Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (882)

Carol Nolan

Question:

882. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the way in which the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines for persons with underlying conditions is being implemented; the underlying conditions being prioritised; the reason they are being prioritised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7092/21]

View answer

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (883)

Carol Nolan

Question:

883. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if he will address concerns expressed by general practitioners that they are not being adequately informed with respect to their participation in the vaccine roll-out plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7094/21]

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.

Hospital Funding

Question No. 885 answered with Question No. 689.

Questions (884)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

884. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the amount of funding which will be made available to Roscommon University Hospital for the development of the eight bed, level 2, palliative care unit currently under construction on the grounds of Roscommon University Hospital in 2021 and subsequent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7102/21]

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 on this matter as soon as possible.

Question No. 885 answered with Question No. 689.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (886)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

886. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the establishment of specialist clinics in the UK to deal with long-term symptoms of Covid-19; the steps his Department is taking to support patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of the virus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7108/21]

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (887)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

887. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Health the stage in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out it is planned that persons employed as third-level academic staff will be offered inoculations; if they will fall into the same category as primary and second-level teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7116/21]

View answer

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (888)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

888. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Health the stage in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out it is planned that persons employed as funeral directors will be offered inoculations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7117/21]

View answer

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (889)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

889. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Health the status of the issue of women being attended to by partners during visits to maternity services in view of the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7118/21]

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.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (890)

Thomas Gould

Question:

890. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health the actions that will be taken to ensure that patients with a prescription for products produced by a company (details supplied) can still access the products. [7125/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

On the 14th December 2020, the Minister for Health announced that patients who are prescribed cannabis-based products from a pharmacy in the Netherlands will no longer need to travel there to collect their prescriptions. The temporary delivery service that was announced in April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been made permanent.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (891)

Thomas Gould

Question:

891. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health if all patients that were receiving reimbursement of their prescription costs for medicinal cannabis prior to 21 January 2021 will continue to receive this reimbursement. [7126/21]

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.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (892)

Thomas Gould

Question:

892. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health when permissible products under the medicinal cannabis access programme, MCAP, will be extended to include a variety of cannabis flower. [7127/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

A prospective supplier of cannabis-based products can apply to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), on behalf of the Minister, to have a product considered for inclusion in the Medicinal Cannabis Access Programme.

Cannabis products that can be used in the Medical Cannabis Access Programme are defined as ‘specified controlled drugs’ in legislation (SI 262/2019) and the definition outlines the specific requirements for those products.

The criteria that cannabis products must meet in order to be considered by the Minister for inclusion on the schedule are set out in the legislation and can be found in the operator guidance issued by the HPRA.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Questions (893)

Thomas Gould

Question:

893. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health if a review has been commissioned on the qualifying conditions under medicinal cannabis access programme, MCAP; if so, the timeline for the review; if not, his plans for such a review; if flexibility will exist on the current list of qualifying conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7128/21]

View answer

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.

Hospital Facilities

Questions (894)

Thomas Gould

Question:

894. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 788 of 3 February 2021, if his attention has been drawn to page 88 of the national development plan which, under Acute Hospital Development, specifically mentions a new hospital for Cork; and if, in view of this information, he will provide a timeline for and update on the promised acute hospital in Cork. [7135/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

There is a new Hospital being developed in Cork under the current NDP – the Ambulatory Elective Hospital. The Ambulatory Elective Hospital and its services will be acute in nature.

The National Development Plan stated that, “New dedicated ambulatory elective only hospital facilities will be introduced in Dublin Galway and Cork. These facilities will provide high volume, low complexity procedures on a day and outpatient basis, together with a range of ambulatory diagnostic services. The high volume of demand for such services in these major urban centres is sufficient to justify the construction of dedicated ambulatory centres.”

As is to be expected with a ten-year plan, many proposals, including the elective-only hospital in Cork, are at early stages and, in line with the Public Spending Code, will require to progress through appraisal, planning, design and tender stages before a firm location, timeline or funding required can be established.

In 2019 the Sláintecare Programme Implementation Office (SPIO) established an Elective Hospitals Oversight Group, under the joint governance of the Health Service Executive, Department of Health and Sláintecare, to guide the development of the elective/ambulatory sites, as outlined in the National Development Plan (February 2018).

The Oversight Group is following the process outlined in the Public Spending Code. As required under the Code, a Strategic Assessment Report has been drafted for the development of Elective Hospital facilities. This sets out the rationale for investment, the alignment of the programme with strategic requirements of Government, some initial options and potential costs, and the governance of the programme. This document is complete and is currently going through the approval channels.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (895)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

895. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health if psychotherapists who meet patients face to face are considered to be front-line healthcare workers in direct patient contact roles for the purposes of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7160/21]

View answer

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 (Group 3) 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.

Frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) in direct patient contact roles will be vaccinated in Group 2. This includes HCWs working in public, private, and voluntary settings. Other HCWs, not in direct patient contact, will be vaccinated in Group 4.

The HSE has published a document on the sequencing of COVID-19 vaccination of frontline healthcare workers, which provides more detail. It is available at the following link:

https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/covid-19-vaccine-materials/sequencing-of-covid-19-vaccination-of-frontline-healthcare-workers.pdf

Vaccination Programme

Questions (896)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

896. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the estimated date for staff in the Irish Blood Transfusion Service to receive the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7163/21]

View answer

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 in 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.

Frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) in direct patient contact roles will be vaccinated in Group 2. This includes HCWs working in public, private, and voluntary settings. Other HCWs, not in direct patient contact, will be vaccinated in Group 4.

Health Services Staff

Questions (897)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

897. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the psychology staffing levels across each community adult mental health team in CHO 4 by grade, that is, basic, senior and principal; if staffing resources in each instance are permanent or fixed-term; the population size served by each team; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7164/21]

View answer

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 (898)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

898. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the specialist HSE adult mental health teams available to service users in areas (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7165/21]

View answer

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.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (899)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

899. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the estimated date for the vaccination of essential workers in food processing factories; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7168/21]

View answer

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.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (900)

David Cullinane

Question:

900. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of Covid-19 vaccines administered across each of the priority groups to date; if regular breakdowns across categories and cohorts will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7181/21]

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.