Abortion Services Provision

Questions (231)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

231. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of the consultation with service providers regarding safe access to termination of pregnancy services and safe access zones around the facilities of service providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52016/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is my absolute intention that people can access termination of pregnancy services safely. I wish to assure women and healthcare staff that there is existing legislation in place to protect them and to protect patients.

My Department and An Garda Síochána have been closely monitoring the situation since termination of pregnancy services commenced in January this year.

As the Deputy is aware, my Department is conducting a targeted consultation on safe access to termination of pregnancy services. The consultation is ongoing as it is important that the experiences of service providers in both community and acute hospital settings are included.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (232)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

232. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of his commitment to provide universal access to contraception; if a decision has been made on the three policy approaches identified by the Working Group on Access to Contraception in its report; his plans to implement the policy; the timeframe for the development and roll-out of a contraception scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52017/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am committed to expanding access to contraception and moving toward the provision of a free contraception service. At this time, no decision has been taken on the parameters of any scheme. A number of regulatory, legal and policy issues must still be addressed, while further consultation with potential providers would also be required. It remains my intention to work toward the implementation of enhanced contraception provision in 2021.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Questions (233)

Pat Deering

Question:

233. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will receive speech and language therapy. [52023/19]

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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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (234)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

234. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in approving a mobility scooter for a person (details supplied). [52029/19]

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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.

Ambulance Service

Questions Nos. 236 and 237 answered with Question No. 219.

Questions (235)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

235. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the procedure for deciding the hospital to which a patient is brought in an ambulance; if the decision can be given to the doctor who calls the ambulance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52034/19]

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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.

Questions Nos. 236 and 237 answered with Question No. 219.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Questions (238)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

238. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health his plans to replace the only pain management consultant (details supplied) here for children when he vacates his post at the end of 2019; his further plans to ensure immediate funding for a multidisciplinary team for pain management clinics in children’s hospitals here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52037/19]

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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.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (239)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

239. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if he has received a request from organisations (details supplied) seeking a meeting; if so, if the meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible in order to discuss matters pertaining to a recently finalised report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52057/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

My office is in contact with the organisations referred to by the Deputy in order to arrange a meeting.

Nursing Home Services

Questions (240)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

240. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter regarding a nursing home (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52068/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Minister for Health has no remit in relation to the operation of private nursing homes. The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is an independent authority established under the Health Act 2007. All nursing homes, both public and private are registered with and inspected by HIQA.

Matters relating to the regulation of nursing homes, including changes to their registration are set out in the Health Act 2007.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (241)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

241. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae 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. [52070/19]

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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.

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (242)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

242. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for extra home help by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52072/19]

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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 (243)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

243. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health when the first beds will have patients in them at the modular unit development at South Tipperary General Hospital; the number of beds that will be operational on that date; the sequence, date and number of beds by phase until the 40-bed unit is fully operational; the difficulties including recruitment that could see the 40-bed unit not fully operational by the end of February 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52075/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Capacity Review published last year was clear on the need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community – combined with a wide scale reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.

As part of the 2017/2018 Winter Initiative, funding was allocated for the provision of a 40-bed modular unit in STGH in Clonmel. HSE Estates have advised that equipping and commissioning is now underway. It is expected that the modular unit will be operational by the end of 2019 and that services will commence in Quarter 1 2020.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Employment Support Services

Questions (244)

James Browne

Question:

244. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health his plans to sustain the programme of individual placement and support beyond the service reform fund funding period; if joint funding with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has been considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52083/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment model is an evidence-informed approach to supported employment for people who have severe mental health difficulties. It supports individuals to remain in or gain access to employment and at the same time supports employers to address recruitment and retention issues.

The IPS model, which is currently funded through the Service Reform Fund, is being used by the HSE to enhance social inclusion outcomes for service users by providing meaningful engagement with employment which is an enabler for personal recovery.

A national data collection system has been implemented and this will feed into an overall evaluation of the efficacy of IPS in achieving the desired objectives. Subject to a positive evaluation of the model, discussions will be held with stakeholders to consider how best to extend the programme into the future.

Drugs Payment Scheme Coverage

Questions (245)

Kate O'Connell

Question:

245. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Health his plans to allow nicotine patches on the drugs payment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52090/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Tobacco consumption is the largest avoidable health threat in Ireland and one in two smokers will die from a tobacco related disease. The policy document "Tobacco Free Ireland" sets out over 60 recommendations, with the overall aims of de-normalising smoking in our society, protecting children from the harms of tobacco, enforcing, regulating and legislating for tobacco activities and products, educating about the dangers of tobacco and assisting those who smoke to stop.

One of the key recommendations in "Tobacco Free Ireland' is to make nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) more widely available, including in outlets where tobacco products are sold.

NRT is currently available, on prescription, to eligible medical cardholders on the General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme. Alternatively, NRT products are also available as over the counter items in pharmacies, without the need for a prescription.

In 2014, the Health Products Regulatory Authority announced that it had licensed some NRT items for sale in non-pharmacy outlets.

In addition, two non-nicotine prescription medicines are authorised in Ireland to assist in smoking cessation, and these are available to eligible persons on the GMS and Drug Payment Scheme.