Hospital Beds Data

Questions (588)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

588. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the number of bed spaces available at Cherry Orchard Hospital; the number of patients that have been admitted on trolleys awaiting a bed in each month over the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44803/19]

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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.

Hospital Beds Data

Questions (589)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

589. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the number of bed spaces available at St. James's Hospital; the number of patients that have been admitted on trolleys awaiting a bed in each month over the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44804/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

According to HSE TrolleyGAR data, there was a 9.9% increase in patients counted waiting on trolleys at 8am in St James' Hospital ED for the year to date as of the end of September 2019 compared to the same period last year. In the month of September 2019, there were 187 patients counted on trolleys in St James' Hospital, which was a 76.4% increase compared to the previous month.

My Department is engaging extensively with the HSE this year to identify mitigating actions across the health service to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in the ED in the face of growing demand.

The HSE Winter Plan 2019/2020 will address the preparedness of individual sites and the entire health system to deal with the increase in demand on services over the winter months. Additional funding has been agreed to support the delivery of the Winter Plan this year. This funding will support the availability of home care, transitional care, nursing home placements and other local actions to both reduce congestion in EDs and facilitate timely hospital discharge over the winter period. The Department is currently working with the HSE to finalise the Winter Plan.

The Open Beds Report, published by my Department monthly, provides a summary of the average numbers of open inpatient beds and day beds/places in the acute hospital system based on data provided by the HSE. It can be found on the Department's website: https://health.gov.ie/publications/

According to provisional data received from the HSE Acute Business Information Unit, there were on average 11,008 inpatient beds and 2,268 day case beds/places available nationally in July 2019. There was an average of 707 available inpatient beds and 112 available day case beds in St James' Hospital year to date in July 2019.

The Health Service Capacity Review published last year highlighted the need for a major investment in additional capacity. An additional 23 beds have opened in St James' Hospital since 2017.

With regard to the Deputy's specific question, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly with the requested information.

Hospital Staff Data

Questions (590)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

590. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the number of vacancies that are open for recruitment in Cherry Orchard Hospital; the breakdown of posts available by medical profession and clinical speciality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44805/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Staff Data

Questions (591)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

591. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the number of vacancies that are open for recruitment in St. James's Hospital; the breakdown of posts available by medical profession and clinical speciality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44806/19]

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.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Questions (592)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

592. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the number of bed spaces available at the Linn Dara CAMHS unit in Cherry Orchard Hospital; the number of admissions and average length of stay per patient in the past five years; the waiting list for services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44810/19]

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.

Dental Services

Questions (593)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

593. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the amount dentists charge medical card patients for extractions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44836/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (594)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

594. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number of full and part-time staff employed in his Department; the number of such staff being paid at the minimum wage rate of pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44848/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There are 518 people between full and part-time staff employed in the Department of Health.

The staff of my Department are paid on the basis of centrally negotiated Civil Service pay scales, in line with Government policy and as sanctioned by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

There are no staff in my Department who are currently being paid at or below the minimum wage rate of pay.

Hospital Consultant Data

Questions (595)

John Brassil

Question:

595. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health if the grade of consultant in public health medicine will be established here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44857/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the current structures for public health in Ireland, Public Health Specialists and Directors of Public Health Medicine are not recognised as consultants, though they are on the Medical Council's Specialist Register. Their counterparts in other countries, as the Deputy notes, are recognised as consultants. This anomaly was also raised with me in the course of a meeting with the Medical Council earlier this year.

A new service model for public health is being developed at present. My Department is engaged with the HSE in developing this model in the context of Sláintecare; and also taking into account the recommendations of Dr Gabriel Scally in his Report into CervicalCheck concerning the future role and status of public health medicine and public health specialists. The recommendations in the Crowe Horwath Report concerning the role, training and career structures of Public Health Physicians are also being taken into account.

Consultant status is being addressed as part of this process. It is intended that Public Health Specialists will to be given consultant status when the new framework has been settled and is being implemented in 2020 and beyond. The issue is also being progressed in parallel engagement between my Department, the HSE and the IMO, in the context of the development of the new framework. It is intended that the agreed Consultant Contract will encompass the key roles and functions referred to by the Deputy.

Health Research Board Expenditure

Questions (596)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

596. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the amount spent to date on MS research here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44858/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Addressing the specific funding provided by the Department of Health; my Department is committed to providing resources and capacity for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research that may benefit the 9,000 people in Ireland living with MS, and for others with an MS diagnosis beyond Ireland. Since 2010, the Health Research Board (HRB), the primary agency for disbursement of research funding from my Department, has invested €1.78 million in research related to MS. This has included research on potential treatments, supports for carers of people with MS, causes of MS, enhancement of physical activity and prevention of falls among people with MS, and improving cognition and daily function for people with MS. Currently, the HRB have commitments of €760,000 for MS-specific research. One of these awards includes a co-funded award with MS Ireland through the Medical Research Charities Group with a total value of €166,000. Since 2010, a further €4 million has been invested on research into the aetiology of neurodegeneration more broadly and the most appropriate approach to services.

HRB funding schemes are open calls that are internationally peer-reviewed; funding is not hypothecated for specific conditions, rather to ensure value for public monies it is the quality of the application that is the primary focus of review.

Vaccination Programme

Question No. 598 answered with Question No. 551.

Questions (597)

John Curran

Question:

597. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure an increase in the rate of children presenting for the MMR vaccination; his further plans to ensure that same is increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44859/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As you are aware the immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). The committee's recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. It makes recommendations on vaccination policy to my Department. NIAC continues to revise recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease. Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time.

The ages at which vaccines are recommended in the primary childhood immunisation schedule are chosen by NIAC in order to give each child the best possible protection against disease. Measles is an acute and serious infection caused by the measles virus and is highly infectious. It is a notifiable disease (under Infectious Disease legislation) and all cases are reported to Departments of Public Health within the HSE. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are recommended by NIAC – one dose at 12 months of age and a second booster dose when your child is 4/5 years of age.

It is important to note that vaccine hesitancy is not unique to Ireland. It is a global issue and has been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the ten leading threats to global health in 2019.

One of my priorities as Minister for Health is to increase vaccination rates across the country and several options in this area are being explored. In this regard, I launched the Vaccine Alliance in September. Its aim is to increase the uptake of childhood vaccines and reduce vaccine hesitancy. The group includes a wide range of organisations and further organisations will be added once the terms of reference, key target audiences, and priorities for the Vaccine Alliance have been agreed.

Question No. 598 answered with Question No. 551.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (599)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

599. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when a homecare package will commence for a person (details supplied). [44873/19]

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.

Hospital Admissions

Questions (600)

Seán Fleming

Question:

600. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an admission to hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44877/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (601)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

601. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health his plans to locate improved day services for children and adults with disabilities in Finglas and Ballymun, Dublin 11; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44879/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (602)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

602. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the position regarding plans to provide day services for children and adults with disabilities in a location (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44880/19]

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.

Defence Forces Medical Services

Questions (603)

Jack Chambers

Question:

603. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to joint appointments of consultants and specialists within the health service to support the medical corps in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44882/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I wish to advise that I have made enquiries with the HSE and I understand that there are no plans to make joint appointments of this nature between the HSE and the Defence Forces.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (604)

Robert Troy

Question:

604. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44884/19]

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.

National Drugs Strategy

Question No. 606 answered with Question No. 424.

Questions (605)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

605. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health his plans to roll out new localised grant funding schemes through Pobal aimed at tackling and preventing drug and alcohol addiction in local communities which can and will operate and develop outside the governance of the local or regional drug and alcohol task forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44901/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Task forces play a central role in the delivery of the national drugs strategy at local level, with funding of €28 million per annum. The task forces ensure that a coordinated approach is taken across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors and that the voice of service users is heard in developing measures to address substance misuse priorities in their areas based on locally identified need.

There are no plans under consideration by the Department of Health to roll out grant funding schemes to tackle and prevent drug and alcohol addiction outside the governance of either task forces or the HSE.

Question No. 606 answered with Question No. 424.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (607)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

607. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health if funding will be approved for a specialised bed as recommended on medical grounds for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44906/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.