Health Services Funding

Ceisteanna (333)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

333. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if funding will be made available for staffing in neurology services and in the context of the upcoming budget in line with the neurology and epilepsy models of care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20799/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The model of care for neurology was launched by the HSE in late 2016. This was developed by the HSE’s national clinical programme for neurology in collaboration with consultants, nurses, health and social care professionals and patient support groups. It aims to address the need for strategic development of neurology services in the provision of better care for these patients. Progress is being made in this area. For example, this year, funding has been allocated by the HSE to commence development of peri- and post-operative services to support patients with Parkinson's Disease receiving deep brain stimulation.

As the detail of the query raised is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly as soon as possible.

Health Services

Ceisteanna (334)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

334. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if electronic transmission of blood test results has ceased in some cases; the areas in which this has ceased; and the actions he will take to resolve the issue [20800/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

HSE Legal Cases

Ceisteanna (335)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

335. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the number of times his Department or the HSE has sought and or obtained a gagging order in respect of persons that have taken a legal action against either body in the past 15 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20803/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy's question has been interpreted as relating to both clinical and general indemnity claims against my Department and the HSE for the past 15 years.

The management of clinical and general indemnity claims relating to my Department and the HSE has been delegated to the State Claims Agency under section 9 of the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000. The delegation of the management of clinical negligence claims relates to the period since 2002, but the delegation of general negligence claims only relates to the period since 2010 for the HSE. Prior to that the HSE purchased general indemnity insurance cover from private insurance firms.

The State Claims Agency has advised my officials that it settles very few claims subject to a confidentiality agreement with the exception of claims settled through mediation. Part of the process of mediation is that the parties are bound by a strict confidentiality provision contained in the mediation agreement. In the very rare case that the agency agrees a confidentiality proviso, it is usually because of some extremely sensitive, controversial or disputed element of a claim which may be requested by either party. The agency does not formally record, on its IT system, the fact that any individual settlement is bound by a confidentiality clause. Therefore this information is not readily available.

My Department has requested the Health Service Executive to reply directly to the Deputy on this matter in respect of situations outside those addressed by the State Claims Agency.

My Department will also collate information on legal actions which were outside the remit of the State Claims Agency and will revert to the Deputy as soon as possible on the matter.

Public Health Policy

Ceisteanna (336)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

336. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if his Department has worked in collaboration with the United Kingdom Department of Health on the development of health or reproductive health policy over the past two years; and if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20806/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The details requested by the Deputy cover work being carried out by a number of units. I will survey the Department for relevant data and compile replies to provide the Deputy with a full response as soon as possible.

Departmental Meetings

Ceisteanna (337)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

337. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the contacts he or his Department have had with a company (details supplied) in the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20807/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The full information is not available at present. I personally have had no contact or meetings with the company in question. I will survey the Department as to whether or not any units have had contact and revert to the Deputy with any relevant data.

Public Health Policy

Ceisteanna (338)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

338. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the policy position with respect to the use of the term fatal foetal abnormality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20808/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Department of Health has not adopted any policy position in relation to the term "fatal foetal abnormality".

Health Strategies

Ceisteanna (339)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

339. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the HSE has discontinued funding for the Age Well Programme in the mid-west despite the great success this programme had in combatting loneliness and isolation; if core funding will be provided for this programme in view of the fact the population is ageing and loneliness and isolation is growing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20810/18]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (340)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

340. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied). [20821/18]

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 the Deputy directly.

Hospitals Funding

Ceisteanna (341)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

341. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the estimated capital cost of introducing 9,000 new hospital beds over five years; the estimated cost of staffing 9,000 beds annually; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20822/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Respite Care Grant Appeals

Ceisteanna (342)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

342. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if respite care will be restored for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal at Stranorlar Community Hospital, County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20825/18]

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.

The programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (343)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

343. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if extra home help hours will be allocated for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20826/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Home Care Packages

Ceisteanna (344)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

344. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if an extra carer will be provided to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20827/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disease Classification

Ceisteanna (345, 346)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

345. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health his views on the recent case in Northern Ireland in which 2,500 persons have been recalled over concerns regarding incorrect diagnoses of multiple sclerosis instead of neurological Lyme disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20830/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

346. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if an enquiry can be established and a case-by-case review conducted by a specialist in both the fields of Lyme disease and MS or radiographer for Lyme neuroborreliosis sufferers that were and continue to be misdiagnosed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20831/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 345 and 346 together.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by bites from infected ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi. The infection is generally mild affecting only the skin but can occasionally be more severe and highly debilitating. Lyme borreliosis was made statutorily notifiable in Ireland by the Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Regulations 2011, S.I. no 452 of 2011.

Lyme borreliosis can be asymptomatic or have a range of clinical presentations. Current best advice is that diagnosis should be made only after careful consideration of the patient's clinical history, physical findings, laboratory evidence and exposure risk. The diverse nature of these symptoms, which can have both physical and psychological causes, are shared by many conditions which have implications for both diagnostic and treatment services. Exposure to ticks prior to disease manifestations is necessary for the diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis. Since an awareness or recollection of a tick bite is not always present, however, this should not exclude the diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis.

Later stages require the use of antibody detection tests (or advanced DNA detection techniques). Testing for Lyme disease is provided routinely by hospitals in Ireland. In undertaking Lyme testing, it is essential that the results are interpreted in the light of the clinical condition of the patient. If the result of this initial screen is equivocal, the patient's samples are referred to the UK's Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL) Service of Public Health England Porton which uses a two-tier system recommended by American and European authorities. This involves a screening serological test followed by a confirmatory serological test. All laboratories must undergo continuous quality assurance to ensure that the quality of the diagnostics they provide is maintained at the highest international level for human diagnostics. All testing in Ireland is confirmed by RIPL.

It is important that people with symptoms seek appropriate medical attention, either from their family doctor or access specialist services. Testing and treatment for Lyme borreliosis is widely available in Ireland in all major hospitals. Lyme disease can be very successfully treated using common antibiotics. 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, then management of patients can be undertaken by Infectious Disease consultants in regional hospitals when intravenous antibiotics may be considered as a method of treatment. There is no evidence that viable Borrelia burgdorferi persists in patients with prolonged, subjective symptoms following confirmed Lyme disease.

A Lyme Disease Subcommittee of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre 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 Subcommittees 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 clinical management of the condition.

The HPSC provides advice and information concerning developments regarding the testing and treatment of Lyme disease to my Department.

HSE Data

Ceisteanna (347)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

347. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the value of services and goods provided by all successful tenders for awards from the HSE since 2000, by company name in tabular form. [20835/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I thank the Deputy for clarification received in relation to the above question which has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

HSE Data

Ceisteanna (348)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

348. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the value of contracts for goods, services and works awarded by the HSE to companies (details supplied) since 2000, by date and year of award. [20836/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the question relates to service issues I have referred the Deputy's question to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (349)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

349. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20840/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Data

Ceisteanna (350)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

350. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the value of contracts for goods or services from companies (details supplied) since 2010. [20855/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.