Writtens Answers Nos. 559-571

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Eligibility

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

559. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if stroke survivors under 65 years of age can access nursing home care; and if not, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46547/15]

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme provides financial support to those assessed as needing long term nursing home care, irrespective of their age. There are no plans to change this approach.

The legislation underpinning the Nursing Homes Support Scheme requires each private nursing home to negotiate and agree a price for long-term residential care services with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) should they wish to be an approved nursing home for the purposes of the Scheme.

The list of approved Nursing Homes is available on the HSE website.

HSE Properties

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

560. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health the Health Service Executive's proposed plan for a facility (details supplied) in Dublin 7, if he is aware of local residents concerns about the use of the facility; if he will engage with the local residents in order to address these concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46550/15]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Question No. 561 answered with Question No. 546.

Health Care Professionals

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

562. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the status of the recommendations to protect the titles of physiotherapist and physical therapist under one register (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46562/15]

The Physiotherapists Registration Board will soon make the necessary bye-laws under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 to allow it to establish its register. The title of physiotherapist will, as a consequence, be protected for the exclusive use of the board's registrants when the register's 2 year transitional period ends in 2018.

I am currently examining the issue of also protecting the title of physical therapist under the Act. In the rest of the English speaking world the titles of physical therapist and physiotherapist are interchangeable and their users are qualified physiotherapists. In Ireland, however, the title is used by a number of practitioners who are not physiotherapists but who are competing with physiotherapists in the private sector in the provision of musculoskeletal therapies.

Having consulted with the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, I wrote to a number of relevant organisations regarding my proposal to protect the title of physical therapist as a variant of the title of physiotherapist and invited them to submit their views. The submissions are now being examined and I expect that I will make a decision on the matter shortly that ensures public protection and appropriately addresses the legitimate concerns of all parties.

Mobility Allowance Eligibility

Joe Carey

Ceist:

563. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Health in the context of the Equal Status Acts, why the mobility allowance continues to be paid and the motorised transport grant has been suspended while we await the health (transport supports) Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46569/15]

Conscious of the reports of the Ombudsman regarding the legal status of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant Schemes in the context of the Equal Status Acts, the Government decided to close both schemes on 26th February, 2013. Both schemes remain closed.

On foot of a Government decision, monthly payments have continued to be made by the Health Service Executive to 4,700 people who were in receipt of the Mobility Allowance at the time that the scheme closed, on the basis that this would prevent hardship and, on an interim basis, alleviate stress, anxiety and uncertainty among a vulnerable group in society.

The Government decided that the detailed preparatory work required for a new Transport Support Scheme and associated statutory provisions should be progressed by the Minister for Health. The Department is seeking a solution which would best meet the aim of supporting people with severe disabilities who require additional income to contribute towards the cost of their mobility needs, while remaining within the available budget and satisfying all legal and equality concerns.

Work is ongoing on the policy proposals to be brought to Government for the drafting of primary legislation for a new scheme. The proposals seek to ensure that:

- There is a firm statutory basis to the Scheme's operation;

- There is transparency and equity in the eligibility criteria attaching to the Scheme;

- Resources are targeted at those with the greatest needs; and

- The Scheme is capable of being costed and it is affordable on its introduction and on an ongoing basis.

Mental Health Services

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

564. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of psychiatric patients smoking (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46572/15]

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

Disability Services Provision

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

565. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with physical and intellectual disabilities who are waiting for residential care placement, by county, by age profile, by age profile of their parents and their full-time carers, in tabular form, the average waiting time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46573/15]

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.

Personal Public Service Numbers

Shane Ross

Ceist:

566. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Health if he is aware that opticians are requiring a PPS number from customers when privately purchasing spectacles, if this is as a result of his guidelines or if it is optional; if it is an expansion of PPSN provision requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46574/15]

Information sought from private patients by opticians is a matter of private contract between the clinicians and the patients. The Department of Health has no role in this matter.

Medical Card Applications

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

567. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if he will review the decision to refuse a full medical card to a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46576/15]

Under the legislation, determination of eligibility for a medical card is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive (HSE) and, as the Minister has no role in this process, it would be inappropriate for him to interfere.

The HSE has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.The HSE operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme Payments

Michael McCarthy

Ceist:

568. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health the amount paid for the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46589/15]

The Programme for Government commits to seeking a mechanism to compensate those women who were excluded on age grounds alone from the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme. Government agreed to the establishment of a Scheme for this purpose, which commenced in November 2013. To date the Scheme has cost €2.9m and 46 awards have been made, with a small number of cases outstanding. Each of the remaining applicants has been contacted by the Scheme and has been informed that the closing date for submission of the outstanding documentation to the Scheme is 18 January 2016.

Respite Care Services

Terence Flanagan

Ceist:

569. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health to deal with a matter (details supplied) regarding respite care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46592/15]

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.

Medical Card Appeals

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

570. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appeal under the medical card scheme by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46599/15]

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.

National Lottery Funding Disbursement

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

571. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if her Department can make contact with a community organisation (details supplied) concerning the organisation's funding needs under the lottery funding grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46604/15]

My Department received an application in 2015 for National Lottery funding from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. Applications for National Lottery grants far exceed the resources available. The lottery fund for 2015 has been allocated and, unfortunately on this occasion, it was not possible to assist in this particular case. The organisation has been notified of the outcome of its application.

The Organisation may wish to apply for National Lottery funding this year. Detailed procedures along with the application form for 2016 are now available on my Department's website at http://health.gov.ie/about-us/national-lottery-grant-scheme/.

It would not be appropriate for me as Minister to contact individual organisations in relation to their application.