Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Ceisteanna (201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206)

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

215 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children the level of genetic services provided from the National Centre for Medical Genetics as of June 2009; the reduction in laboratory staff at the NCMG since September 2008; the number of requests for tests that have been placed by doctors; if she will confirm that these tests are being sent to commercial laboratories in the UK, France and other locations and that the cost of these tests is being borne by the Health Service Executive; the number of staff let go from these laboratories since September 2008; the number of those staff who are signing on for social welfare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28358/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

216 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children her views on the validity of results of genetic tests from commercial laboratories; the number of tests carried out by some commercial genetic laboratories that have been incorrect and that have had to be repeated in the past two years; if she will confirm that many genetic tests need expert interpretation and that such interpretation is often at times not available at a commercial laboratory requiring the Health Service Executive to pay substantial amounts for the tests in the first instance and that the results are often so ambiguous and unclear that the genetics consultant has to have such tests repeated at the National Centre for Medical Genetics in order to have a reliable diagnosis before advising a patient of a family; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28359/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

217 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children the waiting time for patients who require a genetic service from genetic consultants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28360/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

218 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans to expand the genetics service based on current levels of demand; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28361/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

219 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children if she has carried out a cost benefit analysis on the efficiency of having genetics tests paid for by the Health Service Executive being sent abroad and the consequence of letting trained scientists and technologists who have unique skills in laboratory genetics being made redundant; if she will publish the results of such cost benefit analysis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28362/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health and Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 to 219, inclusive, together.

As these are service issues, they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceist:

220 Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health and Children her views on the fact that some general medical practitioners and consultants have continued to increase their fees to non-medical card patients, despite the changed economic climate; her plans to discourage this trend; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28363/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Consultation fees charged to private patients by general practitioners and consultants are a matter of private contract between the doctor and the patient. While I have no role in relation to such fees, I would expect Consultants and General Practitioners to have regard to the overall economic situation in setting their fees. I should add that General Practitioners who hold General Medical Services contracts with the Health Service Executive must not seek or accept money from medical card or GP visit card holders in respect of routine treatment.