Paediatric Services

Questions (416)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

416. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of staff positions unfilled in Children's Health Ireland at Connolly Hospital. [50212/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked Children's Health Ireland to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Paediatric Services

Questions (417)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

417. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health when Children's Health Ireland at Connolly Hospital will be open Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. [50213/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Children's Health Ireland to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Paediatric Services

Questions (418)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

418. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if all blood samples taken by Children's Health Ireland at Connolly Hospital are transferred elsewhere for analysis. [50214/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked Children's Health Ireland to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Emergency Departments Waiting Times

Questions (419)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

419. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of patients that have experienced an emergency department wait time of less than six, six to 12, 12 to 24 and more than 24 hours for each hospital in the Children’s Hospital group to date in 2019, in tabular form. [50215/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The hospital system is currently operating at close to full capacity. The number of patients attending Emergency Departments continues to increase year on year. HSE figures show that for the first ten months of 2019, the number of patients attending Emergency Departments nationally increased by 2.7% while the number of admissions increased by 0.9% compared to the same period in 2018.

However, the National Service Plan 2019 includes an expected activity target that 75% of all patients attending at an Emergency Department are discharged or admitted within 6 hours and any breach of this target is unacceptable.

Recently, Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) saw an increase in the number of young children and infants presenting to their Emergency Departments (EDs). Any long waiting time for children and their families is regrettable.

The HSE have advised that the increase in numbers is in part a result of higher rates of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract, as well as flu and norovirus (known as the winter vomiting bug), all of which circulate at this time of year.

The HSE Winter Plan was launched on Thursday 14 November in preparation for the anticipated increase in demand over the winter period. The Government allocated an additional €26m to fund the implementation of the Plan. Nine Winter Action Teams, each aligned to a Community Healthcare Organisation and associated acute hospitals and Hospital Groups, have prepared Integrated Winter Plans. These plans focus on demand management and reduction, staffing availability, timely access to the most appropriate care pathway for patients, and appropriate timely discharge from acute hospitals. Each Action Team has set out a range of initiatives it will undertake within its area to implement the Plan.

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

Autism Support Services

Questions (420)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

420. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have the items noted in their assessment of need report implemented by South Lee ASD services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50216/19]

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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.

Primary Medical Certificates

Questions (421)

Peter Burke

Question:

421. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of the approval of replacement staff for the assessment of primary medical certificates in County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50222/19]

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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.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (422)

Gino Kenny

Question:

422. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the drug Spinraza; the way in which it is being rolled out; and the process and reason for the way in which it is being dispensed in view of the fact that there are still children awaiting its administration. [50227/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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.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 confirmed that a number of children are currently receiving treatment with Spinraza. Application for approval is based on clearly defined criteria and clinical guidelines are being followed in each case.

The actual delivery of this drug to approved patients in a safe and sustainable way requires a considerable amount of service planning and assessment of patients at an individual level. The HSE has confirmed that the provision of the appropriate auxiliary services and clinical arrangements to facilitate the administration of Spinraza to the remaining approved patients based on the clinical need is currently being worked on.

Furthermore, I have been advised by the HSE that Children's Health Ireland (CHI) is currently engaging on an individual basis with the families involved regarding each child's treatment plan. In addition, on 25 November 2019, CHI held a productive meeting with members of the SMA Ireland Advocacy Group and the HSE, and open lines of communication regarding the provision of this service have now been established.

Hospital Services

Questions (423)

Robert Troy

Question:

423. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if surgery will be scheduled for a person (details supplied). [50228/19]

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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.

Primary Care Centres Data

Questions (424)

Robert Troy

Question:

424. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the number of primary care centres and locations in which community services operate from in County Meath; the services available in each location, for example, occupational therapy and public health nursing; and the times such services are available, in tabular form. [50229/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (425)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

425. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number of children and adults that have been supported by his Department in accessing mental health treatments abroad in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50230/19]

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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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (426)

James Lawless

Question:

426. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Health the reason the provision of asthma inhalers is not included on the long term illness scheme; if he will reconsider same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50234/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The LTI Scheme was established under Section 59(3) of the Health Act 1970 (as amended). The conditions covered by the LTI are: acute leukaemia; mental handicap; cerebral palsy; mental illness (in a person under 16); cystic fibrosis; multiple sclerosis; diabetes insipidus; muscular dystrophies; diabetes mellitus; parkinsonism; epilepsy; phenylketonuria; haemophilia; spina bifida; hydrocephalus; and conditions arising from the use of Thalidomide.

Under the LTI Scheme, patients receive drugs, medicines, and medical and surgical appliances directly related to the treatment of their illness, free of charge.

There are no plans to extend the list of conditions covered by the Scheme at this time. However, I wish to inform the Deputy that it is proposed that the LTI Scheme would be included as part of a review of the basis for existing hospital and medication charges, to be carried out under commitments given in the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy.

For people who are not eligible for the LTI Scheme, there are other arrangements which protect them from excessive medicine costs.

Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €124 a month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals with ongoing expenditure on medicines.

People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family.

People who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of GP consultations.

Respite Care Services Provision

Questions (427)

Shane Cassells

Question:

427. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of respite services for adults with disabilities in Athboy, County Meath (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50236/19]

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.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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.

Health Services Funding

Questions (428)

Peter Burke

Question:

428. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the funding his Department and the HSE allocated to a town (details supplied) in each of the years 2011 to 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50242/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Questions (429)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

429. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when an appointment for chiropody treatment will be made available for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50265/19]

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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.

Occupational Therapy Provision

Questions (430)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

430. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health if an increase in occupational therapy services will be provided for school age children attending a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50273/19]

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.

Health Services

Questions (431)

Robert Troy

Question:

431. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if the reason a rental charge has been put in place for a dispensary service (details supplied) will be investigated. [50277/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the management of the healthcare property estate, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you in relation to this matter.

Psychological Services

Questions (432)

James Browne

Question:

432. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a newly-qualified clinical psychologist remains jobless since September 2019 owing to recruitment restrictions in counties Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50285/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am advised by the HSE that while there is no national recruitment embargo or moratorium, there is a priority requirement for all HSE services to maintain, or get to, an affordable staffing level that is sustainable in 2019 and 2020, while also prioritising the delivery of safe services.

In light of this, the HSE advise that they have introduced control measures relating to staffing and recruitment to ensure that they live within the available resources provided to them. This does mean that in some Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations non-critical replacement posts will be paused.

Health Services Provision

Questions (433)

Seán Haughey

Question:

433. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) can expect to receive services and therapies from the early intervention team and the primary care system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50287/19]

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.

HSE Data

Questions (434)

James Browne

Question:

434. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the name, title, level and division of each person within the HSE CHO5 management structure not restricted to the heads of service; the person or body to which they report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50298/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Questions (435)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

435. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that only a fraction of the cost of medical procedures is being refunded to patients who have surgery carried out under the cross border directive such as in the case of a patient (details supplied) in County Galway; if this partial refund is a new policy direction; if not, the steps that can be taken by patients to recover their out of pocket spending; if there are other medical schemes that can help patients in this situation including but not limited to the National Treatment Purchase Fund, NTPF, treatment abroad scheme and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50299/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the terms of the Cross Border Directive (CBD), patients in Ireland can seek to be referred to another EU/EEA country for medical treatment that is available in the public health service in Ireland. The patient pays for the treatment and claims reimbursement from the HSE at the cost of that treatment in Ireland or the cost of it abroad, whichever is the lesser. The HSE through the National Contact Point (NCP) provides information for patients on the operation of the CBD.

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly.