HSE Data

Ceisteanna (182)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

182. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide updated figures on the prevalence rate of heart failure here; the mortality rate for same; the annual diagnosis for heart failure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20555/18]

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.

Health Services

Ceisteanna (183)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

183. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the detail of the availability of cardiac rehabilitation services here; the number of hospitals that do not have cardiac rehabilitation services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20556/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services

Ceisteanna (184)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

184. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the details of heart failure community projects here; the investment that would be required to implement heart failure integrated care projects in the community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20557/18]

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.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (185)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

185. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the breakdown of the spending and funding allocated to and by the Healthy Ireland Fund since its inception; the way in which the fund was spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20563/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In July 2016 Government approved the creation of a Healthy Ireland Fund and subsequently provided an initial allocation of €5 million in Budget 2017 to kick-start its establishment. A further €5 million has been approved in Budget 2018 for the Fund. 

The Healthy Ireland Fund is intended as an innovative mechanism to stimulate and support inter-sectoral action and partnership working to implement Healthy Ireland, the national framework to improve health and wellbeing.  It is aimed at supporting evidence-based initiatives to support implementation of key policies and strategies under Healthy Ireland, including the Obesity Policy and Action Plan, the National Physical Activity Plan, Tobacco Free Ireland, the Sexual Health Strategy and others, and will have a focus in supporting measures aimed at children and young families and disadvantaged groups or communities.

The Department has contracted Pobal, the not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU, to administer the Fund on their behalf. Both the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Rural and Community Development made contributions to the Fund in 2017.

The First strand of funding of €4.1 million was offered to Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and Children and Young People Services Committees (CYPSCs) and every local authority area made an application and received funding.  This funding is being used to support local implementation of health and wellbeing actions from Local Economic and Community Plans and Children and Young People's Plans that align with Healthy Ireland and Better Outcomes and Brighter Futures.

The second strand of funding of around €1.35 million included a range of projects to support the National Physical Activity Plan, with a particular focus on supporting children and other groups to avail of opportunities to access and participate in various initiatives. This includes cycling and swimming initiatives, a Young Athletes Programme with Special Olympics, and a significant expansion of the Active School Flag physical activity programme in schools around the country. The Healthy Ireland at Your Library initiative to develop the country’s library network as health and wellbeing hubs in communities was also funded.

The 2017 Fund was apportioned in the following manner:

Strand I – Local

Children and Young Persons Services Committees (CYPSC):

County

Amount

Carlow CYPSC

€37,183

Cavan CYPSC

€38,000

Cork City CYPSC

€37,260

Dublin City North CPYSC

€38,000

Dublin City South CYPSC

€38,000

Galway CYPSC

€38,000

Kerry CYPSC

€38,360

Kilkenny CYPSC

€38,000

Limerick CYPSC

€34,540

Louth CYPSC

€38,400

Meath CYPSC

€38,400

Roscommon CYPSC

€36,154

Sligo Leitrim CYPSC

€38,400

South Dublin CYPSC

€37,145

Waterford CYPSC

€25,480

Wexford CYPSC

€37,978

Wicklow CYPSC

€38,400

Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs):

County

Amount

Carlow LCDC

€100,000

Cavan LCDC

€100,000

Cork City LCDC

€99,000

Dublin City LCDC

€100,000

Galway City LCDC

€100,000

Galway County LCDC

€100,000

Kerry LCDC

€100,000

Kilkenny LCDC

€89,000

Laois LCDC

€93,000

Leitrim LCDC

€100,000

Limerick LCDC

€100,000

Longford LCDC

€100,000

Louth LCDC

€88,600

Meath LCDC

€100,000

Offaly LCDC

€99,000

Roscommon LCDC

€100,000

Sligo LCDC

€96,500

South Dublin LCDC

€96,500

Waterford LCDC

€100,000

Wexford LCDC

€100,000

Wicklow LCDC

€96,500

Joint LCDC and CYPSC

Name

Amount

Clare LCDC and CYPSC

€138,400

Cork County (North, South and West) LCDC

€200,000

Donegal LCDC and CYPSC

€138,000

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown LCDC and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown CYPSC

€137,860

Fingal LCDC and CYPSC

€138,400

Kildare LCDC/CYPSC

€138,400

Laois/Offaly CYPSC

€76,000

Mayo LCDC and CYPSC

€130,600

Monaghan LCDC and CYPSC

€138,400

Monaghan LCDC and CYPSC

€130,900

Total: Strand I – Local:                             €4,147,413

Strand II – National

Name

Amount

Sport Ireland

€738,505

Special Olympics Young Athletes Programme

€54,221

Great Dublin Bike Ride

€105,915

Operation Transformation

€38,369

National Fitness Day

€40,000

Get Ireland Swimming

€150,000

Get Ireland Walking

€100,000

Get Ireland Cycling

€30,000

Cycle Right

€150,000

Children Sport Participation and Physical Activity follow up study 2017-2018

€70,000

Local Government Management Agency (Libraries Development)

€400,000

Mayo Education Centre (Active School Flag)

€213,290

Total: Strand II – National                                      €1,351,795

TOTAL Apportioned Overall                                   €5,499,208

Funding decisions for 2017 were made by a committee comprised of senior officials representing several government departments.  The next round of funding is currently out for a call for proposals.  My officials are currently awaiting a more detailed expenditure report from Pobal on the 2017 Fund.

Obesity Strategy

Ceisteanna (186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 199, 200)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

186. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the additional resources allocated to community-based programmes aimed at healthy food and healthy living in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20567/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

187. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the initiatives planned under action 6 of ten steps forward in the national obesity plan relating to mobilising the health services to better prevent and address overweight and obesity through effective community based health promotion programmes, training and skills development aside from the healthy eating, active living programme and the breastfeeding action plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20568/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

188. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the proposal on developing family food initiatives to support children and families experiencing food poverty to have access to healthy food and to develop cooking and food growing skills; if he, working with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, will consider the development of family food initiatives and the funding of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20569/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

189. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of the national key performance indicator, KPI, established for community cooking programmes for each community healthcare organisation; the success in reaching the annual target to attend community cooking programmes each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20570/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

190. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of the work of the national working group that was established to review the cook it and healthy food made easy programmes; the progress in developing operational systems to ensure scalability to increase access to community cooking programmes, ensuring alignment with the work of the local community development committees, LCDCs, and enabling joint working to address local health and well-being patterns and to improve health outcomes in relation to nutrition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20571/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

191. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the details of the coverage of the Cook It and Healthy Food Made Easy programmes; the resourcing that has been allocated to the implementation of these programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20572/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

192. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if food-based standards in line with those put in place for schools as part of the school meals programme can be introduced across all hospitals; the estimated cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20573/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

199. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the assessment carried out on the needs of vulnerable groups which is to provide the basis of allocation of resources to obesity preventative and treatment services for children and adults; if a model has been developed on the way in which resources should be allocated into the future on this basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20585/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

200. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the costs associated with developing and implementing community-based health promotion programmes targeted at high risk groups within all community healthcare organisations, CHOs, as per the national obesity plan action 6.7; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20586/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 186 to 192, inclusive, and 199 and 200 together.

As the issues rasied in the Deputy's questions are service matters, they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Obesity Strategy

Ceisteanna (193, 194, 196, 197, 198)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

193. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the new school food standards developed for the school meals programme will become a mandatory standard applied to all schools; the costs involved in working towards this in terms of education, training and other costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20576/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

194. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the work being carried out within his Department in respect of the national obesity plan specifically regarding developing guidelines and support materials for those working in developing the built environment of urban development and planning in relation to reducing the obesogenic environment; the status of this matter; when the proposed event on same will take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20579/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

196. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the work his Department has carried out with the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Finance regarding examining the priority action of the special rapporteur on obesity to the UN Human Rights Council to overhaul agricultural subsidies that make certain ingredients cheaper than others; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20582/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

197. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the proposals that have been or are being developed by his Department relating to the roll-out of evidence-based fiscal measures in support of healthy eating in addition to the sugar-sweetened drinks levy; if this will be considered; the research being carried out on other fiscal measures on high in fat, sugar or salt, HFSS, products to reduce their consumption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20583/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

198. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the progress to date with commencing each of the priority actions set out to commence in the first year of the national obesity plan as part of the ten steps forward framework, if he will address each of the 21 actions and the associated activities undertaken to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20584/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 193, 194 and 196 to 198, inclusive, together.

A Healthy Weight for Ireland’, the Obesity Policy and Action Plan (OPAP), was launched in September 2016 under the auspices of the Healthy Ireland agenda.

The OPAP covers a ten year period up to 2025 and aims to reverse obesity trends, prevent health complications and reduce the overall burden for individuals, families, the health system, and the wider society and economy. Indeed it must be emphasised that every sector of our society has a role in reducing the burden of obesity and the OPAP clearly acknowledges this.

The policy prescribed 'Ten Steps Forward' that would be taken to prevent overweight and obesity. A new Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group was established in October 2017. The current position with implementing these is as follows:

1. Embed multi-sectoral actions on obesity prevention with the support of government departments and public sector agencies

An Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group (OPIOG) has been established under the Chair of the Department of Health. It is comprised of representatives from the following Departments and Agencies: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Department of Children and Youth Affairs; Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection; Department of Education and Skills; Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government; University College Cork; the Food Safety Authority of Ireland; the Health Service Executive (HSE) - including the National Clinical Lead for Obesity; and Safefood. The OPIOG held its inaugural meeting on the 19th of October last with further meetings arranged at agreed intervals for the purposes of providing oversight to the implementation of the national Obesity Policy and Action Plan (OPAP). The OPIOG will identify processes for engaging with networks of stakeholders. It will elaborate on this aspect of its functions over the course of its work to implement the OPAP that runs up to 2025.

The OPAP recommended that proposals be developed relating to the rollout of evidence based fiscal measures, including a levy on sugar-sweetened drinks, in support of healthy eating. As the Deputy is aware the Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax commenced on the 1st of May. It represents a positive step in our national policy to deal with the problem of obesity. Consideration of any other relevant and similar fiscal measures - including the type of research referred to by the Deputy or relevant agricultural policies of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - can take place within the context of the work of the OPIOG.

2. Regulate for a healthier environment

The development of legislation for calorie posting to support people to make healthy choices is underway by the Department of Health. Currently, a behaviour study on how best to make the posting of calories meaningful to customers and more likely to impact on their behaviours is being carried out by the ESRI. In addition, actions in this area are being progressed through engagement with other Government Departments to support the work of stakeholders involved in planning and developing the built environment. The question of establishing a sub-group of the OPIOG for the built environment will be kept under review by the group; but in the meantime the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is represented on the OPIOG. In line with Actions 31 and 59 of the National Physical Activity Plan, which commit to developing guidelines and support materials for those working in developing the built environment in order to promote the importance of physical activity (31), and to develop a programme of on-going stakeholder communication and engagement to ensure delivery of the Plan (59), it is intended to hold a Stakeholder Forum in 2018. The planned Forum will focus on the theme of the Built Environment.

3. Secure appropriate support from the commercial sector to play its part in obesity prevention

At its inaugural meeting, the OPIOG agreed to establish two sub-groups for Reformulation and Healthy Eating. Further sub-groups will be established as required. Both sub-groups have already met and agreed their Terms of Reference.

The Reformulation sub-group will be technical in its work programme. The work of the sub-group will primarily set targets on reformulation of food and drink. It will include work feeding into a methodology for measuring the efficacy of the Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax. It will also make recommendations on addressing reduction of portion sizes and on monitoring and validation procedures.

One of the priority actions under Step 3 of the OPAP was to ‘Establish a forum for meaningful engagement with industry on best practice initiatives towards a healthy food environment’. It is intended to progress this action under the auspices of the OPIOG in 2018.

A code of practice for food and beverages promotion, marketing and sponsorship has also been developed involving representatives from the food industry, advertising sector, statutory agencies, and various Government Departments. It was chaired by the former CEO of the statutory Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The Codes of Practice concerned were published in February.

4. Implement a strategic and sustained communications strategy that empowers individuals, communities and service providers to become obesity aware and equipped to change, with a particular focus on families with children in the early years

A new child obesity campaign from safe food and the HSE was recently launched. It's called the START campaign and it aims to inspire, empower and support parents to start building and persist with healthy lifestyle habits in the family to prevent childhood obesity. The first phase of the campaign advertising features on TV, radio, video on demand, outdoor and digital platforms. The next phase of the campaign was launched in April.

5. The Department of Health, through Healthy Ireland, will provide leadership, engage and co-ordinate multi-sectoral action and implement best practice in the governance of the Obesity Policy and Action Plan

As referred to at step 1 above, the establishment of an Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group is well advanced. New Healthy Eating Guidelines, Food Pyramid and supporting resources have already been published, disseminated and communicated in 2017, including dissemination of the new Guidelines to all primary and post-primary schools.

Work has also commenced on developing Healthy Eating Guidelines for the 1-5 year old age group. As a first step in this work, the Scientific Committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is currently developing scientific recommendations for food based dietary guidelines for 1 to 5 year olds.

New Nutrition Standards for schools, with an initial focus on school meal programmes funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, have also been developed. These Nutrition Standards were published in September 2017. The Nutrition Standards were developed by the Department of Health with the assistance of safe food and the Health Service Executive, in cooperation with the members of the School Meals Programme in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Department of Education and Skills. And it is in the context of further discussions with both of these departments that the question of extending the Nutrition Standards to more schools will arise.

6. Mobilise the health services to better prevent and address overweight and obesity through effective community-based health promotion programmes, training and skills development and through enhanced systems for detection and referrals of overweight and obese patients at primary care level

A Healthy Eating, Active Living Programme has been established as a Policy Priority Programme within the HSE and a three-year plan for the programme has been finalised. The GP contract for the provision of free care to children under 6 years, already provides that the medical practitioner shall take an active approach toward promoting health and preventing disease through the provision of periodic assessments to child patients.

The HSE is also implementing a Breastfeeding Action Plan and a new Making Every Contact Count brief intervention framework which aims to capitalise on the opportunities that occur every day within the health service to support people to make healthy lifestyle choices.

7. Develop a service model for specialist care for children and adults

Professor Donal O’Shea was recently appointed the National Clinical Lead for Obesity. This appointment will be important in further advancing the implementation of many of the recommendations in the OPAP including the development of a national integrated service model for the health and social care of overweight and obese people and for developing quality assurance guidance for obesity services.

8. Acknowledge the key role of physical activity in the prevention of overweight and obesity

'Get Ireland Active! The National Physical Activity Plan for Ireland' (NPAP) is one of the key developments arising from Healthy Ireland, and implementation of that Plan is well underway in collaboration with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and a range of other stakeholders.

9. Allocate resources according to need, in particular to those population groups most in need of support in the prevention and management of obesity, with particular emphasis on families and children during the first 1,000 days of life

The implementation of the Healthy Eating and Active Living Plan within the HSE will begin to address this action area, with a particular focus on supporting parents and families.

10. Develop a multi-annual research programme that is closely allied to policy actions, invest in surveillance and evaluate progress on an annual basis

The establishment of the national oversight structure referred to earlier will foster developments under this step of the OPAP.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions Nos. 196 to 198, inclusive, answered with Question No. 193.

Questions Nos. 199 and 200 answered with Question No. 186.

Ceisteanna (195)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

195. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the amount spent by his Department and the HSE on campaigns and educating persons to change lifestyle as a preventive measure against chronic disease relating to tobacco, in tabular form; the amount spent on Tobacco Free Ireland; the amount spent on promoted social media advertisements and content, by amount spent per campaign and social media platform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20580/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Tobacco Free Ireland addresses a range of tobacco control issues and initiatives and contains over 60 recommendations.  The recommendations include a variety of measures, for example, legislation, awareness, taxation, enforcement and smoking cessation.  Many of these measures specifically seek to prevent our young people from starting to smoke which is one of the key priorities of the policy. 

As the Health Service Executive ('HSE') delivers cessation services and has responsibility for tobacco control media campaigns I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy on these questions. If you have not received a reply within fifteen working days please contact my Private Office and it will follow-up on the matter.

Questions Nos. 196 to 198, inclusive, answered with Question No. 193.
Questions Nos. 199 and 200 answered with Question No. 186.

HSE Staff

Ceisteanna (201)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

201. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health when his attention was first drawn to the request by the CEO of the Health Service Executive to seek permission to serve on the board of a company (details supplied); when he granted permission for the CEO of the HSE to take up this board position; the assessment procedures he undertook before he decided to grant permission; if public service conduct rules or public interest conduct rules apply in respect of this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20590/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In May 2017, Mr Tony O’Brien sought my consent within the terms of his contract of employment as Director General of the HSE to accept an appointment as a non-Executive Director of a commercial business. The Director General advised that the business was based outside the State, concerned with research and development and was not engaged in business with the HSE.  He advised that the functions would be performed in his own time without detriment to his work as Director General. He indicated that normal directors' fees would be payable. He also advised that all necessary taxation and Standards in Public Office declarations would be made.

Approval was conveyed in principle on 6th June on the basis that the business was based outside the State and is neither competitive with or engaging in business with the HSE and that the functions would be performed on his own time and without detriment to his work as DG of the HSE.

Mr O’Brien was asked to provide further details of the company, the estimated time commitment and fee arrangement to the Secretary General of the Department of Health in order that the matter could be finalised.

On 7 December, Mr O’Brien advised that the company in question is Evofem Biosciences Inc. based in San Diego, California which focuses on women’s healthcare. Its research and development particularly covers areas of unmet medical need in contraception, sexually transmitted infection and for the prevention of recurrence of bacterial vaginosis.

On 20 December 2017, the Secretary General, with my consent, confirmed approval to Mr O’Brien taking up the appointment subject to confirmation of details on remuneration and time commitment, and subject to the proviso that I, as Minister, reserve the right to review consent should a conflict of interest arise in the future or should there be any negative impact on Mr O’Brien’s work as Director General.

On 25 January, 2018 Mr O’Brien confirmed that he had been formally appointed to the Board of Evofem Biosciences Inc. on a non-executive basis. Mr O’Brien also confirmed that Directors' fees payable to him amount to US$ 65,000 per annum exclusive of stock participation options.

Mr O’Brien has advised that he envisaged that his time commitment would amount to 5 hours per month and that his attendance at Board meetings would be linked to periods of annual leave.  Mr O’Brien also confirmed that the company has no products which have FDA approval and therefore no products on the Irish market.

Mr O’Brien has informed me that he is taking a leave of absence from his approved external non-executive board position with Evofem Biosciences Incorporated until July and completion of his contract as Director General.