Health Services

Ceisteanna (456)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

456. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person's (details supplied) access to urgent medical care has been reviewed. [9722/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Psychological Assessments Waiting Times

Ceisteanna (457, 458)

James Browne

Ceist:

457. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting a primary care psychology appointment in County Wexford for more than three months, six months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and more than 36 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9726/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

458. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if children in County Wexford can avail of urgent primary care psychology appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9727/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 457 and 458 together.

In recognition of the particular need to address access to primary care-based counselling services for under 18's the Government has prioritised investment in this area. The HSE's National Service Plan 2016 provided an additional €5m for psychology for children with a focus on enhanced counselling interventions for children and adolescents. Recruitment of these posts, which includes a mix of psychologists and psychology assistants has commenced on a nationwide basis.

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

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (459)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

459. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for assessment of need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9728/18]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Ceisteanna (460)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

460. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the reason the HSE has reduced the hours being provided for speech therapy in a school (details supplied). [9740/18]

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.

National Maternity Hospital

Ceisteanna (461)

John Lahart

Ceist:

461. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the consideration that has been given to the official name of the new national maternity hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9783/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Following extensive mediation discussions, agreement was reached between the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group and the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) on the relocation of the NMH to the Elm Park campus. The terms of the agreement, which have been published, provide for the establishment of a new company - "The National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park DAC (limited by shares)”; the identity of the current NMH will be retained. 

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (462)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

462. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of day places available for training young persons with disabilities, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9798/18]

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.

National Dementia Strategy

Ceisteanna (463)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

463. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin 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. [9799/18]

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 second quarter of this year 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, a National Dementia Strategy Implementation Programme (NDSIP) was agreed by the Department of Health, the HSE and Atlantic Philanthropies. €27.5million was committed to the Programme over a three year period across a number of initiatives, including dementia specific intensive homecare 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.

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 Dementia Strategy through the National Dementia Office, including in the area of diagnosis, post-diagnostic supports and care pathways.

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, the staffing of assistive technology libraries in all CHOs and the establishment of dementia friendly community groups.

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.

Disease Management

Ceisteanna (464)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

464. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if there will be an expansion of supports for the victims of Lyme disease in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9800/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Lyme disease (also known as Lyme borelliosis) is an infection caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by bites from ticks infected with the bacteria. The infection is generally mild affecting only the skin but can occasionally be more severe and highly debilitating. Lyme disease is diagnosed by medical history and physical examination. The infection is confirmed by blood tests which look for antibodies produced by an infected person's body in response to the infection. These normally take several weeks to develop and may not be present in the early stages of the disease. The standard laboratory approach to Lyme diagnostics is a two-stage approach and has been agreed by experts from the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and other Irish and international experts. This testing is available in Ireland.

Lyme disease can be very successfully treated using common antibiotics by General Practitioners. These antibiotics are effective at clearing the rash and helping to prevent the development of complications. Antibiotics are generally given for up to three weeks. If complications develop, intravenous antibiotics may be considered.

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre website (www.hpsc.ie) gives extensive information on Lyme Disease diagnosis, treatment and how to avoid tick bites. A Lyme Disease Subcommittee of the Scientific Advisory Committee of HPSC with professional clinical, entomological, scientific and environmental health expert representation (including a representative of the Lyme Support Group, Tick-Talk Ireland) has been established to explore all possible ways of raising awareness about Lyme disease. This Subcommittee is expected to meet shortly with a view to finalising it report. This report will cover a number of areas, including initiatives undertaken to date, summary advice relating to awareness, preventive advice for the general public, preventive advice and material for those responsible for sites or locations known to have or suspected as having higher densities of ticks, and summary advice relating to GP management of the condition. Any person who is suffering ill health is eligible to seek medical attention, and to access appropriate health and social care services, irrespective of the cause of their symptoms.

Suicide Prevention

Ceisteanna (465)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

465. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health his plans to increase resources for suicide prevention services in County Kildare in view of the number of recent suicides in the county and the county’s high suicide rate compared to national averages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9801/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Dublin Bus and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

The following revised reply was received on 8 May 2018

Ceisteanna (466)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

466. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the improvement in waiting times expected during 2018 for the 15,000 plus children waiting over a year for an outpatient appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9802/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The most recent NTPF figures published for January 2018  show that there was a total of 42,042 people on the Outpatient waiting list for hospitals in the Children's Hospital Group. 64% of these children (26,875) are waiting up to 12 months and 36% (15,167) are waiting over 12 months for a first Outpatient appointment.

The HSE has confirmed there have been challenges in addressing the OPD waiting times due to consultant resourcing issues, arising from retirements, vacancies and demand in single-handed consultant services, such as allergy and immunology.

The HSE have advised that two paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals, which are scheduled to open in mid July 2018 and 2019 respectively, should improve local access to urgent care and OPD services for children in the Greater Dublin Area.

It is acknowledged that the Outpatient Waiting Lists generally remains a challenge that needs to be addressed. It is worth noting that in 2016 the children's hospitals recorded that approximately 13% of patients did not attend their Outpatient appointment. This is something that must be tackled. A number of steps, including the commencement of a national waiting list validation project by the HSE, are being taken to ensure the lists are accurate and these efforts are to intensify in the coming months.

The following revised reply was received on 8 May 2018
The most recent NTPF figures published for January 2018  show that there was a total of 42,042 people on the Outpatient waiting list for hospitals in the Children's Hospital Group. 64% of these children (26,875) are waiting up to 12 months and 36% (15,167) are waiting over 12 months for a first Outpatient appointment.
The HSE has confirmed there have been challenges in addressing the OPD waiting times due to consultant resourcing issues, arising from retirements, vacancies and demand in single-handed consultant services, such as allergy and immunology.
The HSE have advised that two paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght hospitals, which are scheduled to open in mid-July 2019 and 2020 respectively, should improve local access to urgent care and OPD services for children in the Greater Dublin Area.
It is acknowledged that the Outpatient Waiting Lists generally remains a challenge that needs to be addressed. It is worth noting that in 2016 the children's hospitals recorded that approximately 13% of patients did not attend their Outpatient appointment. This is something that must be tackled. A number of steps, including the commencement of a national waiting list validation project by the HSE, are being taken to ensure the lists are accurate and these efforts are to intensify in the coming months.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (467)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

467. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce facilities in County Cork whereby persons with special needs can live independently with certain support services on site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9814/18]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (468)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

468. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the supports being made available to a person (details supplied) with special needs in County Cork; the funding currently being provided for these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9826/18]

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.