Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Question No. 429 answered with Question No. 420.

Questions (428)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

428. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the status of and the steps he is taking towards the legalisation of access to cannabis oil under consultant prescription; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44218/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Deputy will be aware that I have recently signed legislation which will allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) on a pilot basis for five years.

Commercial medical cannabis suppliers whose cannabis products meet the specified requirements set out in the legislation, and which have been listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations, will be able to supply these products into Ireland.

As yet no medical cannabis products are available for use under the MCAP and it is expected that it will take some time for suppliers to put arrangements in place to have their products made available on the Irish market.

I am pleased to say that there are a number of suppliers have expressed an interest in supplying the Irish market, however it is not possible to give a specific date on which this products will be available for patients.

Pending full operation of the MCAP, and for medical indications not included in the MCAP, doctors may continue to utilise the Ministerial licensing route to prescribe medical cannabis for their patients, should they wish to do so. In line with the Chief Medical Officer's advice, the granting of a licence for cannabis for medical purposes must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to the Department of Health, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time.

Full information on how to apply for a Ministerial Licence is available on the Department's website.

Question No. 429 answered with Question No. 420.

Palliative Care for Children

Questions (430)

Michael Lowry

Question:

430. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Health the availability of palliative care for children by the HSE local health office in south and north County Tipperary; the recommended locations for such palliative care for children in south and north County Tipperary in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44224/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Eligibility

Questions (431)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

431. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the length of time means are taken into account when applying for the fair deal (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44226/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for those in need of long-term nursing home/residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings. The applicant can choose any public, voluntary or approved private nursing home. The home must have availability and be able to cater for the applicant's particular needs.

Participants in the Scheme contribute up to 80% of their assessable income and a maximum of 7.5% per annum of the value of assets held. In the case of a couple, the applicant’s means are assessed as 50% of the couple’s combined income and assets. The first €36,000 of an individual’s assets, or €72,000 in the case of a couple, is not counted at all in the financial assessment. The capital value of an individual’s principal private residence is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in care. This is known as the three year cap.

The Financial assessment takes into account any income or assets transferred by the person whose means are being assessed if the transfer occurred within 5 years of the date of first application for State support.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (432)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

432. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the amount provided to a company (details supplied) in funding for 2019 in respect of the provision of services and care; if the allocation of the funding is subject to a contract between the HSE and the provider in the context of service level agreements and value for money in respect of service provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44227/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There was no funding provided directly by the Department of Health. This is a matter for the HSE.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (433)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

433. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the status of funding not spent and-or excess funding remaining at the end of the financial year in respect of a company (details supplied); if funds are refunded back to the HSE or retained by the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44228/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you.

Disability Services Funding

Questions (434, 435)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

434. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if a service agreement between the HSE and a service provider exists or existed in respect of a person (details supplied); if the person is fully or partially funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44229/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

435. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a case regarding the HSE and a service provider (details supplied); the status of the funding that was provided for a service user in 2018 and to date in 2019; if he will direct the HSE to further review the case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44230/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 434 and 435 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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (436)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

436. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health when an assessment of needs will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44242/19]

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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.

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.

Occupational Therapy Provision

Questions (437)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

437. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44244/19]

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.

Smoking Ban

Questions (438)

Peter Burke

Question:

438. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the annual cost of ensuring compliance with the smoking ban; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44248/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (439)

John McGuinness

Question:

439. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 542 of 11 June 2019, when a cataract operation will be arranged for a person (details supplied). [44249/19]

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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.

Eating Disorders

Questions (440)

Pat Buckley

Question:

440. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the amount allocated for the clinical programme on eating disorders in 2018 and 2019; if the funds have been released to the HSE; and the amount spent in 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form [44250/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Questions (441)

Alan Kelly

Question:

441. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the number of new drugs that have received HSE reimbursement to date in 2019 by the anticipated budget impact of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44251/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive has operational responsibility for medicines expenditure, thus the matter has been referred to the HSE for their attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Generic Drugs Substitution

Questions (442)

Alan Kelly

Question:

442. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the volume of uptake of biosimilar prescribing under the best value biologic process by the HSE to date in 2019; the number of patients prescribed biosimilars by treatment type to date in 2019; the average savings per patient compared to the originator drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44252/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Generic Drugs Substitution

Questions (443)

Alan Kelly

Question:

443. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if the HSE has under the best value biologic process set targets for biosimilar uptake across the designated treatment areas; if so, the targets for 2019 and 2020 in terms of both volume of prescriptions and the share of biosimilar prescriptions versus originator subscriptions for the designated treatment areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44253/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disease Management

Questions (444, 445, 446)

Alan Kelly

Question:

444. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the key performance indicators that have been set for the hepatitis C treatment programme; the way in which the programme evaluates its work towards the stated goal of elimination of the disease by 2026; the reporting requirements the programme adheres to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44254/19]

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Alan Kelly

Question:

445. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the data the HSE has in terms of estimating the number of persons here with hepatitis C; the overall prevalence of hepatitis C here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44255/19]

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Alan Kelly

Question:

446. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the spending by the HSE under the hepatitis C treatment programme in 2018 to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44256/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 444 to 446, inclusive, together.

As the HSE has responsibility for these matters, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on these issues.

Patient Safety

Questions (447)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

447. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the funding that will be made available to the patient safety advocacy service in 2020; the number of staff that will be employed; and the expected level of demand for the services it will offer. [44258/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Independent Patient Advocacy Service (PAS) was commissioned by the Department of Health arising from approval given by the Government and from recommendations contained in HIQA’s Portlaoise Report (2015), and the Ombudsman’s report, "Learning to Get Better" (2015). This service will provide free and independent support and empowerment advocacy for anyone wishing to make a formal complaint about the care or treatment they received in the health service and for anyone who has been involved in a patient safety incident. The service will initially be provided for the public acute hospital sector and will extend to the community in 2020.

The funding allocated to the Patient Advocacy Service in 2020 is approximately €1.6 million. The Service, which will be formally launched later this month, currently employs 8 staff including a Service Manager, a Team Lead and 6 Advocacy Officers. A second Team Lead will commence in November 2019. In 2020 the service will expand to approximately 20 Advocacy Officers, 4 Team Leads, a Service Manager as well as corporate supports.

As this is a new service, the service level activity will be monitored closely over the coming months to inform the expected level of demand, and the service delivery model.