Hospital Deaths

Ceisteanna (210, 218)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

210. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the status of the review by the HSE national women and infants health programme and quality assurance and verification division of the National Maternity Hospital's investigation into a maternal death at the hospital (details supplied). [5130/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

218. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide that all direct maternal deaths in hospitals be subject to mandatory external review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5232/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 and 218 together.

My Department requested the HSE National Women & Infants Health Programme and Quality Assurance and Verification Division to review the National Maternity Hospital's investigation into a maternal death at the hospital, which occurred in May 2016. I can confirm that this review has been completed and recommends that all direct maternal deaths will be subject to a review external to the Maternity Network/Hospital Group. It is my belief that such a requirement will represent a significant step forward in terms of providing public assurance regarding the integrity of our review processes nationwide. In November last, I wrote to the Programme asking them to implement this recommendation immediately and I understand that this in train. The Deputy may wish to be aware that this recommendation is reiterated in the Programme's Implementation Plan for the National Maternity Strategy which is available at:

http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/corporate/National-Maternity-Strategy-Implementation-Plan.pdf .

EU Directives

Ceisteanna (211)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

211. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health the reason chiropractors here will be excluded from conducting or referring diagnostic exposure within the European Union (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5133/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This question relates to the transposition of the medical provisions of the Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) by my Department and whether chiropractors will be designated as referrers and practitioners in the transposing regulations.

The transposing statutory instrument for the BSSD will revoke and replace existing regulations from 2002. The existing regulations do not designate chiropractors as referrers or practitioners. The current regulations lack inspection or enforcement provisions. In the new regulations HIQA will have the inspection and enforcement powers to enforce compliance and contravention of the new regulations will be an offence.

The statutory instrument transposing the BSSD will designate those who may refer for radiological tests, those who may carry them out and other functions and in this regard I propose to designate nurses, doctors, dentists and radiographers as appropriate.

The proposed designation of relevant professionals is based on patient safety and public health considerations reflected in the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. Chiropractors that currently refer individuals for medical exposures, carry out medical exposures or other related functions are not in compliance with the existing regulations.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has overall responsibility for the transposition of the BSSD. My Department will finalise the medical provisions of the BSSD in the coming weeks.

Home Care Packages Funding

Ceisteanna (212)

James Browne

Ceist:

212. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health when funding will be provided to the HSE to provide assistance towards a home care package (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5137/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Homecare is an increasingly important part of the supports we offer to older people, and will continue to increase in importance into the future, as our ageing population grows.

The Department is currently engaged in a detailed process to develop plans for a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home care services. While this is under development, both the Department and Health Service Executive (HSE) are continuing efforts to incrementally improve the existing home care services. As detailed in its National Service Plan, the HSE has begun work on streamlining home care services by moving towards a single funded home support service. This brings together the funding for home help and standard home care packages which will operate as a single home support service from 2018 onwards. The additional resources made available in 2018 bring the total budget for the direct provision of home support services to €408m.

This new approach will provide significant benefits for the service users, the public and the health system including:

- making the services easier to understand;

- streamlining the application processes resulting in only one application and decision being required for home support services for older people; and

- facilitating service users to move to changed levels of services as their assessed needs change, without the need for an additional application process.

The HSE’s National Service Plan provides for a target of some 17.094m home support hours to be provided to 50,500 people, which compares with 16.34m hours delivered to 50,000 people (home help and home hours combined), an increase of 754,000 hours to 500 more people. In addition 235 intensive home care packages will provide 360,000 home support hours for people with complex needs.

Despite this significant level of service provision, the demand for Home Care continues to grow. It is important to note that the allocation of funding for home care across the system, though significant, is finite and services must therefore be delivered within the funding available. Home care is monitored on an on-going basis, to ensure that activity is maximised relative to individual clients’ assessed care needs and within the overall available resources for home care and having regard to demand throughout the year.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (213)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

213. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5181/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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 was issued to Oireachtas members.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Ceisteanna (214)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the number of primary care centres already built, operational and pending throughout County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5183/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (215)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

215. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5184/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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 was issued to Oireachtas members.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (216)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

216. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5188/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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 was issued to Oireachtas members.

Health Services Data

Question No. 218 answered with Question No. 210.

Ceisteanna (217)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

217. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the status of diagnosis or the determination of treatment in case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5189/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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 National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Question No. 218 answered with Question No. 210.

Home Care Packages Provision

Ceisteanna (219)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

219. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if home care hours will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5233/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Apprenticeship Data

Ceisteanna (220)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

220. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the number of persons enrolled in apprenticeships in his Department and State agencies under his remit by gender in tabular form; and if he will list each such apprenticeship. [5259/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I can confirm that no person is enrolled in an apprenticeship in my Department. In relation to Non-Commercial State Agencies under the aegis of the Department, this information is being sought and will be forwarded to you when collated. I have also asked the HSE respond to you directly.

EU Directives

Ceisteanna (221)

John Curran

Ceist:

221. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health when he will sign a statutory instrument to give effect to the European Union (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018; if qualified chiropractors will be included within the regulatory framework to ensure they can continue to use and operate x-ray apparatus as is the case in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5282/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This question relates to the transposition of the medical provisions of the Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) by my Department and whether chiropractors will be designated as referrers and practitioners in the transposing regulations.

Ionising radiation has many beneficial applications however as the use of ionising radiation increases, so does the potential for health hazards if not properly used or contained. The BSSD is an essential piece of legislation which protects the public, patients, workers and others from all forms of ionising radiation.

My Department conducted a general consultation on the BSSD in June 2017 and sought views on the provisions of the Directive where Member States had discretion. The Chiropractic Association of Ireland (CAI) was included in my Department's notification of the consultation process and arrangements were made to contact all licence-holders of ionising radiation equipment advising them of the consultation. Information on the consultation process was also posted on my Department’s website. No response was received from the CAI or any individual identifying as a chiropractor.

The transposing statutory instrument for the BSSD will revoke and replace existing regulations from 2002. The existing regulations do not designate chiropractors as referrers or practitioners. Chiropractors who refer individuals for medical exposures, carry out medical exposures or other related functions are not in compliance with the existing regulations.

The current regulations lack inspection or enforcement provisions, however, in the new regulations HIQA will have the inspection and enforcement powers to enforce compliance and contravention of the new regulations will be an offence.

The statutory instrument transposing the BSSD will designate those who may refer for radiological tests, those who may carry them out and other functions and in this regard I propose to designate nurses, doctors, dentists and radiographers as appropriate.

The proposed designation of relevant professionals is based on patient safety and public health considerations reflected in the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has overall responsibility for the transposition of the BSSD. My Department will finalise the medical provisions of the BSSD in the coming weeks.