Hospital Equipment

Questions (388)

Denis Naughten

Question:

388. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health if funding will be approved for the provision of a MRI scanner for Roscommon University Hospital to address the significant backlog for same across the Saolta Hospital Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52874/19]

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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.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (389)

Denis Naughten

Question:

389. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting a MRI in each hospital in the Saolta Hospital Group; the longest waiting time per person on each list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52875/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE advise that a pilot project commenced in 2016 by the HSE Acute Hospitals Division to progress the collection of national radiology waiting list data. The project has been supported by the Radiology Clinical Care Programme and has involved key stakeholders across the system including the National NIMIS Team, Hospital Groups, and the support of the National Treatment Purchase Fund for data collection and data management expertise.

The data requested by the Deputy is provided in the attached document.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) advise that the waiting list data provided should be reviewed in light of the following caveats:

- Data contains urgent, routine and surveillance/planned activity which is currently not broken down in detail, as such surveillance/planned activity which may not be exceeding planned date;

- Data is still undergoing validation at Hospital and Hospital Group level;

- Data does not take into account local nuances at site level (Site profile developed to support understanding of same);

- The purpose of this aggregate data is to provide a National Level overview of the number of patients waiting for modalities of CT, MR and US;

- Local reports and mechanisms should continue to be used for the active management of diagnostics waiting lists at hospital level.

Saolta MRI waiting times by hospital

Health Services Provision

Questions (390)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

390. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health his plans to improve the diagnosis, management and treatment of endometriosis here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52877/19]

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

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (391)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

391. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list to see a consultant ENT surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9; the average waiting time to see the surgeon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52878/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020.

My Department is working with the HSE and NTPF to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. The National Service Plan 2020 will set out HSE planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to improve access to inpatient/daycase treatment and with a particular focus on hospital outpatient services.

In this regard, I would encourage all hospital groups and individual hospitals to engage with the NTPF to identify waiting list proposals for the remainder of this year and for 2020. 

The data requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached document. This information is also available on the NTPF website at: https://www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm.

Beaumont ENT OPD

Home Help Service Provision

Questions (392)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

392. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) had their home support hours cut in view of the fact their condition is deteriorating; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52884/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Review

Questions (393)

John Brassil

Question:

393. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health when changes to the fair deal scheme regarding farm and small business assets will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52890/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. The Department developed draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.

The General Scheme of Bill for the NHSS was approved by Government on 11 June 2019 and subsequently published. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the legislative process is successfully complete. The Department will progress this as quickly as possible, however, the timeline for completion of the legislation will also depend on how it passes through the Houses. The General Scheme was sent to the relevant Joint Committee and the Department participated in pre-legislative scrutiny on 13 November 2019. The Department looks forward to the report of the Committee following from this engagement. In the meantime, engagements with the Office of the Attorney General will continue with a view to progressing the legislative development process. 

It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (394)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

394. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will have their assessment of need carried out. [52910/19]

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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.

Patient Transport Expenditure

Questions (395)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

395. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the amount spent on patient transport in the past year in the Kildare West Wicklow CHO7 area; if the amount increased; and the criteria used to select patients for transport. [52911/19]

View answer

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. 

Health Services Access

Questions (396)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

396. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when an appropriate programme of treatment will be offered to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52918/19]

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 Staff Data

Questions (397)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

397. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of consultant gynaecologists per hospital in each of the years 10 December 2014 to 10 December 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52922/19]

View answer

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 to the Deputy. 

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (398)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

398. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on waiting lists to see a consultant gynaecologist by hospital and the length of time waiting, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52923/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020.

My Department is working with the HSE and NTPF to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. The National Service Plan 2020 will set out HSE planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to improve access to inpatient/daycase treatment and with a particular focus on hospital outpatient services.

In this regard, I would encourage all hospital groups and individual hospitals to engage with the NTPF to identify waiting list proposals for the remainder of this year and for 2020. 

The data requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached document. This information is also available on the NTPF website at: https://www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm.  

Gynaecology Outpatient Waiting List by Hospital

Hospital Staff Data

Questions (399)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

399. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of endometriosis specialists by hospital nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52924/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Reform

Questions (400)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

400. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if the Women’s Health Taskforce will be examining the diagnosis delays and treatment options of endometriosis here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52925/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I established the Women's Health Taskforce in the Department of Health to improve health outcomes and experiences of healthcare for women.  The Taskforce has been established for a two year period and is meeting regularly.

The Taskforce is at an early stage of its work and is considering the full range of issues affecting women’s health in Ireland. The Taskforce will tackle a wide range of issues impacting women’s health outcomes in Ireland over the course of its two year programme and will work on these on a phased, prioritised basis. Priorities will be decided by the Taskforce in consultation with stakeholders including the public.

Each week, external experts in the area of women's health meet with members of the Taskforce in the Department of Health to inform its work. The Endometriosis Association of Ireland recently presented to members of the Taskforce, highlighting this important issue which affects many women in Ireland. 

Information and data gathered through engagement with stakeholders, combined with the other available evidence will form the basis for future policy and action to improve women's health in Ireland.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Questions (401)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

401. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who accessed treatment for endometriosis abroad through the cross-Border directive in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52926/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Home Help Service Data

Questions (402)

Noel Grealish

Question:

402. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for new or additional home support services by county; and the number of new applicants for additional hours by number and length of time waiting since the application was made in 2018 and to date in 2019. [52927/19]

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.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (403)

Mary Butler

Question:

403. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health his plans to extend the national HPV vaccination programme to provide universal HPV vaccination to boys up to 17 and 18 years of age (details supplied); if the programme will be extended to include all boys of school-going age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52930/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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.

In 2009 the NIAC recommended HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination for all 12-13 year old girls to reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer when they are adults.  In September 2010 the HPV vaccination programme was introduced for all girls in first year of secondary school.   

As you are aware, NIAC recommended that the HPV vaccine should also be given to boys.  On foot of NIAC’s recommendation, my Department asked the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake a health technology assessment (HTA) to establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness of extending the current immunisation programme to include boys in the first year of secondary school.  

HIQA completed the HTA in December 2018, recommending that the HPV immunisation programme be extended to include boys.  A policy decision was made to extend the HPV immunisation programme to include boys starting in September 2019 with the introduction of a 9-valent HPV vaccine.  However, the HIQA report published in December 2018 did not recommend an HPV catch-up programme for older boys for several reasons:

- Vaccinating boys in the first year of secondary school provides the best possible protection against HPV infection;

- Boys are already benefitting from the indirect herd protection provided by the girls' HPV vaccination programme which started in 2010.

The ages at which vaccines are recommended in the immunisation schedule are chosen by NIAC in order to give each child the best possible protection against vaccine preventable diseases.  As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection.  Therefore, the gender neutral HPV vaccination programme targets all girls and boys in first year of secondary school to provide maximum coverage.  All vaccines administered through the School Immunisation Programme are provided free of charge.  

My Department will continue to be guided by NIAC's recommendations on any emerging evidence on this issue in the future.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (404)

Mary Butler

Question:

404. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if the HPV vaccination programme will be delivered under the drugs payment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52931/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).  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.

A gender neutral HPV vaccination programme which targets all girls and boys in first year of secondary school was introduced in September 2019.  

The ages at which vaccines are recommended in the immunisation schedule are chosen by the NIAC in order to give each child the best possible protection against vaccine preventable diseases.  As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection.  Therefore, the gender neutral HPV vaccination programme targets all girls and boys in first year of secondary school to provide maximum coverage. 

All vaccines administered through the School Immunisation Programme are provided free of charge.

Mental Health Services Funding

Questions (405)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

405. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if the full €55 million in development funding allocated to mental health in 2019 has been released to the HSE by his Department further to his previous commitment (details supplied); the amount of 2019 development funding released to date to the HSE; the month this funding was released or part thereof; the reason development funding for mental health is not released in January of each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52958/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In line with the commitment given to Mental Health Reform in 2017, €55 million was allocated to HSE mental health services for 2019. This comprised €20 million continuing cost in 2019 of developments initiated in 2018, combined with €35 million for further new developments.

As part of the annual budgetary process the Department of Health holds funding for specific new initiatives set out in the HSE's National Service Plan.  This funding is released subject to the receipt, review and approval of detailed implementation plans in relation to each initiative and the commencement of same.

To date, €40.246 million of this funding has been allocated to the HSE, with a further €3 million paid to Pobal for the Community Mental Health Fund. 

This funding has enabled the HSE to progress initiatives agreed in the National Service Plan 2019, such as e-mental health programmes and increased funding for psychiatric nurse undergraduate places. In addition, this funding has enabled preparatory work for the forthcoming relocation of the National Forensic Mental Health Service to Portrane.

An amount of €11.754 million remains under consideration in the context of finalising the end-year position for 2019.

Budget 2020 saw the Government continue this commitment to mental health by increasing funding by €39m to €1.026bn. This represents an increase of over €315 million, or 45%, since 2012.

Mental Health Services Funding

Questions (406)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

406. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the amount of mental health development funding for 2019 that has been spent to date; the breakdown of this expenditure by activity and cost, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52959/19]

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 Appointments Status

Questions (407)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

407. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting for an operation for another 18 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52994/19]

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.