Vaccination Programme

Questions (901, 907)

Claire Kerrane

Question:

901. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Health if he has examined the use of community centres in order to assist with the mass roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations; if he will be seeking interest from community centres in coming forward to offer their facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7182/21]

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Alan Kelly

Question:

907. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the breakdown of the proposed locations of mass vaccination centres proposed for each county and CHO; if he will provide a list of the centres that have been considered for use in each county and those that have been secured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7194/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 901 and 907 together.

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

Carer's Allowance

Question No. 903 answered with Question No. 710.

Questions (902)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

902. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to instances in which carer's allowance application forms, CR1 forms, are not being completed by general practitioners; the advice for persons who need forms filled out to have applications processed; if consideration has been given to waiving the need for such forms to be completed for the duration of Covid-19 restrictions to free up general practitioner time; the way in which applications can be processed in the absence of general practitioners filling out these forms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7186/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

While there is currently an exceptional demand for GP services in the context of Covid-19, GPs continue to see patients for non-Covid related services where necessary, albeit with infection-control measures in place. Nurse and doctor advice is provided over the phone where appropriate, and patients who are clinically assessed as requiring a face to face consultation with a doctor are referred for an appointment. Where a face to face consultation is necessary, including those for non-clinical matters, this should be discussed between the GP or GP practice and the person concerned.

The carer's allowance application form (CR1) features a medical report section which must be completed and signed by a doctor registered with the Medical Council. Applications for carer's allowance are made to the Department of Social Protection, and information on how to apply for carer's allowance is available from the Government website. However, how relevant application forms are processed, and the requirements for their completion, is determined by the Department or organisation responsible for the application form.

Question No. 903 answered with Question No. 710.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (904)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

904. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when firefighters can expect to receive the vaccine; if they will be prioritised given that they are front-line workers and first responders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7188/21]

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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 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.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (905)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

905. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if patients that require life-saving treatment or operations will be prioritised for vaccination before they receive the treatment; if there has been discussion on prioritising this group of persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7189/21]

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.

Primary Medical Certificates

Question No. 907 answered with Question No. 901.

Questions (906)

David Cullinane

Question:

906. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for a primary medical certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7192/21]

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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 have been informed 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 issue 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.

Question No. 907 answered with Question No. 901.

Medicinal Products

Questions (908)

Peter Burke

Question:

908. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the reason medications prescribed for a person (details supplied) with Lyme disease are not covered by a medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7197/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the particular issue raised relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (909)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

909. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to a site (details supplied) as a location for community-based vaccine roll-out. [7198/21]

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 (910)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

910. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied that each healthcare assistant, HCA, within community health organisation 4, CHO4, is receiving the Covid-19 vaccine; and the number of HCAs within CHO4 who are yet to be vaccinated. [7199/21]

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 (911)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

911. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if he has given consideration to early vaccinations for minors in circumstances in which they have a severe illness or condition and are being cared for on the basis of high dependency. [7200/21]

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 the Department of Health, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

Vaccine allocation is a matter for the Department of Health 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.

There is no data on the safety and efficacy of Comirnaty in children less than 16 years and of COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna or COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in individuals less than 18 years.

Vaccination may be considered for children aged 12 years and older with serious neurodisabilities (including cerebral palsy, severe autism and Down syndrome) who spend regular time in specialised residential care settings for children with complex needs. Vaccination of other children aged 12 years and older living in these settings may also be considered.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (912)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

912. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of the HPV vaccine at the gay men's health service; if the HPV vaccine will be offered through the service in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7202/21]

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 (913)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

913. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the status of the roll-out of the HPV preventative vaccine as administered through the school immunisation programme; the way in which the roll-out has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of schools; if there will be a catch-up scheme; if a charge will be applied to those who may have missed appointments due to having to self-isolate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7203/21]

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.

Podiatry Services

Questions (914)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

914. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in community health organisation 4 waiting for a podiatry appointment in primary care as of 2 February 2021; and the number waiting for specified periods (details supplied). [7217/21]

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.

HSE Waiting Lists

Questions (915)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

915. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the average waiting time to see a consultant neurologist at Cork University Hospital. [7218/21]

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 National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) have advised my Department that as of the end of December 2020 the average waiting time to see a Consultant Neurologist at Cork University Hospital is 319 days.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (916, 917, 918)

David Cullinane

Question:

916. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of persons currently employed by occupation in Covid-19 testing and tracing systems, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7235/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

917. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of persons planned to be employed by occupation in Covid-19 testing and tracing systems, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7236/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

918. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the number of funded positions by occupation in Covid-19 testing and tracing systems by filled and vacant positions, in tabular form; the basis on which they are filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7237/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 916 to 918, 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.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (919)

Alan Kelly

Question:

919. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the criteria in place for the selection of mass vaccination centres in each location; the budget in place for the procurement of such centres; the proposed expenditure on this programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7255/21]

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.