Vaccination Programme

Questions (712, 713)

Duncan Smith

Question:

712. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Health the number of members of Dublin Fire Brigade who received their first jab for Covid-19 in the period from 28 December to 1 February 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6392/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

713. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Health the number of members of Dublin Fire Brigade who received their second jab for Covid-19 in the period from 28 December to 1 February 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6393/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 712 and 713 together.

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 (714)

Duncan Smith

Question:

714. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to incidences in which healthcare workers received their first jab for the Covid-19 vaccination but did not receive their second jab within 21 days; if so, the results by healthcare worker subset as per the vaccination sequencing document; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6394/21]

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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 the deputy directly, as soon as possible

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (715)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

715. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Health when he envisages patients already receiving medical cannabis treatment will be able to subscribe to the access programme that was recently announced; and the process for subscribing to this scheme. [6398/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Any patient with one of the three specified conditions and under the direct supervision of an appropriately trained and experienced medical consultant will be able to apply to the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP). The specified medical conditions (medical indications) are:

- Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis;

- Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy;

- Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.

The MCAP has been included in the HSE Service Plan 2021 and is a five year pilot programme for the treatment of the three specified conditions above.

The operationalisation and commencement of the MCAP is the responsibility of the HSE. The HSE will establish and maintain a Register for the Medical Cannabis Access Programme to facilitate the enrolment and recording of certain data including patient identifiers (in anonymised format), prescribers enrolled in the programme, as well as prescribed / supplied medical cannabis products.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (716)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

716. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if any death of a patient in Ireland has been associated with the taking of the three vaccines for Covid-19 which have been licensed to date; and if the relevant health bodies have a duty to investigate deaths in circumstances in which death occurred shortly after the administration of the first or second dose of such vaccines. [6404/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Authorised vaccines are subject to ongoing monitoring in Ireland by the Health Product Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

At present there are three COVID-19 vaccines authorised for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The HPRA has received a small number of reports of elderly patients, who had underlying conditions and passed away following vaccination. These reports have been carefully reviewed and based on the information provided, have not raised any concern regarding the safe use of Comirnaty in this population. It can be expected that fatalities due to progression of underlying disease or natural causes will continue to occur, including following vaccination, however, this does not mean it was caused by the vaccine.

The HPRA follows up on reports of suspected adverse reactions received from Healthcare professionals and members of the public through the voluntary reporting system, including any deaths notified following vaccination.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (717)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

717. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health if there are plans to extend the qualifying illnesses from the three current conditions for others who suffer chronic pain and wish to be prescribed under the programme further to the commencement of the medical cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6406/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) report “Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review”, the HPRA advised that if access to cannabis is to be permitted for medical purposes that it should only be made available for the treatment of patients with specified medical conditions which have failed to respond to all other previous treatments, and where there is at least modest evidence that cannabis may be effective.

The specified medical conditions (medical indications) are:

1. Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis resistant to all standard therapies and interventions whilst under expert medical supervision;

2. Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, despite the use of standard anti-emetic regimes whilst under expert medical supervision;

3. Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy that has failed to respond to standard anticonvulsant medications whilst under expert medical supervision.

The HPRA did not consider that the available evidence supported the use of cannabis in other medical conditions.

The MCAP has been included in the HSE Service Plan 2021 and is a five year pilot programme for the treatment of the three specified conditions.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (718)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

718. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Health the number of patients currently waiting on bone anchor hearing aids, by hospital, in tabular form. [6408/21]

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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 the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Hospital Data

Questions (719)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

719. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Health the number of bone anchor hearing aids fitted in each of the years from 2018 to 2020 in Tullamore Hospital. [6409/21]

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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 the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Hospital Data

Questions (720)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

720. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Health the number of bone anchor hearing aid procedures due to take place in Tullamore Hospital in 2021; and the number that took place in each of the years from 2018 to 2020. [6410/21]

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 Waiting Lists

Questions (721)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

721. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Health the input surgeons have in the decision-making process of prioritising those suffering from hearing loss for bone anchor hearing aids. [6411/21]

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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 the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (722)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

722. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for all children for speech and language therapy by community healthcare organisation area, in tabular form; and the length of time each age group is waiting. [6417/21]

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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.

Drug Treatment Programmes

Questions (723)

Thomas Gould

Question:

723. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health the number of needle exchanges and their operating hours, by county, in 2019 and 2020, respectively. [6418/21]

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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 the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (724, 827)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

724. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if pharmacists will be administering the Covid-19 vaccine to those aged over 70s; if not, if consideration will be given to including them in the roll-out (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6419/21]

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Michael Creed

Question:

827. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Health the role envisaged for community pharmacists in the Covid-19 vaccination of those aged over 70s; the reason for the decision in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6853/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 724 and 827 together.

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

Substance Misuse

Questions (725)

Ruairí Ó Murchú

Question:

725. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Health when he expects online engagements for the citizens' assembly on drug use to be convened. [6426/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government includes the commitment to convene a Citizen’s Assembly to consider matters relating to drug use. The timing of this, and other assemblies, over the lifetime of the Government has yet to be determined. Consideration of the Citizen’s Assembly on drugs use (including the methods by which engagements can take place) is at an early stage.

The Government is committed to a health-led approach to drug use. In line with this, the Department of Health is leading on the implementation of the Health Diversion Programme for individuals found in possession of drugs for personal use. This programme is based on the recommendations of an expert working group in 2019, informed by 20,000 public responses to an online survey. This programme will be reviewed after the first full year of implementation, to ensure that it is meeting all of it aims and to make any necessary changes.

In addition, the Department of Health is coordinating a mid-term review of the actions in the national drugs strategy, with the expectation that an updated set of actions will be agreed in Q1 2021.

I am committed to a health-led approach to drug use. I look forward to the commencement of the Health Diversion Programme in 2021. The learnings to be derived from this programme could help inform the focus of a Citizen’s Assembly on drugs use in due course.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Questions (726)

Cathal Crowe

Question:

726. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Health when sexual health screening appointments will resume, in view of the fact that only emergency appointments are being carried out at present. [6436/21]

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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 the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Health Services

Questions (727)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

727. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6442/21]

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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.

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

Addiction Treatment Services

Questions (728)

Thomas Gould

Question:

728. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health the number of community development workers funded by his Department to work in addiction services in each of the years from 2010 to 2020, in tabular form [6450/21]

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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 the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

HSE Staff

Questions (729)

Thomas Gould

Question:

729. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health the average salary of a community development worker in the HSE. [6451/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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