General Practitioner Services Provision

Ceisteanna (200)

Noel Rock

Ceist:

200. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Health the status of the development of the primary care centre for Finglas; if this development will be expedited due to medical card holders in the area being left without a general practitioner and being referred to services in Ballymun; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6221/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE has advised that the provision of a Primary Care Centre in Finglas remains a high priority. A final location for this centre has not yet been confirmed, however I understand that the HSE is in discussions in relation to a suitable site in Finglas. Once final agreement has been reached in relation to the purchase of a suitable site, the HSE will confirm the location and the proposed timeframe to deliver this much needed facility.

In the relation to the issue of GP services in Finglas, as this is a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Palliative Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (201)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

201. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide palliative home care between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. for persons who are terminally ill to allow them the dignity of remaining at home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6225/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Night Nursing Service is operated by the Irish Cancer Society for cancer patients and by the Irish Hospice Foundation for non-cancer patients. This service plays a vital role in ensuring quality and continuity of care at the end of life stage, and enables people who wish to die at home to do so.

Night Nursing is accessed by referral through community-based specialist palliative care services and GPs. A terminally ill person usually receives the service for between two and ten nights, depending on their need and how impending end of life is. An external evaluation has shown that, broadly, families and healthcare professionals are happy with the service.

Against the backdrop of an aging population in Ireland, coupled with increasing numbers of death from cancer, dementia, and neurodegenerative diseases, there is an associated increased palliative care need. Because many people wish to die at home, there is an increased demand for the Night Nursing Service. The Irish Hospice Foundation anticipates that the cost for services it provides will increase by up to 20% in the next few years.

The HSE published its Palliative Care Services Three Year Development Framework in November 2017. It acknowledges that, unfortunately, there are variations in the availability of specialist palliative care services, including out of hours care . The Framework seeks to identify the gaps which exist in the current level of adult palliative care service provision. A national review of the need for access 24 hour / 7 day services has commenced.

One of the Framework’s actions points is that night nursing should be regarded to be a core generalist service, and that steps should be taken to progress, on a phased basis, towards the State providing 50% of the funding required for the current Night Nursing Service. Discussions are already under way between the HSE, the Irish Cancer Society, and the Irish Hospice Foundation to determine a timeframe to achieve this.

The Government respects the desire of people who wish to remain in their own home, especially in the final days of their lives. My Department and the HSE are committed to ensuring that terminally ill people are treated with dignity and that their wishes are facilitated, as far as is practicable.

Vaccination Programme Data

Ceisteanna (202)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

202. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if research has been carried out with regard to the ingredients contained in a vaccine (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6230/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is responsible for monitoring the safety and quality of all medicines including vaccines that are licensed in Ireland. I am informed by the HPRA that the enzyme thiaminase is not added during the manufacture of Gardasil HPV vaccine and is not used as an ingredient in the final medicine. Like all other medicines manufactured using cell technologies, trace amounts of residual proteins from these cells, which would include any residual thiaminase, may be present in the final Gardasil product. Gardasil meets EU regulatory requirements by limiting these proteins to microgram amounts at which level they have no discernible effect. Prior to each batch being placed on the market, testing is carried out to confirm that the level of residual proteins is less than the specified limit.

Other medicinal products manufactured using such cells, including some insulin products, are used daily and over a long duration (often years), compared to Gardasil which is administered once or a maximum of three times.

Gardasil is approved centrally by the European Commission, acting on the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency, for all EU Member States.

Most instances of thiamine deficiency appear to be as a result of lack of dietary intake and/or in instances of intake of foods rich in thiaminase. Neither scenario applies to Gardasil or other medicines manufactured using similar cell technology.

Disability Services Data

Ceisteanna (203, 204, 205)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

203. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of day places available, by county, to train young adults with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6240/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

204. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of school leaver places available to young adults with intellectual disabilities from September 2018; the number that were available in September 2016 and September 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6241/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

205. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the supports and day places, by county, that are available to young adults with intellectual disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6242/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 to 205, inclusive, together.

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage

Ceisteanna (206)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

206. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health his plans to extend the recent HSE decision to reimburse the FreeStyle Libre system for children and young adults to adults who have type 1 diabetes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6245/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Ministerial Correspondence

Ceisteanna (207)

Joan Collins

Ceist:

207. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health if a reply will issue to a request from an organisation (details supplied). [6251/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A response to the correspondence referred to by the Deputy issued to the organisation concerned on 6 February, 2018.

Emergency Departments Data

Ceisteanna (208)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

208. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of emergency department attendances at Cavan General Hospital in each of the years 2012 to 2017, and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6262/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In response to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (209)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

209. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the waiting times for children waiting for orthodontic treatment will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6263/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Primary Care Centres Provision

Ceisteanna (210)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

210. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of each new primary care centre (details supplied) at locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6264/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department has asked the Health Service Executive to provide the Deputy with the current status of these capital projects.

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (211, 216, 217)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

211. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his plans to visit a hospital (details supplied) in the coming months to see the facilities on offer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6265/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

216. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his plans to extend and invest in services at a hospital (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6272/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

217. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his and the HSE's long-term plans for a hospital (details supplied); if there is a five year plan for this facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6273/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 211, 216 and 217 together.

The Smaller Hospitals Framework defines the role of smaller hospitals and outlines the need for smaller hospitals and larger hospitals to operate as Hospital Groups. The Framework identifies the activities that can be performed in smaller hospitals in a safe and sustainable manner. These include extended day surgery, selected acute medicine, a local injuries service, a large range of diagnostic services, specialist rehabilitation medicine and palliative care. In developing our smaller hospitals, as set out in the Smaller Hospitals Framework, the first and over-riding concern is the safety of patients.

Significant progress has been made in the establishment and development of Hospital Groups over the last few years. Our hospitals are now working together and supporting each other in Groups. This new way of working provides a stronger role for smaller hospitals, like Monaghan Hospital, in delivering less complex care. It also ensures that patients who require true emergency or complex planned care are managed safely in larger hospitals.

The Deputy should be aware that the organisation of services between hospitals within a group is the responsibility and remit of the Hospital Group itself and is an area which is undergoing continuing development.

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly.

Disabilities Assessments

Question No. 213 answered with Question No. 195.

Ceisteanna (212)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

212. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the HSE's waiting times for assessment of need for children will be addressed. [6266/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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.

Question No. 213 answered with Question No. 195.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (214)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

214. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the way in which a person (details supplied) can have a defibrillator put up outside their practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6269/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

General Medical Services Scheme Payments

Questions Nos. 216 and 217 answered with Question No. 211.

Ceisteanna (215)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

215. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if he will review correspondence (details supplied); the financial assistance offered to general practitioners setting up new practices; the way in which they can apply for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6270/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the General Medical Services (GMS) contract, General Practitioners are reimbursed for a range of services they provide to medical card and GP visit card holders. GPs are remunerated for these services primarily on a capitation basis, with a range of additional support payments and fees for specific items of service.

GPs can claim practice support subsidies towards the employment of a Practice Nurse and/or Practice Secretary. The amount payable in respect of certain of these supports is related to the doctor's panel size. In addition, GPs practising in rural areas may be entitled to claim supports under the Rural Practice Support Framework. If a GP requires further information on how to claim a specific allowance under the GMS scheme, he/she should make enquiries of the local HSE office.

Questions Nos. 216 and 217 answered with Question No. 211.

Addiction Treatment Services

Ceisteanna (218)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

218. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the number of detox beds available for addiction within the greater Dublin area; and his plans to increase the number available for those in need. [6287/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (219)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

219. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health his plans to increase resources for dementia care in line with an ageing population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6288/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Thanks to improved lifestyles and increased healthcare, people in Ireland are living longer lives. An estimated 55,000 people in Ireland have a form of dementia, and this figure is expected to nearly treble to 150,000 by 2046. While the majority of people with dementia are aged over 65, it is important to remember that one in ten people diagnosed with dementia are under 65.

As a response to the increasing number of people with dementia, the Irish National Dementia Strategy was launched in December 2014. The Strategy aims to improve dementia care to allow people with dementia to live well for as long as possible and have services and supports delivered as well as possible. My Department and the HSE are working on a review of the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy which will be published in the first quarter of 2018 and will identify what has been achieved so far and set out the further work that is required to implement the Strategy. The work on the review will feed into the estimates process for 2019 and subsequent years.

In parallel with the Strategy, the National Dementia Strategy Implementation Programme (NDSIP) was set up by the Department of Health, the HSE and Atlantic Philanthropies. €27.5 million was committed to the Programme for a three year period across a number of initiatives, including dementia specific intensive home care packages, an education and training programme for GPs and Primary Care Teams, and an information and awareness campaign which seeks to challenge public misconceptions about dementia and the challenges facing people living with dementia. My Department and the HSE have committed to maintaining the NDSIP structures and oversight arrangements for at least a period of 5 years up to the end of 2019.

In the medium term, the HSE plans to create compassionate, inclusive communities for people with dementia and their carers, by building a network of local and national partnerships under the Dementia Understand Together campaign. Plans are progressing to further implement The Irish National Dementia Strategy, 2014 through the National Dementia Office and The National Carers’ Strategy, 2012 .

In 2017, my Department secured €1.23 million in Dormant Accounts funding to develop a number of projects which are designed to expand public awareness of dementia and to improve care for people with dementia. These projects include a national post-diagnostic support pathway, a national dementia registry, and the staffing of assistive technology libraries in all CHOs.

The Government is committed to ensuring that people with dementia continue to live their lives as fully as possible, in their own homes and communities for as long as they can. We are committed to supporting the work of the National Dementia Office in creating meaningful projects which will have a lasting positive effect on the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families.