to the HSE to eliminate delays in the processing of applications and payments under the HSE cross-Border directive scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41179/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 88 together.

The HSE is responsible for the operation of the Cross Border Directive and the management of the HSE Cross Border Directive (CBD) office is an operational matter for the HSE. 

The HSE has advised that the scheme is operating with an increasing workload and currently has a backlog of up to 4 months claims/applications (approx. 3500 claims/applications).

Officials of my Department met with the HSE in July to discuss the issue of reimbursement delays for patients who have availed of the Directive.  The HSE undertook to give consideration to measures which could be put in place in the short-term to address the significant backlog in processing applications, and to also examine current resourcing of the CBD office and to identify necessary actions to mitigate waiting times arising from current and future demand for the scheme.   A report is awaited from the HSE on the measures it proposes to take to address the delays in reimbursement.

As the PQ refers to operational matters which HSE have operational responsibility for, I have also referred the Deputies question to them for direct reply.