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Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021

Written Answers Nos. 606-622

Primary Medical Certificates

Questions (606)

Chris Andrews

Question:

606. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Health the reason an application by a person (details supplied) for a primary medical certificate was turned down; the qualifying criteria to receive a primary medical certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61564/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, a Primary Medical Certificate is one requirement for eligibility for the Revenue Commissioners Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme, which comes under the remit of the Department of Finance.

The medical criteria for a Primary Medical Certificate are set by the Department of Finance. An applicant must be permanently and severely disabled and satisfy at least one of the following medical criteria;

- Be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both legs;

- Be wholly without the use of one leg and almost wholly without the use of the other leg such that the applicant is severely restricted as to movement of the lower limbs;

- Be without one or both legs;

- Be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both hands or arms and wholly or almost wholly without the use of one leg;

- Have the medical condition of dwarfism and have serious difficulties of movement of the lower limbs.

In the event that a Primary Medical Certificate is not granted by the relevant Health Service Executive (HSE) Medical Officer, an appeal may be made to the independent Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, which comes under the remit of the Department of Finance.

As the issue raised by the Deputy concerning an individual application for a Primary Medical Certificate is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Mental Health Services

Questions (607)

Neasa Hourigan

Question:

607. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health the details of emergency meetings held on 7 December 2021 regarding the impact of Storm Barra on the mental health services in counties Cork and Kerry, the recorded attendance of HSE managers who had agreed to attend an Oireachtas Committee on Health meeting that day and the times of the emergency meetings. [61580/21]

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.

Mental Health Services

Question No. 609 answered with Question No. 564.

Questions (608)

Neasa Hourigan

Question:

608. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health the total amount invested by Cork and Kerry HSE management in a community residence (details supplied) for persons with mental health difficulties; the breakdown of the figures for purchase, renovations, legal fees and other costs that may be associated with the residence; the projected total annual running costs of the facility; the date of purchase of the property by the HSE; the projected timeframe for the commencement of services, accounting for the possibility of planning objections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61581/21]

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.

Question No. 609 answered with Question No. 564.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (610)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

610. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be eligible to receive a booster vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61589/21]

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.

Disability Services

Questions (611)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

611. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to decentralising CEIS services to rural parts of County Clare to honour the commitments made in Sláintecare to provide access to community-based supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61590/21]

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 (612)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

612. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the steps his Department is taking to inform persons and to promote the medical cannabis access programme as a viable treatment alternative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61591/21]

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 (613)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

613. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the eligibility criteria for qualifying for the medical cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61592/21]

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 (614)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

614. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the way a person can apply for and access the medical cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61593/21]

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 (615)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

615. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the number of participants who are currently receiving treatment under the medical cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61594/21]

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 Services

Questions (616)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

616. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the status of the moving of maternity services to University Hospital Limerick; if the move is still planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61595/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In line with best international practice, it is Government policy, as re-iterated in the National Maternity Strategy, that the remaining standalone maternity hospitals, including the University Maternity Hospital Limerick, should be co-located with adult acute hospitals. This policy commitment is re-stated in the National Development Plan 2021-2030. In addition, in the context of promoting women’s health, the Programme for Government commits to progress the planning, tender and design stages for the relocation of the University Maternity Hospital Limerick to University Hospital Limerick.

The HSE’s Capital Plan 2021 indicates that the project brief for the University Maternity Hospital Limerick relocation is being developed. As such, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (617)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

617. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the number and percentage of applications by CHO area for assessments of needs under the Disability Act 2005 overdue for completion at three, six, 12 and 18 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61596/21]

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.

Health Strategies

Questions (618, 620, 621)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

618. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the reason the Neurorehabilitation Strategy 2011 steering group has not met in to date 2021; his views on the negative impact the lack of communication and co-ordination will have on advancing the strategy; when the next meeting is scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61597/21]

View answer

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

620. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health if he will fully implement the commitments of the Neurorehabilitation Strategy as per Article 26 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to combat the level of unmet need for adults and children in the State; if he will consider multi-annual funding and resource framework in order to improve access and tackle waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61605/21]

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Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

621. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the status of the National Neurorehabilitation Strategy 2011; what aspects of it have been implemented a decade down the line; when the outstanding items will be implemented;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61606/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 618, 620 and 621 together.

The Programme for Government – Our Shared Future’ includes a commitment for advancing neuro-rehabilitation services in the community. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is leading on the implementation framework in respect of the recommendations of the National Policy and Strategy for the provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011-2015.

The annual current expenditure levels are set through the Estimates process. Unlike the position for capital expenditure where multi annual commitments are made within the National Development Plan, the Estimates process for current expenditure currently allocates funding on an annual (single year) basis. No formal mechanism currently exists to provide current funding on a multi-annual basis to Departments, or onward to the HSE or to disability service providers.

As the issues raised are service matters, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Question No. 620 answered with Question No. 618.

Question No. 621 answered with Question No. 618.

Questions (619)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

619. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health if he will consider extending the temporary assistance payment scheme available to healthcare establishments beyond the end of 2021 considering that infection control measures need to be sustained into 2022 and healthcare institutions need to be supported to maintain this level of infection prevention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61598/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government has provided extensive support to the Nursing Home Sector since the start of the pandemic. The Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS) was established in April 2020 as a temporary, administrative measure to respond to the challenges being faced by the nursing home sector at the start of the pandemic, and was extended twice beyond its original planned end date.

In broad terms, TAPS had substantially fulfilled its temporary purpose of providing financial support to nursing homes to address COVID-19 and therefore it was appropriate to end the standard assistance element of the scheme in June 2021. From June onwards, in recognition of the residual risk presented by the virus, Minister Donnelly and I have agreed to the continued availability of the outbreak assistance element of the Scheme until the end of this year. This will ensure that contingency is available in the event of an outbreak.

According to the most recent available HSE data, from 24 November, over 8,172 claims had been processed, with some €120.7 million euro of direct financial support provided to the sector. Due to the extension of outbreak assistance, claims continue to be received and paid; €1.75m has been paid to nursing homes under 75 separate claims for outbreak assistance since the end of June. In total, €134.5 million has been made available under TAPS between 2020 and 2021.

There continue to be a number of outbreaks reported in nursing homes each week; however, current data suggests there may be a reduction in the number of associated cases per outbreak. The State has continued to prioritise residents of nursing homes in the response to COVID-19, including through the successful and early roll-out of the vaccine programme to nursing home residents. This prioritisation is continuing with the roll-out of booster vaccines to nursing home residents, which is expected to be completed by early December. The roll-out of booster vaccines has provided important protection for residents - booster vaccines for the over 65's commenced at the beginning of October and were substantially completed within a three week period.

As the pandemic has continued, many further support measures for private and voluntary nursing homes have been made available through the Health Service Executive (HSE), including the provision of PPE on a no-cost basis, the implementation of serial testing, the support and engagement of COVID-19 response teams and public health teams, the temporary accommodation scheme for nursing home staff and further supports. Many of these supports will continue to be provided by the HSE for the foreseeable future.

Question No. 620 answered with Question No. 618.
Question No. 621 answered with Question No. 618.

Mental Health Services

Questions (622)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

622. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 586 of 16 November 2021, the breakdown of these waiting list numbers in intervals of six months, that is, 0-6, 6-12, 12-18 and more than 18 months by CHO area in tabular form.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61607/21]

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.

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