Paediatric Services

Questions (408, 409)

Brendan Smith

Question:

408. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the number of children on the paediatric dermatology list; his plans to eliminate unacceptable delays in children receiving appropriate treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52996/19]

View answer

Brendan Smith

Question:

409. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the reason delays are occurring in the appointment of a consultant dermatologist at Crumlin Children's Hospital; when the position will be filled in view of the long delays for children being provided with necessary treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52997/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 408 and 409 together.

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 NTPF increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020.

My Department is working with the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund 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.

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

In relation to the particular query raised, regarding the appointment of a Consultant Dermatologist at CHI Crumlin, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Waiting List Figures as at 28/11/2019, Published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund on 13th December 2019

Outpatients Children's Health Ireland

Total 

0-3 Months

3-6 Months

6-9 Months

9-12 Months

12-15 Months

15-18 Months

18 Months +

Paediatric Dermatology 

4,663

829

712

583

365

328

254

1,592

Inpatient / Day Case Children's Health Ireland

Paediatric Dermatology

35

7

19

4

3

2

0

0

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (410)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

410. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of outpatient appointments outstanding for more than two, three and four years, respectively, at the end of November 2019, by each reporting hospital in tabular form. [53000/19]

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 documents. This information is also available on the NTPF website at: https://www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm 

Waiting List Figures as at 28/11/2019, Published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund on 13th December 2019

Over Two Years

*Due to the small volume of patients waiting in certain hospitals, to preserve patient confidentiality, when the amount of patients is <5, these have been aggregated into a 'Small Volume Hospitals' cohort.

Hospital Group

Hospital

Number.

Dublin Midlands Hospital Group

2+ years

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise

68

Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore

3487

Naas General Hospital

1089

St. James's Hospital

1827

Tallaght University Hospital

6228

Ireland East Hospital Group

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

6620

Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar

1005

Our Lady's Hospital Navan

58

Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital

2749

St. Columcille's Hospital

574

St. Luke's General Hospital Kilkenny

207

St. Vincent's University Hospital

757

RCSI  Hospitals Group

Beaumont Hospital

599

Cavan General Hospital

323

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda

363

Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown

44

Saolta University Health Care Group

Galway University Hospitals

4670

Letterkenny University Hospital

2310

Mayo University Hospital

1659

Portiuncula University Hospital

86

Roscommon University Hospital

641

Sligo University Hospital

1016

South/South West Hospital Group

Cork University Hospital

2323

Mallow General Hospital

157

Mercy University Hospital

414

South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital

4065

South Tipperary General Hospital

135

University Hospital Waterford

7334

Cork University Maternity Hospital

0

University Hospital Kerry

1034

University of Limerick Hospital Group

Croom Orthopaedic Hospital

1573

Ennis Hospital

64

Nenagh Hospital

55

University Hospital Limerick

5092

Children's Health Ireland

CHI at Crumlin

3651

CHI at Temple St

1636

CHI at Tallaght

525

Small Volume Hospitals

10

Grand Total

64448

Over 3 Years

*Due to the small volume of patients waiting in certain hospitals, to preserve patient confidentiality, when the amount of patients is <5, these have been aggregated into a 'Small Volume Hospitals' cohort.

Hospital Group

Hospital

Number.

Dublin Midlands Hospital Group

3+ yrs

Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore

1462

Naas General Hospital

293

St. James's Hospital

610

Tallaght University Hospital

2199

Ireland East Hospital Group

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

1942

Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar

365

Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital

916

St. Columcille's Hospital

156

St. Luke's General Hospital Kilkenny

116

St. Vincent's University Hospital

46

RCSI  Hospitals Group

Beaumont Hospital

202

Cavan General Hospital

38

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda

53

Saolta University Health Care Group

Galway University Hospitals

1374

Letterkenny University Hospital

676

Mayo University Hospital

837

Portiuncula University Hospital

23

Roscommon University Hospital

155

Sligo University Hospital

222

South/South West Hospital Group

Cork University Hospital

507

Mercy University Hospital

94

South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital

1163

University Hospital Waterford

2037

University Hospital Kerry

55

University of Limerick Hospital Group

Croom Orthopaedic Hospital

599

Ennis Hospital

44

Nenagh Hospital

8

University Hospital Limerick

1427

Children's Health Ireland

CHI at Crumlin

1572

CHI at Temple St

279

CHI at Tallaght

64

Small Volume Hospitals

5

Grand Total

19539

Over Four Years.

*Due to the small volume of patients waiting in certain hospitals, to preserve patient confidentiality, when the amount of patients is <5, these have been aggregated into a 'Small Volume Hospitals' cohort.

Hospital Group

Hospital

Number

Dublin Midlands Hospital Group

Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore

163

St. James's Hospital

203

Tallaght University Hospital

764

Ireland East Hospital Group

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

363

Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar

144

Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital

205

Saolta University Health Care Group

Galway University Hospitals

185

Letterkenny University Hospital

25

Mayo University Hospital

298

Sligo University Hospital

20

South/South West Hospital Group

South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital

228

University Hospital Waterford

262

University of Limerick Hospital Group

Croom Orthopaedic Hospital

120

Ennis Hospital

23

University Hospital Limerick

328

Children's Health Ireland

CHI at Crumlin

462

Small Volume Hospitals

14

Grand Total

3807

Departmental Agencies Data

Questions (411)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

411. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 328 of 10 December 2019, the dates on which operational meetings were held with agencies (details supplied) in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the reason for the meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53008/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As previously advised to the Deputy, as part of the relationship and engagement process with bodies under the aegis of my Department, officials meet on a regular basis with the aegis bodies. The details requested in relation to operational meetings are set out in the following table:

Aegis Body

Date of Meeting

Purpose of Meeting

Dental Council

18/11/2019

Plans for implementation of National Oral Health Policy

 

26/08/2019

Plans for implementation of National Oral Health Policy

 

23/08/2019

Staffing Requirements

 

19/06/2019

Update on National Oral Health Policy implementation

 

07/11/2018

Presentation to Council on draft National Oral Health Policy

 

01/11/2018

Consultation on draft National Oral Health Policy

 

22/10/2018

Various agenda items

 

26/09/2018

Consultation on draft National Oral Health Policy

 

11/06/2018

Consultation on draft National Oral Health Policy

 

08/03/2018

Legislative issues

 

05/03/2018

Consultation on draft National Oral Health Policy

 

29/01/2018

Various agenda items

 

18/10/2017

Various agenda items

 

06/07/2017

Various agenda items

 

26/04/2017

Various agenda items

 

22/02/2017

Minister visit to Dental Council

 

20/02/2017

Legislative issues

 

16/02/2017

Various agenda items

 

13/12/2016

Various agenda items

Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU)

 

Nil

Medical Council

11/03/2019

Meeting to discuss the Medical Council’s Statement of Strategy 2019-2023

 

17/05/2018

Minister for Health met with the Medical Council’s outgoing Chair

 

16/11/2017

Meeting to discuss Performance Delivery/ Oversight Agreements and 2018 PAS Campaign

 

02/11/2016

Minister for Health met with the Medical Council’s CEO and Chair to discuss topics including governance.

 

05/05/2016

Secretary General meeting with the Medical Council’s CEO.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)

28/11/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

30/10/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

26/09/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/08/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

30/07/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

30/05/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

25/04/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

28/03/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

26/02/2019

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

20/12/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/11/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

08/11/2018

Meeting to discuss the Nightingale ICT Project

 

11/10/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/08/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

26/07/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

28/06/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

31/05/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

26/04/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/03/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

22/02/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

25/01/2018

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

20/12/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/11/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

31/10/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/09/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

30/08/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

03/08/2017

Meeting to discuss ICT

 

26/07/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

28/06/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

08/06/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

28/04/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/03/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

28/02/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

31/01/2017

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

05/01/2017

Meeting to discuss financial information

 

20/12/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

29/11/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

25/10/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

26/09/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

30/08/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

26/07/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

21/06/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

31/05/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

09/05/2016

Meeting to discuss financial information

 

27/04/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

15/03/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

 

12/01/2016

Regularly scheduled meeting

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI)

27/11/2019

Formal review of Performance Delivery Agreement and Oversight Agreement (as required by the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies)

Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC)

25/05/2016

Meeting regarding Appointments to Council

 

15/03/2016

Meeting regarding Appointments to Council

Hospital Services

Questions (412)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

412. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled with the surgical team in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53020/19]

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.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (413)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

413. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health the position regarding an application mechanism for a person who suffers from severe epilepsy and is seeking access to medicinal cannabis oil to treat the illness; the position regarding a mechanism being made available by which a person can apply for medicinal cannabis oil on the medical card or long term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53026/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

On 26th June I signed legislation which will allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) on a pilot basis for five years.

The signing of the legislation underpinning the MCAP allows for commencement of the operation of the access programme, the first stage of which is that potential suppliers may now apply to have their cannabis products assessed for suitability for medical use.

Commercial medical cannabis suppliers whose cannabis products meet the specified requirements set out in the legislation, and which have been listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations, will be able to supply these products into Ireland. Two cannabis-based products have been deemed to have met the applicable criteria set out in the legislation and have been added to Schedule 1 of the legislation.

As these products will be subject to international export licensing requirements, which are outside the control of the Department of Health, they are not expected to be available in Ireland for a further period.

Once suitable medical cannabis products are made available by suppliers, the MCAP will make it possible for a medical consultant to prescribe a listed cannabis-based treatment for a patient under his or her care for the following medical conditions, where the patient has failed to respond to standard treatments:

- spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis;

- intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy;

- severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.

The Department of Health will make this information available on their website.

Pending full operation of the MCAP, doctors may continue to utilise the Ministerial licencing route to prescribe medical cannabis for their patients, should they wish to do so. In line with the Chief Medical Officer's advice, the granting of a licence for cannabis for medical purposes must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to the Department of Health, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time. 

Clinicians may submit an application on behalf of their patients to the HSE for reimbursement approval if the patient has a valid medical prescription for medical cannabis for one of the above medical conditions and have sourced a cannabis-based product which has been prescribed under a Ministerial license.

The HSE has advised that in the previous situations where it considered reimbursement support appropriate, the following steps were completed:

- The patient’s consultant is satisfied that all therapeutic options have been exhausted and is prepared to accept the responsibility for monitoring the patient’s response to the cannabis product.

- A prescriber applies to the Minister for a Ministerial license and this is granted.

- The consultant completes an Individual Reimbursement Form, setting out the therapeutic benefit for the patient. It is important that this is completed in sufficient detail for therapeutic benefit to be demonstrated.

- The Individual Reimbursement Form is considered by the Medicines Management Programme (MMP).

- On review of the documentation, the MMP makes a recommendation for or against reimbursement support for the patient to the HSE, under the patient's eligibility, and informs the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) of that recommendation.

If approval is given, the PCRS, when authorised to proceed, will make the necessary arrangements to cover the costs involved for the patient.

Health Services Provision

Questions (414)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

414. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health the status of a project (details supplied); the timeframe for commencement of a service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53027/19]

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 (415)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

415. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the policy in relation to girls who missed out on the provision of vaccines for medical reasons (details supplied). [53034/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter concerning an individual, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Assisted Decision Making

Questions (416)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

416. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his Department is preparing regulations for the institution of a register of advance healthcare directives to allow for commencement of Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. [53047/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives (AHDs). An AHD is a statement made by a person with capacity setting out his or her will and preferences regarding treatment decisions that may arise in the future when he or she no longer has capacity.

The Department will explore issues relating to the establishment of an AHD Register and the associated Regulations, however the commencement of Part 8 of the Act is not contingent on these Regulations being completed in advance.  

In relation to the commencement of Part 8 of the Act, my Department is fully committed to commencing these provisions as soon as possible. The development of the code of practice to accompany the AHR provisions is a key piece of work in facilitating commencement. The AHD Multidisciplinary Working Group developed a code of practice for Part 8 of the Act and submitted it to the Director of the Decision Support Service in December 2018 for consideration. When the Director finalises the Code of Practice it will be submitted to the Minister for approval before publication.

Hospitals Funding

Questions (417)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

417. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when the increases required to implement the increased public hospital capacity included in Sláintecare will be included in detailed multi-year funding plans. [53048/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to reforming the funding system to support new models of care and drive value to make better use of resources.

My Department is examining the feasibility of introducing a multi-annual budgeting process including the drafting of a paper to inform the development of proposals for multi-annual budgeting in the healthcare system. Initial discussions in order to establish an interdepartmental working group have taken place during 2019.

Hospital Beds Data

Questions (418)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

418. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the 2019 to 2021 capital plan only provides for an additional 480 public acute hospital beds over the three years which is 300 beds below the 780 additional beds which should be provided for based on the average annual increase of 260 additional public hospital beds included in the 2018 capacity review and the National Development Plan 2018-2027; and if he has decided to ignore the commitments on increased public hospital capacity despite the record number of patients being treated on trolleys and the record waiting lists for public hospital care. [53049/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Regarding the provision of additional bed capacity, my Department has engaged extensively with the HSE this year to identify mitigating actions to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in the ED in the face of growing demand. Steady progress is being made in increasing bed capacity in the immediate term with the number of available inpatient beds expected to increase to above 11,000 following the investment in the National Service Plan 2019.

The Capacity Programme for 2019 includes the following increases in capacity, as per the National Service Plan 2019:

- The provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19;

- 47 additional beds, including the 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH), 3 HDU beds in the Mater Hospital and 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital. The 40-bed modular in STGH completed in November 2019 and operational in Quarter 1 2020.

- Commencement of works on a 60-bed modular ward in University Hospital Limerick. The enabling works are completed, the main contractor is currently on site, and construction is anticipated to be completed in mid-2020. Commissioning and equipping are scheduled to be completed in Quarter 3 2020.

- 24 beds at Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda Ward Block & Theatre project;

- 24 additional beds at University Hospital Waterford;

The HSE Winter Plan 2019/ 2020 has been developed to prepare for and manage the anticipated service pressures this winter. As part of the Winter Plan 2019/2020, The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has agreed to support the funding of additional beds for three months over the winter period. This initiative will support the commitment by the HSE and my Department to alleviate winter pressures. 

The Health Service Executive and my Department are currently engaged in a process to finalise the HSE Capital Plan for 2020. The HSE Capital Plan will determine the projects that can progress in 2020 and beyond having regard to the total available capital funding available. Regarding the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027, as is to be expectedwith a ten-year plan, many proposals are at early stages and, in line with the Public Spending Code, will require to progressthrough appraisal, planning, design and tender stages before a firm location, funding and timeline for delivery can be established.

Hospital Consultant Remuneration

Questions (419)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

419. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when he will restore pay parity for new consultants in order that the required number of consultant posts and the 500 permanent posts will be filled (details supplied). [53050/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

It is recognised that there are particular difficulties filling consultant posts in certain locations and in specialties where there are international shortages, including paediatrics. However, while our numbers are low by international standards, they continue to increase each year. At the end of October 2019 there were 3,231 whole time equivalent consultants working in the public health services. The number has increased by 142 in the 12 months to the end of October and by over 550 in the past 5 years. Most consultant posts not filled on a permanent basis are filled by locums or other arrangements to support the delivery of essential services.

My Department recently published the de Buitléir report. This Group was established to examine how to give effect to the Sláintecare recommendation on the removal of private practice from the public hospital system. The Group recommends offering only Sláintecare Type A (public only) contracts going forward, with pay parity limited to new Consultants who would take up this contract. It is through the implementation of this major Sláintecare reform that issues in relation to Consultant recruitment, retention, pay and other conditions will be addressed.

Hospital Services

Questions (420)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

420. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the urgent care centre at Tallaght Hospital will be opened on time as planned (details supplied). [53051/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The new children’s hospital project is a landmark project for Ireland and is a priority capital project for the Government and the Department of Health.  Construction work on the Tallaght Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre started in April 2019 and it is anticipated that it will open in 2020.

In relation to the Outpatient Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, CHI has acknowledged that there are recruitment challenges nationally and internationally in certain specialities, specifically in relation to Paediatric Radiology and Paediatric Emergency Medicine. Recruitment is currently ongoing to expand the Consultant workforce in Radiology and Emergency Medicine, and CHI continues to actively work with relevant staff groups on potential solutions to support extending the opening hours at the Urgent Care Centre.

Hospital Services

Questions (421)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

421. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided to create a pain management team and consultant full-time post at Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin. [53052/19]

View answer

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.

Tattooing and Body Piercing Regulation

Questions (422)

Mary Butler

Question:

422. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the status of plans to regulate the piercing and tattoo sector; the status of guidelines on the sector; the age of consent for such procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53065/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

There is no licensing or regulation of the tattooing or body piercing industries in Ireland and there are currently no plans to introduce regulation or legislation in the area of tattooing and body piercing.

However, where a tattoo or body piercing business has been implicated as a possible source in a case of a confirmed scheduled notifiable disease, such cases can be investigated by the HSE Environmental Health Service in conjunction with the HSE Public Health Service under the provisions of S.I. No. 390/1981 - Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 and Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 276 of 2016).

With respect to consent, including the age of consent, under the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act, 1997, and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1935, tattooing and body piercing may be construed as a criminal offence if proper informed consent is not obtained; or in the case of minors, if tattooing or body piercing is carried out on certain parts of the body, with or without consent.  Consequently, any queries relating to these issues would be a matter for An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice and Equality.

In the absence of a statutory framework being in place, this Department and the Health Service Executive are developing guidelines in relation to tattooing and body piercing industry. It is anticipated that the publication of this Guidance will promote and enhance evidence based best practice in hygiene standards and infection control. Once published, this guidance document will set out a standard of practice in relation to infection prevention and control which all operators should adhere to. This will help to drive up standards and provide a safe environment for clients and practitioners.

Hospital Services

Questions (423)

Mary Butler

Question:

423. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when the stoma clinic at University Hospital Waterford will be reinstated (details supplied). [53070/19]

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 Staff Data

Questions (424)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

424. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 359 of 1 October 2019, the reason the parliamentary question has remained unanswered to date despite two reminders seeking an answer to the question placed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53076/19]

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.

Respite Care Services Funding

Questions (425)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

425. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health if additional funding will be provided for respite in the 2020 budget allocation to a care centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53077/19]

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.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Questions (426)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

426. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a matter in relation to successful candidates on the 2016 HBS recruitment panels for senior staff positions in physiotherapy, speech and language and other allied health professions that are now not eligible for new positions over colleagues that joined panels in 2017; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that successful candidates in 2016 have had their careers delayed by four years; if the matter is part of the policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53087/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Questions (427, 428, 429)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

427. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting for a speech and language therapy assessment in each CHO; and the number in each CHO waiting more than eight months, one and two years, respectively. [53094/19]

View answer

Thomas Byrne

Question:

428. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting for speech and language therapy initial therapy in each CHO; and the number in each CHO waiting more than eight months, one and two years, respectively. [53095/19]

View answer

Thomas Byrne

Question:

429. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health the number of children waiting for speech and language further therapy in each CHO; and the number in each CHO waiting more than eight months, one and two years, respectively. [53096/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 427 to 429, inclusive, together.

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.