Ambulance Service Response Times

Questions (548)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

548. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to address the response times for an ambulance to arrive at a life threating emergency in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44639/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Car Parks

Questions (549)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

549. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the national guidelines for hospital parking charges. [44648/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Hospitals which charge parking fees are cognisant of the financial implications parking costs can have on patients and their families, particularly those with long-term illnesses. Some hospitals have introduced a maximum daily fixed parking charge, thus capping this expense. I understand that some hospitals also provide reduced rate parking for long-term patients and visitors for whom the payment of the full rate would cause hardship.

I have made it clear I want to see progress made in this area and I am working with my Department and the HSE in this regard. In March 2018, I requested the HSE to conduct a review of hospital car parking charges with a view to establishing clear national guidelines in the area. My Department and the HSE are currently engaging on a draft implementation plan to accompany the review report.

Orthodontic Services

Questions (550, 651)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

550. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a report (details supplied) regarding children who were harmed by HSE orthodontic services in the Dublin mid-Leinster region over a period of time; if he will request the HSE to engage with Tusla to publish the report immediately; if he will examine the matters contained in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44652/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

651. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 449 of 15 October 2019, if a report (details supplied) by the HSE will be published and investigated in view of the fact an audit of 7,500 minors has now been completed; if Tusla is investigating this matter; the number of litigations active against the State in relation to the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45153/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 550 and 651 together.

The report to which the Deputy refers was commissioned by the HSE and is not a matter for Tusla. I have asked the HSE to reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (551, 552, 598, 683)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

551. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in providing Spinraza to children suffering with SMA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44655/19]

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Lisa Chambers

Question:

552. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health when children waiting for Spinraza can expect to receive the drug (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44656/19]

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John Curran

Question:

598. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the status of access to Spinraza for children that have spinal muscular dystrophy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44865/19]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

683. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in accessing Spinraza in view of the fact the HSE approved the drug four months ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45327/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 551, 552, 598 and 683 together.

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The 2013 Health Act specifies criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. I have no role in this statutory process.

On 11 June 2019, the HSE Leadership Team approved access to the drug Spinraza for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type I, II or III on an exceptional and individualised basis.

The HSE has indicated that since July, 11 children have been approved for Spinraza treatment in Temple Street Hospital. Application for approval is based on clearly defined criteria and clinical guidelines being followed in each case. All patients who have been recommended clinically have been approved to date.

The actual delivery of this drug to approved patients in a safe and sustainable way requires very specific and quite complex service arrangements, which requires a considerable amount of service planning and assessment of patients at an individual level.

I have been advised by the HSE that Children's Health Ireland is currently engaging on an individual basis with the families involved regarding each child's treatment plan.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (553)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

553. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the funding provided to local drugs and alcohol forums in each of the years 2017 to 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44660/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A table outlining the combined total funding allocations from the Department of Health and the HSE to local drug and alcohol task forces in each of the years 2017 to 2019 is attached.The funding for 2019 includes an additional €20,000 to each task force, of which €10,000 is recurring.

PQ 553 Table

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (554)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

554. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the funding provided to regional drugs and alcohol forums in each of the years 2017 to 2019 in tabular; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44661/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

A table outlining the combined total funding allocations from the Department of Health and the HSE to the regional drug and alcohol task forces in each of the years 2017 to 2019 is attached.The funding for 2019 includes an additional €20,000 to each task force, of which €10,000 is recurring.

PQ 554 Table

Pharmacy Regulations

Questions Nos. 556 and 557 answered with Question No. 413.

Questions (555)

Robert Troy

Question:

555. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the status of legislation regarding pharmaceutical assistants further to recent recommendations made by an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44662/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Pharmacy Act 2007, my role in relation to the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules is limited to their consideration once submitted to me for my consent.

In this case, the Rules in question are currently subject to legal challenge. As a result, they are not currently under consideration.

I am not in a position to comment any further due to the legal challenge.

Questions Nos. 556 and 557 answered with Question No. 413.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (558)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

558. Deputy Eugene Murphy 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. [44675/19]

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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.

Ambulance Service Response Times

Questions (559)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

559. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his views on a report (details supplied) relating to ambulance response times in counties Cavan and Monaghan and nationwide; his views on whether this is adequate in 2019; the steps he is taking to assist ambulance services and personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44679/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Ambulance Service Response Times

Questions (560)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

560. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the way in which response times have improved in counties Cavan and Monaghan as regards A Programme for a Partnership Government commitment to increase ambulances, EMTs and paramedics each year to improve response times; and the increase achieved in each year [44681/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Neuro-Rehabilitation Services Provision

Questions (561)

Gino Kenny

Question:

561. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the lack of rehabilitation services for persons with a brain injury and the negative effect that this is having on the lives of persons with such injuries. [44683/19]

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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.

Substance Misuse

Questions (562)

Brendan Smith

Question:

562. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health if urgent consideration will be given to a request regarding the delivery of services by an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44689/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The correspondence provided by the Deputy identifies two key issues:

- Delays in the transfer of funding from the HSE.

- Communication difficulties between the HSE and the North Eastern Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force.

Officials in my Department have requested a report from the HSE in relation to these issues.

The Deputy is advised that the Department of Health is providing an additional €190,000 over a three year period (2019-2022) for Young People's Substance Use Support Services in Cavan and Monaghan. This strategic health initiative will improve access to health services for young people whose lives are affected by problematic use alcohol and substance use in the two counties.

I would encourage the organisation referred to by the Deputy to engage with the North Eastern Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force and the HSE as to how it can participate in the Young People's Substance Use Support Services.

Medicinal Products Regulation

Questions (563, 564, 565)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

563. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health when the final report on valproate will be published; the reason for the delay in finalising same to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44692/19]

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Bobby Aylward

Question:

564. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if he will meet representative bodies to discuss progress on recommendations in a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44693/19]

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Bobby Aylward

Question:

565. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the apparent lack of availability of official documentation regarding the licensing of a drug (details supplied) within the public sphere; his views on the need for total transparency in respect of same and the need for a possible investigation in respect of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44694/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 563 to 565, inclusive, together.

I am due to receive a briefing on the HSE's Valproate Response Project report shortly. No decision has been taken regarding potential publication of the report.

I am advised that some documentation regarding the licensing of Epilim has previously been shared with the representative body referred to by the Deputy. I will ask Department and Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) officials to consider whether additional documents could be released. I am also happy to consider a meeting with the representative bodies referred to by the Deputy if a request is submitted to my office in the Department.

Information and Communications Technology

Questions (566, 567)

Alan Kelly

Question:

566. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the number of computers in the HSE that still use an operating system (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44700/19]

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Alan Kelly

Question:

567. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if the HSE will not be forced to make additional premium payments to a company (details supplied) once support for an operating system expires in January 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44701/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 566 and 567 together.

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.