Vaccination Programme

Questions (806)

Bríd Smith

Question:

806. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health if those who are considered very high risk by the HSE if they contract Covid-19 and have been told to remain home from work following an occupational health assessment are a priority in the vaccine schedule; when persons with sarcoidosis on the lungs with pulmonary fibrosis will be vaccinated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6794/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination. The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and my Department, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

Vaccine allocation is a matter for my Department and further information is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/39038-provisional-vaccine-allocation-groups/.

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is the responsibility of the HSE.

The aim of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is to ensure, over time, that vaccine will become available to vaccinate all of those for whom the vaccine is indicated. Given that there will be initially limited vaccines available, it will take some time for all to receive those vaccines and that has necessitated an allocation strategy to ensure that those most at risk of death and serious illness receive the vaccine first.

The priority is to first vaccinate and protect directly the most vulnerable amongst us, that is, those most likely to have a poor outcome if they contract the virus.

The priority is to directly use vaccines to save lives and reduce serious illness, hence the focus on the over 65 year old cohort in long term residential care facilities, and healthcare workers in frontline services often caring for the most vulnerable.

The next group to be vaccinated are those aged 70 and older in the following order: 85 and older, 80-84, 75-79, and 70-74. Vaccination of this group will begin this month.

All of the groups will be covered as further vaccine supplies become available and the immunisation programme is rolled out nationally.

The evidence will be kept under review and the allocation groups may be updated, where necessary, in light of new evidence.

Dental Services

Questions (807)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

807. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health the expected waiting period for a new entrant onto the waiting list for orthodontic services including dental braces in CH07; the number of persons on the current waiting list for over one, two, three, four and five years, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6805/21]

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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.

Primary Medical Certificates

Questions (808)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

808. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting processing of applications for the primary medical certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6806/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme comes under the remit of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners. The extent of the involvement of Health Service Executive (HSE) personnel in the Scheme relates to making a professional clinical determination as to whether an individual applicant meets the specified medical criteria for a Primary Medical Certificate, which is a requirement for the Scheme. This determination is undertaken by Senior Medical Officers for the relevant HSE Community Health Organisation on behalf of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners.

The Deputy may be aware that following a Supreme Court decision of June 2020, the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates was suspended at the request of the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D.. Following the approval of the Finance Act 2020 which provides for the medical criteria in primary legislation, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, T.D., issued an instruction to the Chief Executive Officer of the HSE to the effect that Primary Medical Certificate assessments can recommence with effect from 1st January, 2021.

Separately, the ability to hold assessments may be impacted by, among other things, the public health restrictions in place and the role of the HSE Medical Officers in the roll out of the COVID vaccination programme. I understand that the HSE is considering the matter of Primary Medical Certificate assessments in the context of their revision of the HSE recovery and restoration plans, taking into account the pressures and challenges to the health services presented by COVID.

As the question raised by the Deputy is a service matter, I have arranged to have the question referred to the HSE for consideration and direct reply to the Deputy.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (809, 945)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

809. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health the number of nursing home residents who have received their first and second doses of the vaccine for Covid-19; the number of residents still to receive their first and second doses of the vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6815/21]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

945. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the number of residents and staff in nursing homes who have yet to receive the first dose of the vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7380/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 809 and 945 together.

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

Prescriptions Data

Questions (810, 811, 812)

David Cullinane

Question:

810. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of prescriptions issued in each of the years 2017 to 2020 for antidepressants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6831/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

811. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of prescriptions issued to medical card holders in each of the years 2017 to 2020 for antidepressants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6832/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

812. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of prescriptions issued in each of the years 2017 to 2020 for antidepressants which were reimbursed via PCRS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6833/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 810 to 812, inclusive, together.

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

Mental Health Services

Questions (813)

David Cullinane

Question:

813. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of referrals to mental health services in each of the years 2017 to 2020, by service in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6834/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Mental Health Services

Questions (814)

David Cullinane

Question:

814. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of clinical diagnoses for different mental health conditions in each of the years 2017 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6835/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Data

Questions (815)

David Cullinane

Question:

815. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of staffed and fully funded critical care beds in each hospital by hospital and hospital group; the number that are open, closed due to staffing, closed due to IPC and other relevant categories in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6841/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Significant additional critical care capacity has been put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with funding for 40 additional adult critical care beds provided in March 2020. The HSE has advised that between 280 and 285 permanent adult critical care beds are now fully staffed and open, with the precise number on any given day fluctuating due to staffing or other operational factors. This compares to a baseline figure of 255 beds available in January 2020.

A Strategic Plan for Critical Care was noted by Government in December 2020 and aims to bring permanent adult critical care capacity in Ireland to 321 by the end of 2021 and to 446 in the long term in line with the recommendations of the Health Service Capacity Review.

A total of €52m was provided to advance the Critical Care Strategic Plan in Budget 2021. This will retain, on a permanent basis, the 40 adult critical care beds put in place on a temporary basis last year and add significant new build bed capacity, as well as allowing for the development of a workforce plan and education initiatives to grow the critical care workforce.

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him to provide the details requested.

Hospital Data

Questions (816)

David Cullinane

Question:

816. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of funded and staffed inpatient general acute hospital beds in place on 1 February 2020, by hospital and hospital group; the number open, closed due to staffing, closed due to IPC and other relevant categories in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6842/21]

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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 Staff

Questions (817)

David Cullinane

Question:

817. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of whole-time equivalent nursing and midwifery positions by grade funded, filled on a permanent, temporary and agency basis, respectively, and vacant in each hospital by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6843/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Staff

Questions (818)

David Cullinane

Question:

818. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of whole-time equivalent consultant positions by speciality funded, filled on a permanent, temporary and agency basis, respectively, and vacant in each hospital on 1 February 2020, by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6844/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Staff

Questions (819)

David Cullinane

Question:

819. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of whole-time equivalent healthcare assistant positions funded, filled on a permanent, temporary and agency basis, respectively, and vacant in each hospital on 1 February 2020, by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6845/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Staff

Questions (820)

David Cullinane

Question:

820. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of whole-time equivalent NCHD positions funded, filled on a permanent, temporary and agency basis, respectively, and vacant in each hospital on 1 February 2020, by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6846/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Health Services Staff

Questions (821)

David Cullinane

Question:

821. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of temporary, agency or locum staff currently employed in acute hospitals by profession and occupation and by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6847/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Data

Questions (822, 823, 824)

David Cullinane

Question:

822. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of inpatient appointments cancelled by hospitals for each month in 2020 and January 2021, by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6848/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

823. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of inpatient appointments cancelled by hospitals for each month in 2019, 2020 and January 2021, by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6849/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

824. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of outpatient appointments cancelled by hospitals in each month in 2019, 2020 and for January 2021, by hospital and hospital group in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6850/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 822 to 824, inclusive, together.

I fully acknowledge the distress and inconvenience for patients and their families when elective procedures are cancelled. While every effort is made to avoid cancellation or postponement of planned procedures, the HSE has advised that planned procedures and operations can be postponed or cancelled for a variety of reasons including capacity issues due to increased scheduled and unscheduled care demand.

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.

In relation to the specific queries raised regarding cancellations, as this is a service issue, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.