Pharmaceutical Sector

Questions (328)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

328. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health his plans to safeguard rural pharmacies against planned fee changes due to come into affect in January 2020; and if the planned fee changes will be postponed until negotiations with the pharmacy sector are concluded in view of the commitment given to the negotiations. [52553/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I recognise the significant role community pharmacists play in the delivery of patient care and the potential for this role to be developed further in the context of health service reform and modernisation. Community pharmacy is recognised as the most accessible element of our health service with an unequalled reach in terms of patient contact and access.

Regulations governing the current pharmacy fee structure were made under section 9 of the FEMPI Act 2009 and are set to expire at the end of 2019. Under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, these regulations must be replaced on 1st  January 2020 to maintain a statutory basis for contractor payments and to prescribe the fees payable from that date. 

In keeping with my obligations under Section 43 of the 2017 Act, my officials have undertaken a process of consultation with the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), as the representative body for the profession. My officials have met with an IPU delegation on two occasions where proposed fee restructuring was discussed. A detailed submission was received from the IPU. This consultation process has now concluded. 

I met with the IPU on the 5th  December, where I reiterated my intention to move beyond the arrangements underpinned by the FEMPI regulations and to commence a comprehensive review of the pharmacy contract. In this context I also communicated my intention to maintain the current fee structure from 1 January 2020. 

The comprehensive review of the pharmacy contract in 2020 will address the role to be played by community pharmacy in the context of Sláintecare. It will consider all aspects of pharmacy service provision including delivery of a multi-disciplinary model of service delivery for patients, ensuring clarity of roles and achieving optimum value for money.

However, any publicly funded pharmacy service expansion should address unmet public healthcare needs, improve access to existing public health services or provide better value for money or patient outcomes. Accordingly, any measures to be considered must be evidence based.

New secondary legislation is currently being drafted in order to give effect to the prescribed fee structure, as required under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017.

Medicinal Products

Questions (329)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

329. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide soluble paracetamol to medical card patients. [52554/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services

Questions (330)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

330. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52555/19]

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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.

Ambulance Service Data

Questions (331)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

331. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of emergency and non-emergency ambulance call-outs to Great Island, Cobh, County Cork in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the median response times as opposed to the mean average for each year; and if an ambulance will be permanently located on Great Island, Cobh, County Cork. [52566/19]

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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. 

Patient Transfers

Questions (332)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

332. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be transferred to St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8. [52583/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible

Respite Care Services Data

Questions (333)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

333. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of facilities providing a seven day respite service for adults and children in each CHO. [52591/19]

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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.

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 t o the Deputy 

Respite Care Services Data

Questions (334)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

334. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of respite hours provided for adults and children with an intellectual disability in CHO1 in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form [52592/19]

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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.

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.

Occupational Therapy Waiting Lists

Questions (335, 336, 337)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

335. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of children and adults on the occupational therapy first-time assessment waiting list in each CHO at the latest date available; and the number waiting 0 to three, three to six, six to nine, nine to 12, 12 to 18, 18 to 24 and more than 24 months, respectively. [52593/19]

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Eamon Scanlon

Question:

336. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the speech and language therapy assessment waiting list in each CHO at the latest date available; and the number waiting 0 to three, three to six, six to nine, nine to 12, 12 to 18, 18 to 24 and more than 24 months, respectively. [52594/19]

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Eamon Scanlon

Question:

337. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting for assessment by early intervention teams in each CHO at the latest date available; and the number waiting 0 to three, three to six, six to nine, nine to 12, 12 to 18, 18 to 24 and more than 24 months, respectively. [52595/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 335 to 337, inclusive, together.

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.

Nursing Staff Recruitment

Questions (338)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

338. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health if the senior nurse position will be filled in a facility (details supplied). [52605/19]

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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.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Questions (339)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

339. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 151 of 21 November 2019, if the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland will be funding the remainder of the digitalised registration system project cost of €2,089,500 from nurses and midwives annual retention fees; the expected go live date of the registration system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52615/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The position remains as I advised the Deputy previously. Primary responsibility for funding the digitisation project rests with the NMBI. My Department will consider any requests for additional funding should the NMBI be unable to meet the full costs of the project from within its operational budget.

I understand that the NMBI have replied directly to the Deputy regarding a revised go live date.  I will forward this question to them and ask them to provide you with any update from their previous reply.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (340)

Seán Haughey

Question:

340. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for surgery at Beaumont Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52630/19]

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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.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (341)

Seán Haughey

Question:

341. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment for support from CAMHS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52631/19]

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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.

HSE Properties

Questions (342)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

342. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 1184 of 6 September 2019, if the report by Beaumont Hospital and fire safety checks were received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52640/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive to pursue this issue further with Beaumont Hospital and to respond to you directly.

State Claims Agency Data

Questions (343)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

343. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the number of cases ongoing against the State Claims Agency in relation to the swine flu vaccine; if the approach taken by the State in dealing with these claims will be reviewed in view of the recent outcome of the test case in the High Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52665/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The State Claims Agency (SCA) has a statutory remit to manage personal injury claims, including claims in respect of clinical negligence, on behalf of Delegated State Authorities (DSA’s) including the Health Service Executive. The management of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine cases is delegated to the State Claims Agency which negotiated settlement of the lead case at a mediation. 

I have been informed by the State Claims Agency that there are 122 active claims currently being managed by the State Claims Agency in relation to the H1N1 Vaccine.  This information was extracted from the National Incident Management Framework (NIMS) and is correct as of 30/11/2019.

An Expert Group was established in June of last year, under Judge Meenan, to examine the law in relation to personal injuries arising in the healthcare context and to explore alternative mechanisms by which claims could be managed more effectively, particularly from the perspective of the person on whose behalf a claim has been made. A report from this Expert Group is expected in the coming weeks, the recommendations of which will be taken into account in relation to the development of any vaccine compensation scheme.

In addition, the Health Research Board recently completed a review of the evidence on vaccine injury redress programmes in other jurisdictions and this report will also be considered in conjunction with the Expert Group’s recommendation.  

Since 2012, the Department of Health, the HSE, and the Department of Education and Skills, and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have worked together to provide a wide range of services and supports for those affected.  

The HSE’s Advocacy Unit acts as liaison with service and support providers and other Government Departments to facilitate access to required services.  It has also engaged with representatives of SOUND (Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder).  Four regional narcolepsy co-ordinators have been appointed as single points of contact to assist patients and their families by providing advice, information and access to local services.

The ex-gratia health supports include: 

- clinical care pathways to ensure access to diagnosis and treatment;

- multi-disciplinary assessments led by clinical experts;

- counselling services for both the individuals and their families;

- discretionary medical cards for those who have been diagnosed;

- physiotherapy and occupational therapy assessments.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Questions (344)

Dara Calleary

Question:

344. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the waiting lists being experienced in County Mayo for orthodontic services; the measures he has taken to alleviate same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52667/19]

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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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Questions (345)

Peter Burke

Question:

345. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) is be eligible for treatment under the cross border directive from either Ireland or the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52670/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have referred it to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services Provision

Questions (346)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

346. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52674/19]

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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.

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 

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Questions (347)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

347. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the average waiting time for a child seeking access to a speech and language therapist; the number of children that have access to a speech and language therapist; and the average number of sessions the children receive per year. [52680/19]

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.