Question No. 23 answered with Question No. 6.

Medical Card Administration

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (24, 30)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_24">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Thomas-P-Broughan.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Thomas-P-Broughan.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Thomas P. Broughan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Thomas-P-Broughan.D.1992-12-14/">Thomas P. Broughan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/24/question/24/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share question #24 by Thomas P. Broughan">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Thomas P. Broughan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1778" class="">24. <strong>Deputy Thomas P. Broughan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> the way improvements could be made in the application and renewal processes for medical card applicants to facilitate applicants in providing full details regarding their income and medical conditions in order that supplementary requests for information are not needed and medical card applications and renewals can be processed as quickly as possible; and if he will report on the way and the reason random reviews of medical card applications are being carried out. [21155/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-24_30">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
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<div class="question" id="pq_30">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/24/question/30/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share question #30 by Bernard Durkan">
<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1779" class="">30. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> the extent to which he can ameliorate the system of renewal of medical cards with particular reference to the need to avoid causing hardship to persons with special needs, older persons, those with disabilities and other vulnerable persons; if he is satisfied that adequate protection in this regard is in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21204/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-24_30">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-24_30">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_603">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Alex-White.S.2007-07-23/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Alex-White.S.2007-07-23/image/thumb" alt="Alex White"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Alex-White.S.2007-07-23/">Minister of State at the Department of Health</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/24/speech/603/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share speech #603 by Minister of State at the Department of Health"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1780" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 30 together.</p>
<p id="para_1781" class=""> Under the Health Act, 1970, eligibility for a medical card is based on whether a person is unable, without undue hardship, to arrange GP services for themselves and their family, having regard to their overall financial situation and reasonable expenditure. Under the legislation, having a particular illness or disability, in itself, does not establish eligibility for a medical card. </p>
<p id="para_1782" class=""> All applications or reviews concerning medical and GP visit cards must be supported with a range of documentation. This requirement is clearly outlined on the relevant forms and where such supporting documentation is not supplied, or is incomplete, the HSE will issue correspondence to the applicant, specifying the additional information required.</p>
<p id="para_1783" class=""> All medical card and GP visit card holders are subject to a periodic review to determine continuing eligibility. The HSE has a very structured review process and makes every effort to ensure on-going engagement with clients during this process. If the HSE is made aware that a person has special needs, assistance will be afforded to help that person complete the application whether at application stage or at review stage. The local health office can be contacted or LoCall 1890 252 919 to request this assistance.</p>
<p id="para_1784" class=""> The HSE also makes every effort to provide a person with sufficient time to renew their eligibility. Each month, the HSE identifies those medical/GP visit cards that are scheduled for review within three months. The HSE has increased this notification time to four months in respect of those clients who were granted eligibility on the basis of discretion. This is to allow an additional month to ensure that all pertinent medical and other data is provided for inclusion in the assessment process. </p>
<p id="para_1785" class=""> Persons are requested to return their completed review forms at least one month in advance of the due expiry date of their existing card. This is to allow the HSE sufficient time to carry out the review and/or to get back to the individuals, if the application is incomplete or requires any further details to be furnished. </p>
<p id="para_1786" class=""> Where a review form is returned, but not fully completed by the expiry date, it is HSE policy to extend the eligibility of the client for a reasonable period of time until the review is carried out. Medical card holders who genuinely engage with the HSE will not have their eligibility withdrawn before that review is complete. </p>
<p id="para_1787" class=""> Where an applicant indicates on their review application that medical evidence has been previously submitted relating to a life-long medical condition, and this has been confirmed by the HSE, the HSE will not request further medical evidence in this regard. The applicant will, however, be required to submit all other up-to-date information material to a review assessment.</p>
<p id="para_1788" class=""> Eligibility for a medical card only exists for so long as a person continues to meet the criteria set out in the Health Act. The HSE has an obligation to take measures to ensure that the medical card register is as accurate as possible. One recognised auditing practice, which the HSE now carries out, is to undertake random reviews. The selection criteria on which such random reviews occur varies from time-to-time. </p>
<p id="para_1789" class=""> All card holders - irrespective of the basis on which the card was awarded – may be subject to a periodic review of eligibility. Each medical card or a GP visit card includes a “valid to” date. Notwithstanding the date printed on the card, the HSE reserves the right to review eligibility, at any time.</p>
<p id="para_1790" class=""> GPs are advised three months in advance of the review dates of their patients’ GP visit cards/medical cards and, subsequently, the following month and the month after that, if the patient has not returned the review form by that time. GPs have full electronic visibility of their medical card panel of patients and have the facility to allow temporary extension of eligibility for expiring cards where a sensitive renewal is appropriate. The temporary extension may also be allowed where they are aware that a person is still availing of services but there may be something that prevents them from carrying out a standard review. </p>
<p id="para_1791" class=""> Given that over 40% of the population, or about 2 million people, qualify for a medical card or GP visit card, the scale of the administration of the GMS scheme is significant. Over 700,000 individuals were assessed by the HSE in 2013. Well in excess of 95% of applications were processed within the target of 15 working days. </p>
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Universal Health Insurance Provision

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (25)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_25">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Billy-Kelleher.S.1993-02-17/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Billy-Kelleher.S.1993-02-17/image/thumb" alt="Billy Kelleher"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Billy-Kelleher.S.1993-02-17/">Billy Kelleher</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/25/question/25/" data-share-text="Universal Health Insurance Provision" title="Share question #25 by Billy Kelleher">
<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Billy Kelleher</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1792" class="">25. <strong>Deputy Billy Kelleher</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> the timeframe for the implementation of universal health insurance; when he expects people to know the likely cost to them of universal health insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21251/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-25">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-25">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_604">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/image/thumb" alt="James Reilly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">Minister for Health</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/25/speech/604/" data-share-text="Universal Health Insurance Provision" title="Share speech #604 by Minister for Health"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1793" class="">It is my intention to have the legislation for Universal Health Insurance (UHI) in place by early 2016 and to then proceed to have the new system fully implemented by 2019.</p>
<p id="para_1794" class=""> The price of premiums for the UHI standard package will be set by the health insurance companies. Price setting for these products is likely to happen closer to the implementation date. The State will subsidise or partially subsidise the cost of insurance for individuals who qualify on income grounds. The price of UHI insurance policies will of course be influenced by policy decisions in relation to the package of services to be covered under UHI and the regulatory structures which will be put in place. In addition, I believe that reforms, including the establishment of the Healthcare Pricing Office, the ongoing rollout of the Money Follows the Patient funding system and the successful implementation of the purchaser/provider split will have a positive impact on the cost of insurance policies under UHI.</p>
<p id="para_1795" class=""> While the exact cost of insurance premiums for individuals will not be known until nearer the implementation date I have initiated a major costing exercise to estimate the likely cost of UHI both for the State and individuals and households. This a complex exercise which requires expert analytical support and input from a number of State agencies. I expect to have initial results from this exercise early in 2015.</p>
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Diabetes Strategy

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (26)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_26">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Seán-Kyne.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Seán-Kyne.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Seán Kyne"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Seán-Kyne.D.2011-03-09/">Seán Kyne</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/26/question/26/" data-share-text="Diabetes Strategy" title="Share question #26 by Seán Kyne">
<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Seán Kyne</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1796" class="">26. <strong>Deputy Seán Kyne</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> if he will provide a report on the introduction of insulin pump treatment for children and young persons with diabetes; if he will indicate the posts that have been filled to carry out this treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21203/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-26">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-26">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_605">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/image/thumb" alt="James Reilly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">Minister for Health</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/26/speech/605/" data-share-text="Diabetes Strategy" title="Share speech #605 by Minister for Health"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1797" class="">The Paediatric Diabetes Working Group was established in 2011 under the auspices of the Paediatric and Diabetes Clinical Programmes. One of the recommendations from the Diabetes Expert Advisory Group was that Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (pump therapy) should be the primary treatment option in children, especially those aged less than 5 years of age; and consequently, the working group developed a model of care for the provision of insulin pump therapy to children under 5 years with type 1 diabetes.</p>
<p id="para_1798" class=""> There are 5 paediatric diabetes centres in Ireland providing insulin pump therapy: Cork University Hospital; Limerick University Hospital/Galway, which is a shared service; Children's University Hospital, Temple Street; Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin; AMNCH Tallaght Hospital. Outside of a 0.5 WTE Diabetes Specialist Nurse, all of the 4.2 WTE staff for this service are in place.</p>
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Medical Card Administration

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (27, 32, 36)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_27">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/John-Browne.D.1982-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/John-Browne.D.1982-12-14/image/thumb" alt="John Browne"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/John-Browne.D.1982-12-14/">John Browne</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/27/question/27/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share question #27 by John Browne">
<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">John Browne</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1799" class="">27. <strong>Deputy John Browne</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> the number of over 70s who have had their medical card withdrawn following on the changes announced in the past two budgets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21265/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-27_32_36">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_32">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Michael-Moynihan.D.1997-06-26/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Michael-Moynihan.D.1997-06-26/image/thumb" alt="Michael Moynihan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Michael-Moynihan.D.1997-06-26/">Michael Moynihan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/27/question/32/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share question #32 by Michael Moynihan">
<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Michael Moynihan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1800" class="">32. <strong>Deputy Michael Moynihan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> if the targeted withdrawal of 55,000 medical cards from the over 70s announced in the past two budgets has been achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21260/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-27_32_36">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_36">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Brendan Smith"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/">Brendan Smith</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/27/question/36/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share question #36 by Brendan Smith">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Brendan Smith</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1801" class="">36. <strong>Deputy Brendan Smith</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> the number of over 70s that have now lost their medical card as a result of legislative changes in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21255/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-27_32_36">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-27_32_36">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_606">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Alex-White.S.2007-07-23/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Alex-White.S.2007-07-23/image/thumb" alt="Alex White"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Alex-White.S.2007-07-23/">Minister of State at the Department of Health</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/27/speech/606/" data-share-text="Medical Card Administration" title="Share speech #606 by Minister of State at the Department of Health"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1802" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 27, 32 and 36 together.</p>
<p id="para_1803" class=""> Following Budget 2013 decisions, changes to the gross income thresholds for over 70’s medical cards were effective from April 2013. The changes also provided for those over 70's medical card holders, whose income fell between the revised income limits and the preceding income limits, to receive a GP visit card instead of a medical card in order to ensure that persons retained access to their GP. The income limits were set at €600 per week for a single person and €1,200 per week for a couple for an over -70s medical card and €700 per week and €1,400 per week, respectively, for an over-70s GP visit card. </p>
<p id="para_1804" class=""> Changes announced under Budget 2014, reducing the gross income limit for an over-70s medical card to €500 per week for a single person and €900 per for a couple, came into effect on 1st January 2014. It was estimated that this Budget 2014 change would affect about 35,000 out of a total of 350,000 over-70s medical card holders. The income limits for the over-70s GP visit card were not adjusted, in order to ensure that these persons retained access to their GP. </p>
<p id="para_1805" class=""> In 2014, the HSE has written to about 53,000 over-70s persons advising them that their eligibility for a medical card is under review in line with the new income limits, based on data from the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners. As recipients of review correspondence have a number of months in which to respond, the results from these reviews are not yet available. </p>
<p id="para_1806" class=""> It is not possible to project precisely potential card changes as the granting and retention of a medical card or GP visit card for a person over 70 years of age is subject to an individual assessment and review process in accordance with the guidelines. A review of existing card holders can result in renewal, change or removal of eligibility as a result.</p>
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</div>

Health Services

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (28)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_28">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Clare-Daly.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Clare-Daly.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Clare Daly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Clare-Daly.D.2011-03-09/">Clare Daly</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/28/question/28/" data-share-text="Health Services" title="Share question #28 by Clare Daly">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Clare Daly</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1807" class="">28. <strong>Deputy Clare Daly</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> further to Parliamentary Question No. 212 of 26 March 2014, the reason the Health Service Executive has been permitted to endorse the website of a private company regarding maternity services here (details supplied), which fails to mention the existence of publicly-funded evidence-based midwifery-led care and midwifery led units, and instead promotes the views of obstetricians with private practices, and which does not contribute to informed decision-making on behalf of pregnant women when it signally fails to conform to international research evidence on a range of issues such as pain management. [21141/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-28">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-28">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_607">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/image/thumb" alt="James Reilly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">Minister for Health</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/28/speech/607/" data-share-text="Health Services" title="Share speech #607 by Minister for Health"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1808" class="">The website referred to by the Deputy is a registered brand name of Healthcare Help Ltd. </p>
<p id="para_1809" class=""> The information on the site is intended to be for general educational and information purposes only. It features healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines and from different maternity units in Irish healthcare settings. The aim is to provide general information for free to all women but in particular, those attending maternity services. It does not purport to be complete or exhaustive. It is intended for educational purposes, not as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. </p>
<p id="para_1810" class=""> The HSE is committed to improving women's healthcare choices. The HSE advises that women should seek advice about models of care from their family doctor or from the maternity unit of their choice and that women should always seek the advice of their doctor or qualified medical professional regarding specific medical conditions.</p>
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</div>

Hospital Services

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 24.

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<h3>Ceisteanna (29)</h3>
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/John-Halligan.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/John-Halligan.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="John Halligan"/>
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/John-Halligan.D.2011-03-09/">John Halligan</a>
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">John Halligan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_1811" class="">29. <strong>Deputy John Halligan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Health</strong> if he will confirm the assurances given by him and his Department that certain services would be retained by Waterford Regional Hospital and reinforced by the move to hospital trusts; the original timeframe given in relation to these assurances; his views that the lack of progress in this area is raising serious concerns in the local community in relation to the move from WRH to the establishment of hospital groups and the transition then to independent hospital trusts; if he will reiterate his promise to the people of Waterford and the south-east region that WRH will continue as the hub for the south-east renal services and will continue to be a regional trauma centre; if he will ensure WRH continues to provide the full range of elective and trauma orthopaedic services and invasive cardiology services and will also implement a 24-7 cardiology service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21145/14]</p>
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<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)</h3>
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/image/thumb" alt="James Reilly"/>
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/James-Reilly.D.2007-06-14/">Minister for Health</a>
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<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-14/29/speech/608/" data-share-text="Hospital Services" title="Share speech #608 by Minister for Health"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1812" class="">I am happy to provide the necessary reassurances to the Deputy that in the context of the implementation of Hospital Groups, the range of services currently available in Waterford Regional Hospital will be retained and enhanced. The Hospital will, <em>inter alia</em>, operate as a cancer centre under the National Cancer Control Programme, be the hub for the South-East renal service, a regional trauma centre (including ED, ENT and Ophthalmology) and continue to provide invasive cardiology services for the South-East population, with plans to develop a 24/7 cardiology service. </p>
<p id="para_1813" class=""> The renaming of Waterford Regional Hospital as Waterford University Hospital is also of significance. This new name will reflect the status of the hospital as a facility with significant links to the South/South West Hospital Group's Academic Partner, University College Cork. These links will provide opportunities for sharing of experiences and expertise as well as furthering the research agenda and ensure that the Hospital will have an expanded teaching role within the Group.</p>
<p id="para_1814" class=""> The establishment of Hospital Groups is a key building block in delivering on the Programme for Government commitment to fundamentally reform our health services and will provide the optimum configuration for hospital services to deliver high quality, safe patient care in a cost effective manner. </p>
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<em>Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 24.</em>
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