Addiction Treatment Services

Question No. 638 answered with Question No. 448.

Questions (636, 637)

Thomas Gould

Question:

636. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health the previously mentioned gambling addiction support services funded by the HSE; the funding streams they are supported under; and the way in which similar services can apply for this funding. [2784/21]

View answer

Thomas Gould

Question:

637. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an organisation (details supplied) is facing imminent closure without support; if consideration will be given to supporting this vital service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2787/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 636 and 637 together.

The Health Service Executive has responsibility for the provision of addiction treatment services.

People who present to the HSE for addiction treatment for gambling are offered the same range of interventions as those who present with a drug and alcohol addiction, or a mental health concern, including an initial assessment, a comprehensive assessment, and individual counselling. It is often the case that gambling addiction is one of a number of addictions and issues faced by an individual.

Although some cases of problematic gambling have been provided with treatment, services have not been funded to develop a programme of intervention for problematic gambling.

To provide additional services for gambling addiction would result in significant capacity issues and lengthening of existing waiting lists for people with drug and alcohol problems.

The HSE provides funding to a number of voluntary sector providers who treat gambling addiction, along with drug and alcohol addictions. I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy with details of funded addiction support services that also provide support with gambling addiction.

With respect to the organisation referred by the Deputy, I understand that this organisation provides support for individuals affected by problem gambling. The mission of the organisation is to provide a dedicated, independent suite of supports, resources and referral pathways for problem gamblers and their families. It also advocates on behalf of those suffering the consequences of problem gambling and highlights gambling related issues in the media.

I am aware that problem gambling affects a number of individuals and families in Ireland. Research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Department of Justice estimates that circa 1 per cent of the population is affected by problem gambling.

While I am supportive of drug and alcohol services that assist people with problem gambling, the Department has no funding available to it to support organisations that deal only with gambling addiction or problem gamblers.

The Department of Justice has overall responsibility for gambling regulation. It published the Inter-Departmental Working Group Report on Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling in 2019.

The report addresses the social impact of gambling, including the issue of problem gambling. It notes the social and health impacts of problem gambling and acknowledges that problem gambling can lead to social breakdown, with devastating financial losses and alienation of family and friends. Problem gambling can be associated with a range of harms including higher risk of psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug misuse, physical and mental health issues, separation and divorce, unemployment and insolvency.

The Inter-Departmental Working Group recommended that:

- funding be made available for research, training, and community interventions into treatment of gambling addiction.

- funding of public education and awareness raising programmes and the production of relevant information materials be supported.

- assistance be given in the provision of additional services to treat gambling addiction.

In order to meet these objectives, the Group recommended that a Social Fund, managed by the gambling regulatory authority should be established.

I support the recommendations of the working group report to address the social impact of gambling and to establish a social fund to support treatment services for gambling addiction.

Question No. 638 answered with Question No. 448.

Mental Health Services

Questions (639)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

639. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if he will take action to resolve any or all of the ongoing personnel disputes at certain levels throughout the mental health services, given the Covid-19 emergency that currently exists and the need to address the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health services in general; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2794/21]

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.

National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics

Questions (640)

Mark Ward

Question:

640. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Health the number of whole-time equivalents in the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics in 2019 and 2020; the budget allocation for same in 2019, 2020 and 2021, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2804/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) was established in 1998. Its remit is to advise the HSE and the Department of Health in relation to the cost-effectiveness of medicines, through the carrying out of health technology assessments (HTAs).

The NCPE's workload has increased significantly in recent years, from fewer than 10 assessments per year in 2007 to 83 assessments in 2020. In addition, the complexity of individual assessments has increased.

An independent review of the NCPE's work by Grant Thornton in 2017 (when the number of assessments was 56 per annum) indicated that the NCPE was understaffed and that an additional 9 staff, to include senior pharmacists, HTA assessors and statisticians, would be required to meet the increased workload. An additional €750,000 was allocated by the Minister for Health in 2018 to support the working of the NCPE.

The number of whole-time equivalents on staff at the NCPE (2019 – 2021) and the total cost, as of 15 January 2021, is shown in the table below.

-

2019

2020

2021

Core funded staff (WTE)

17.5

20.5

20.5

Budget by year: Core funded staff

€1,578,000

€1,828,500

€1,828,500

Expenditure detailed in this table includes all costs, such as salary, superannuation and non-pay costs (ongoing training and upskilling costs etc.).

Home Care Packages

Questions (641)

Mark Ward

Question:

641. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Health the estimated full-year cost of providing an additional 250 intensive home care packages for persons with dementia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2805/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the cost of providing Intensive Home Care Packages for people with dementia can vary from one client to another depending on his or her individual needs assessment.

On the basis of an estimated average cost of €1,000 per package per week, it would cost in the region of €13m in a full year to provide an additional 250 Intensive Home Care Packages.

Funding of €1,000 per week would provide approximately 40 hours of home support at an average cost of €26.60 per hour.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (642)

Mark Ward

Question:

642. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Health the waiting times by CHO areas for suprapubic catheter surgery to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2806/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

It is recognised that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures have been impacted in the last year as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HSE is currently recommending that only critical time dependent elective procedures are undertaken at this time due to the on-going and significant increased demand for bed capacity related to Covid-19.

This decision was made arising from the rapid increase in Covid-19 admissions and to ensure patient safety and that all appropriate resources were made available for Covid-19 related activity and time-critical essential work.

Patient safety remains at the centre of all hospital activity and elective care scheduling. To ensure services are provided in a safe, clinically-aligned and prioritised way, hospitals are following HSE clinical guidelines and protocols.

The National Waiting List Management Policy is a standardised approach used by the HSE to manage scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures. It sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists and was developed in 2014 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.

The data requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached document. Please note that due to the low numbers of people waiting for this procedure, all groups fall into Small Volume Groups and the NTPF have limited the time band to 0-3 Months, 3-12 Months and 12+ Months.

*Due to the small volume of patients waiting, to preserve patient confidentiality, when the number of patients is <5, these have been included within broader timebands and aggregated into a 'Small Volume Group' cohort.

Wait times for Laparoscopic cystotomy, Cystotomy, Percutaneous cystotomy by hospital group as of 26/11/2020

Sum of Amount

Column Labels

Row Labels

0-3 Months

3-12 Months

12+ Months

Grand Total

Small Volume Groups

7

5

8

20

Grand Total

7

5

8

20

Disability Services Data

Questions (643)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

643. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in the Cork north Lee area that have been impacted by the redeployment of disability clinicians to address the assessment of need backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2810/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

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

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (644)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

644. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite an assessment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2815/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

As this is a service matter it would be inappropriate for me as Minister to personally intervene, I have however asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

General Practitioner Services

Questions (645)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

645. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the level of services to be provided at SouthDoc Blackpool under the proposed reopening of 18 January 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2816/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Vaccination Programme

Questions (646)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

646. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the mechanism being put in place to make contact with over-70s in order that they can receive their vaccinations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2817/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Staff

Questions (647)

Johnny Mythen

Question:

647. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health the current staffing vacancies in Wexford General Hospital; the length of these vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2828/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Vaccination Programme

Questions (648)

Johnny Mythen

Question:

648. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health when Wexford General Hospital staff will receive the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2829/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (649)

Johnny Mythen

Question:

649. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health the number of children that were placed on the waiting list for CAMHS in 2020 in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2830/21]

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 Staff

Questions (650)

Johnny Mythen

Question:

650. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health the current staffing levels in a service (details supplied) in County Wexford; the staffing vacancies in the service by occupation; when vacant positions will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2831/21]

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.