Writtens Answers Nos. 546-558

Medicinal Products Availability

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

546. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the status of funding for a cystic fibrosis drug called Orkambi. [46455/15]

Terence Flanagan

Ceist:

552. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided to treat cystic fibrosis (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46506/15]

Tom Fleming

Ceist:

556. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi is made available at an early date as it is life-transforming to patients who have qualified for the drug and enables them lead a reasonable quality of life (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46520/15]

Arthur Spring

Ceist:

561. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Health if he has completed a cost-benefit analysis on the introduction of the drug Orkambi for patients with cystic fibrosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46554/15]

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

583. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health to support a matter (details supplied) regarding cystic fibrosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46693/15]

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

596. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if the Health Service Executive will make Orkambi available to patients with DDF508 cystic fibrosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46803/15]

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

613. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied) from Cystic Fibrosis Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46849/15]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

662. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health to take steps to make the drug Orkambi available to persons suffering from cystic fibrosis. [1236/16]

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

665. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of cystic fibrosis patients (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1258/16]

Michael P. Kitt

Ceist:

693. Deputy Michael P. Kitt asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of Orkambi to cystic fibrosis patients, where appropriate to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1431/16]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 546, 552, 556, 561, 583, 596, 613, 662, 665 and 693 together.

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. Prior to reimbursing any medicine, the HSE considers a range of statutory criteria, including clinical need, cost-effectiveness and the resources available to the HSE.

The decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds by the HSE on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). They are not political or ministerial decisions. The NCPE conducts the health technology assessment of pharmaceutical products for the HSE, and can make recommendations on reimbursement to assist the HSE in its decision-making process.

Orkambi™ is currently being considered by the HSE under the national medicines pricing and reimbursement assessment process. As the assessment process is ongoing, it is not possible to discuss potential outcomes or comment further at this time.

Hospital Appointment Status

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

547. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if and when a hospital appointment for a procedure at the Mater Hospital, Dublin 7 will be brought forward for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46463/15]

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she should take the matter up with the consultant and the hospital involved. In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

HSE Staffing

Robert Troy

Ceist:

548. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure a person (details supplied) in County Longford receives the necessary medical treatment without further delay. [46466/15]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

HSE Staff Promotions

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

549. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the status of a recruitment process for a social work team leader and if those who went through the process were informed soon after that the requirements of the post had changed (details supplied) and in order to be considered for that post they had to re-apply but that they would be placed behind a pre-existing panel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46470/15]

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up on the matter with them.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

550. Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health to include the medication used for treating glaucoma (details supplied) caused by type 2 diabetes in the long term illness scheme, given that diabetes is already included in the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46478/15]

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

The HSE publishes agreed lists of products which are automatically approved for each of the illnesses or conditions covered by the Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme. If an LTI patient is prescribed a medicine or product that is not on the automatic approval list, an appeal for a product to be added to the patient’s individually approved requirements can be considered, and will involve demonstrating a link with the patient's primary LTI condition.

Prescription Charges

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

551. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the regulations in force under, or relating to, section 59 of the Health Act 1970; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46479/15]

Officials in my Department have been in contact with the Deputy regarding this question, and will provide the information directly to the Deputy within the next 15 days.

Question No. 552 answered with Question No. 546.

HSE Properties

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

553. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the status of vacant properties owned, rented or leased by the Health Service Executive in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46512/15]

Your question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply as the management of the healthcare property estate is a service matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office who will follow up.

Health Services Provision

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

554. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the status of the proposed new 100-bed unit for St. Mary's Hospital in Drogheda, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46513/15]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

555. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of fitness to practice hearings that have been initiated; if a report commissioned by the Health Service Executive into any incident being investigated by An Bord Altranais can be allowed as evidence in such hearings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46517/15]

I wish to thank the Deputy for the matter raised.

Given that this is an operational matter, it is appropriate that it should be dealt with by the NMBI. I have referred the Deputy's question to the NMBI for attention and direct reply.

If you have not received a reply from the NMBI within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Question No. 556 answered with Question No. 546.

Respite Care Services

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

557. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he is aware that a respite care facility (details supplied) in County Louth is permitted to accept guests over 65 years of age, if not, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46545/15]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.

Disability Services Provision

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

558. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if the National Rehabilitation Hospital is permitted to accept patients over 65 years of age, if not, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46546/15]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.