Speech and Language Therapy Staff

Questions (367)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

367. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health his plans to recruit a replacement speech and language therapist for the Mountbellew primary care centre, County Galway (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51298/19]

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.

HSE Waiting Lists

Questions (368)

Mary Butler

Question:

368. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for a home support house in CHO5 at the end of October 2019; the number waiting zero to three, three to six, six to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51303/19]

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.

Occupational Therapy Provision

Questions (369)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

369. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if an occupational therapy appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied) due to the priority nature of the case; when the person will receive an appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51304/19]

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 Data

Questions (370)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

370. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the number of abortions carried out in each hospital since the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 came into force; the number of persons who presented at hospital for an abortion in emergency circumstances following a visit to a general practitioner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51309/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under section 20 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, a notification of each termination of pregnancy carried out under the legislation must be notified to the Minister for Health within 28 days of it being carried out.

The Minister must prepare a report on the notifications received in a given year not later than 30 June the following year and lay it before the Houses of the Oireachtas. This report may then be published.

Therefore, no information on notifications received under the Act will be released until after the annual report for 2019 has been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on or before 30 June 2020.

Abortion Services Provision

Questions (371)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

371. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the provision made for conscientious objection by members of medical staff on abortion services; the procedure for conscientious objection to abortion services in emergency circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51310/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, section 22 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 deals with conscientious objection by members of medical staff in relation to the provision of termination of pregnancy services.

This section states that where he/she has a conscientious objection, a medical practitioner, nurse or midwife shall not be obliged to carry out, or participate in the carrying out, a termination of pregnancy.

In the event of a doctor, nurse or midwife having a difficulty in undertaking a required medical procedure, he or she will have a duty to make arrangements for the transfer of the woman’s care to a colleague.

The Act makes it clear that conscientious objection cannot be invoked in an emergency situation, when the risk to a pregnant woman’s life or health is immediate.

Conscientious objection is limited to persons involved in the delivery of the treatment only and does not extend to any other persons, or to institutions.

Section 49 of the most recent version of the Medical Council’s Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Professionals, published in August 2019, reiterates these provisions.

Abortion Services Provision

Questions (372)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

372. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the additional resources allocated to hospitals for the provision of abortion services following the enactment of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51311/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 was passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas on 13 December 2018 and signed into law by the President on 20 December 2018.

Services for termination of pregnancy under the Act commenced on 1 January 2019.

Funding of €12 million was provided in 2019 for the implementation of termination of pregnancy services. As set out in the National Service Plan 2019, €7 million of this funding was allocated for the provision of the service in the acute hospital system.

Health Services Data

Questions (373)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

373. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health if situations have arisen in which women that have been treated for a termination of pregnancy have recovered in a maternity ward; if so, the number and location of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51312/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for a direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (374)

John McGuinness

Question:

374. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 373 of 1 October 2019, if a date for an operation will be expedited in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51318/19]

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.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (375)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

375. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when home support hours awarded to a person (details supplied) will be put into place. [51329/19]

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 (376)

Peter Burke

Question:

376. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health if he will request the HSE to allow a person (details supplied) to receive the optimum dose of their medication as per clinical recommendation without incurring an additional charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51339/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this refers to an individual case, I have referred this matter to the HSE for their attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Staff

Questions (377)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

377. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in approving transfer requests across similar grades and status within the clerical officer, administration and public health nurse categories (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51348/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Provision

Question No. 379 answered with Question No. 305.

Questions (378)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

378. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the ongoing support services and resourcing provided at University Hospital Waterford for patients who received stoma surgery and attend the hospital on an ongoing basis as part of the follow-up care; the nursing and financial resource allotted for such care at the hospital; the way in which this compares to other model 4 cancer centres nationally (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51349/19]

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.

Question No. 379 answered with Question No. 305.

Home Care Packages Data

Questions (380)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

380. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the breakdown of the new home care packages in the past six months by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51359/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Question No. 382 answered with Question No. 305.

Questions (381)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

381. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason multiple sclerosis IV treatment is not available in University Hospital Kerry and is only available privately at a private hospital (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51360/19]

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.

Question No. 382 answered with Question No. 305.

Nursing Home Services

Questions (383)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

383. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure the necessary funds are made available in order that the day-care and residential facilities at a care home (details supplied) can remain open into the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51369/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

St Joseph's in Shankill is a part of the St John of God Hospitaller Services Group. It provides both residential care and day care for service users, all of whom have a diagnosis of dementia. Many of the 60 residential places are funded through the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS). Separately, the HSE contracts for approximately 25 Day Care places per day at St Joseph’s.

The NHSS, commonly referred to as Fair Deal , is a system of financial support for people who require long-term 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 NHSS is expected to support 23,042 people at any one time in 2019. The NHSS budget for 2019 saw an increase of €24.3m over 2018 making a total budget of €985.8m for 2019. In 2020, the NHSS will see a further investment in its budget. This significant investment will provide ongoing long-term residential care over the course of 2020 ensuring that the Scheme continues to deliver affordable and accessible nursing home care for our citizens with long-term care needs.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has been designated by the Minister for Health pursuant to Section 40 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 as a body authorised to negotiate with proprietors of non-HSE registered nursing homes to reach agreement in relation to the maximum price(s) that can be charged for the provision of long-term residential care services to NHSS residents.

The NTPF has statutory independence in the performance of its function and negotiates with a nursing home on an individual basis. The Minister for Health does not have any role in this regard.

The NTPF has clear, established processes for agreeing prices, and has successfully negotiated terms with over 430 private and voluntary nursing homes participating in the Scheme. The NTPF’s processes are available to all nursing homes and since the end of 2017 there has been a net increase in the number of nursing homes operating in Ireland with an increase of almost 1,300 (5.7%) in the number of beds in the nursing homes with whom the NTPF has agreed terms.

In its statutory role to negotiate maximum prices charged for the provision of long-term residential care services to NHSS residents, the NTPF established processes are the appropriate mechanism for engagement. The established processes include provision for an NTPF review mechanism where agreement is not initially reached in relation to the price.

I acknowledge the role of private and voluntary providers in residential care provision and I encourage the continued engagement with the NTPF processes with regard to the prices for the residential care services.

I understand the HSE has been in extensive engagement with the St John of God Hospitaller Services Group in relation to the day care service at St Joseph's and has reached agreement regarding funding to these for 2019 and into 2020.

Health Reports

Questions (384)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

384. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if a review has taken place of persons who have been adversely affected by vaginal mesh and their access to medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51372/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I have met with the Mesh Survivors group on a number of occasions, most recently on 11 November, and I have listened to their personal stories.

I am fully committed to ensuring that all women who develop mesh-related complications receive high quality, multi-disciplinary and patient-centred care.

Since this issue came to my attention in late 2017, an ongoing priority focus for my Department and the HSE is to put in place the necessary structures for, and the provision of, care of women who have been affected by the use of mesh implants and progress has been made across a number of areas.

Firstly, to understand the clinical and technical issues involved, I requested the Chief Medical Officer to thoroughly examine the issue and prepare a report for me. This report was published in November 2018 and includes recommendations across a number of key areas including care pathways for the management of women with complications.

The HSE has advised that a package of care is now available for women who have been identified with urgent or immediate needs. In addition, the HSE’s National Service Plan 2020 identifies the continued implementation of the CMO’s report on transvaginal mesh as a priority action.

I am informed that an ongoing work programme for the clarification and development of treatment pathways and appropriate referral services for women suffering from mesh-related complications is being progressed through the HSE, led by the National Women and Infants Health Programme. In terms of broader service provision going forward, I am informed that the HSE’s proposals include the development of multidisciplinary specialist services for women suffering from mesh complications at Cork University Hospital and National Maternity Hospital Dublin

The HSE has published a dedicated webpage about vaginal mesh implants, including contact information for women suffering complications, which I hope is a useful resource. This can be found on the HSE website.

The HSE has advised that sixty contacts have been received from women through the established mesh pathways, which includes women suffering from post-mesh surgery complications. The HSE has also indicated that a number of these are women who have travelled to the UK for mesh removal and are now in need of complex aftercare.

Funding has been identified within the HSE in 2019 to provide a package of care, including non-surgical supports procured through the private system, for women already identified with urgent or immediate needs.

I am informed that translabial scanners have been procured by the HSE for the mesh centres at Cork University Hospital and the National Maternity Hospital Dublin and the two sites are awaiting delivery in the coming weeks. Access pathways to the translabial scanning service will be via the mesh pathways and on a consultant to consultant basis. Training for personnel in the use of the scanners has been arranged with a specialist mesh centre in the UK and it is expected that the service will commence early in the New Year.

At my recent meeting with the Mesh Survivors Ireland group in November 2019, I made a commitment to have my officials examine the potential for medical cards to be provided as a possible support for women affected by transvaginal mesh implants.

Under the Health Act 1970 (as amended), eligibility for health services in Ireland is based primarily on residency and means. The HSE's Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility has previously examined the issue of awarding medical cards and concluded that a person’s means should remain the main qualifier for a medical card. However, every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of the difficult circumstances in the case of applicants who may be in excess of the income guidelines.

In relation to individual applicants, the HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card, even though an applicant exceeds his or her income threshold, where he or she faces difficult financial circumstances, such as extra costs arising from an illness.

The HSE National Medical Card Unit is responsible for determining medical card eligibility. Every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to provide a medical card application system that is responsive and sensitive to people’s needs. If the HSE is made aware that persons have particular requirements, assistance will be afforded to help that person to complete their application. This assistance can be availed of through a person's local health office or by calling LoCall 1890 252 919.

I strongly encourage all women affected by this issue to engage with the relevant HSE contact points - provided on the HSE website - and the associated care pathways being provided, to ensure that their service needs can be identified and provided for as early as possible.

Having met with the women affected recently, I have also made a commitment to consider the establishment of an independent, compassionate process for women affected by mesh to have their voices heard. My Department is currently developing proposals on how to establish this process.

Home Care Packages Provision

Questions (385)

Seán Haughey

Question:

385. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will receive home care on a daily basis similar to the level they received at a previous address; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51376/19]

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.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (386)

Bríd Smith

Question:

386. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the funding from his Department to the Canal Communities Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force by year since 2015; the planned funding for 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51380/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem in local communities. They ensure that a coordinated approach is taken across all sectors to address substance misuse based on the identified needs and priorities in their areas.

Task forces have an annual budget of €28m from the Department of Health and the HSE. This funding supports over 280 community projects, in local areas and communities throughout the country, to support initiatives to tackle drug and alcohol use and misuse.

A breakdown of the funding provided by the Department of Health and the HSE to the Canal Communities Drug and Alcohol Task Force for the years 2015 to 2019 is set out in the attached table. In 2019, the Canal Communities received €1.5 million. The planned funding for 2020 will be confirmed when the HSE Service plan for 2020 is published shortly.

Additional funding of €1m was provided for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy in 2019. Task forces have been allocated an additional €20,000 each from this funding, €10,000 of which will be on a permanent recurring basis.

A further allocation of €2.28 million over three years will be provided for 12 strategic initiatives to improve access to services for people with complex needs and to respond to emerging trends and patters of substance misuse. Each initiative will receiving €190,000 over the three years. This includes a community alcohol detox project developed by four task forces in CHO 7, including the Canal Communities. The project will develop a best practice model for a community detox framework.

I am committed to implementing an integrated public health response to substance misuse, to support people who are struggling with addiction and need intervention and support. Working in partnership with statutory, community and voluntary sectors, including the task forces, is central to this response.

-

2015 DOH

2015 HSE

2016 DOH

2016 HSE

2017 DOH

2017 HSE

Canal Communities LDATF

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

Total

€1,479,914

€1,479,914

€1,479,914

2018 DOH

2018 HSE

2019 DOH

2019 HSE

2020 DOH

2020 HSE

€338,605

€1,151,309

€338,605

€1,161,309

€338,605

€1,151,309

€1,489,914

€1,499,914

€1,489,914

Drug and alcohol Task Forces received and additional €10k (once- off) in funding in 2018.

They received €20k in additional funding in 2019. €10k of this was on a one off basis and €10k is on a recurring basis.