Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (351, 370)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

351. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of victims of the swine flu vaccine that are included in the number of cases the State Claims Agency presented to Dáil Éireann in April 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20862/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

370. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of victims of the swine flu vaccine included in the number of cases drawn to the attention of the State Claims Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20921/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 351 and 370 together.

I cannot comment on individual cases or matters that are the subject of litigation but can provide background information on this litigation and clarify matters that are already in the public domain.

As of 9 May 2018, legal proceedings against the Minister, the Health Services Executive and GlaxoSmithKline Biological SA have been initiated by seventy individuals. The plaintiffs allege personal injury in which they claim the development of narcolepsy resulted from the administration of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine. The management of the cases transferred to the State Claims Agency on 15 October 2013 when the Taoiseach signed the National Treasury Management Agency (Delegation of Claims Management Functions) (Amendment) Order 2013.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (352)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

352. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the location in which samples are tested in cases in which a woman has been called back for further testing, that is, colposcopy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20864/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Each individual GP practice, clinic and colposcopy service is assigned to one of the three designated programme laboratories.

The samples of all tests taken in those locations are processed in the assigned laboratory.

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (353)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

353. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of additional staff by category required to meet additional acute bed targets annually in the coming five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20868/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Services Capacity Review 2018 forecasts future capacity requirements in acute hospitals, primary care and in services for older persons (residential and homecare services) for the period to 2031.

The Capacity Review forecasts that the following additional acute hospital beds will be required by 2021 if reforms are implemented:

Bed Type

2016 baseline

2021 Requirements

Inpatient

10,500

11,900

Day

2,140

2,300

Adult Critical Care

240

330

Acute Medical Unit

430

420

Workforce requirements will need to take account of the nature of the additional hospital beds (Day Care, In-Patient, Intensive/Critical Care) and the relevant clinical specialties.

Given the timelines in which the Capacity Review had to be conducted in order to inform the new National Development Plan, it was not possible to include a full workforce planning exercise within the scope of the Review. In particular, corresponding workforce projections for additional acute hospital capacity were not included. The Capacity Review report makes this clear.

The National Strategic Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning, which was launched in November 2017, will support an approach to workforce planning that will enable the recruitment and retention of the right mix of health workers, across the health system.

Effective workforce planning and appropriate resourcing of health services will also be a key enabler of Sláintecare reforms. This will be addressed in the Sláintecare Implementation Plan which is expected to be brought to Government shortly.

These initiatives, in tandem with the findings of the Capacity Review, will provide a robust framework within which workforce planning and assessment can be undertaken on an ongoing basis.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

Ceisteanna (354)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

354. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if the inconsistencies in payments made under a scheme (details supplied) to facilities will be examined; if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties some of these facilities are experiencing; and his views on whether the facilities must be supported by an equitable funding model that provides recognition to the reality of costs being incurred in order to meet the specialist healthcare needs of persons. [20870/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

The Report of the NHSS Review published in 2015 identified a number of issues for more detailed consideration, including a review of pricing mechanism by the NTPF, with a view to:

- Ensuring value for money and economy, with the lowest possible administrative costs for clients and the State and administrative burden for providers;

- Increasing the transparency of the pricing mechanism so that existing and potential investors can make as informed decisions as possible; and

- Ensuring that there is adequate residential capacity for those residents with more complex needs.

A Steering Committee has been established to oversee this review which is chaired by the NTPF and includes representatives from my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The NTPF have responsibility for the development of this report, although Department Officials continue to engage with the NTPF regarding the review. The most recent update from the NTPF is that the report will be finalised and ready for review in the first half of 2018.

In relation to variations in the cost of care for public and private nursing homes it is acknowledged that public nursing homes have, in general, a higher cost of care. It is understood that a number of factors contribute to this such as higher dependency levels of clients requiring a higher staff skill mix, environmental implications for staffing levels and the geographical provision of residential placements.

That said, there is a need to undertake a deeper analysis of the factors driving the higher costs of care in public units. This is why the 2015 Review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme identified the need for a Value for Money and Policy (VFM) review of the cost differentials in public and private/voluntary residential facilities. My Department will be working on this VFM throughout the year.

Medical Negligence Claims

Ceisteanna (355)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

355. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce a no-fault compensation scheme for mistakes made within the health service. [20871/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Since the publication of the recommendations of the Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments, which was chaired by former High Court Judge John Quirke, significant legal reforms have been introduced or are on the way in order to deal more effectively with clinical negligence claims.

Nevertheless, I believe we must go further in addressing the difficulties which our current system presents for those who have experienced harm and wish to be assured that the problems are addressed and appropriate redress is made.

I have informed Government that, building on recent legal reforms, I will engage with Minister Flanagan on the options to further improve the legal approach to managing clinical negligence cases. For this purpose my officials met Department of Justice and Equality officials last week to examine the key issues involved and to examine all options available.

This action will be progressed in the coming weeks in order to bring further proposals to Government to build on the work of Judge Quirke's Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments. I expect that all potential options to improve the current system, including a no fault approach, will be considered in the process.

Statutory Retirement Age

Ceisteanna (356)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

356. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure that HSE drivers who are 64 years of age now and work in the western region, will be able to work until they are 70 years of age if they so wish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20878/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My colleague, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Paschal Donohoe T.D., secured Government approval in December 2017 for an increase in the compulsory retirement age from 65 years to 70 years for public servants who currently are required to retire at age 65 years. Legislation will be necessary to effect these changes and the General Scheme of a Bill was also approved by Government at that time. Minister Donohoe has indicated that he would ask the Attorney General to prioritise the drafting of this legislation so that the new compulsory retirement age would become effective as soon as possible.

The Government also agreed, in advance of the legislation coming into effect, that interim arrangements could be introduced, for serving public servants who reach the age of 65 years between the date of the Government Decision and the coming into effect of the necessary legislation. These arrangements enable such public servants to be retained until they reach the age of eligibility for Contributory State Pension, which is currently age 66 years. My Department has advised the HSE and other agencies of these interim measures.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (357)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

357. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health his plans to fill the position of stroke specialist nurse at South Tipperary General Hospital which has been vacant since January 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20884/18]

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 you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (358)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

358. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of children on paediatric rheumatology waiting lists; the number waiting more than three, six, nine, 12,15, 18 and 24 months, respectively, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20885/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As requested by the Deputy, the waiting lists for paediatric rheumatology at the end of April are provided in the tables,.

An additional €9 million has been allocated in the HSE 2018 National Service Plan for paediatric orthopaedics, including scoliosis services, to further reduce waiting times for paediatric orthopaedic services and support the development of a sustainable paediatric orthopaedic service. This funding is allocated across four hospitals, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.

In addition, each hospital has submitted proposals in 2018 to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to support some insourced and outsourced activity to treat review and treat the longest waiting times. The NTPF is engaging with the HSE and individual hospitals on these proposals.

Paediatric Rheumatology Outpatients Waiting List-End April 2018

0-3 mths

3-6 mths

6-9 mths

9-12 mths

12-15 mths

15-18 mths

18-21 mths

21-24 mths

24-48 mths

48+

Grand Total

165

99

64

104

59

72

62

66

331

2

1024

Paediatric Rheumatology Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List-End April 2018

0-3 mths

3-6 mths

6-8 mths

8-12 mths

12-15 mths

15-18 mths

18-24 mths

Grand Total

32

21

13

30

17

6

1

120

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (359)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

359. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of consultants practising paediatric rheumatology; the locations in which they are based; the whole-time equivalent spend on paediatric rheumatology cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20886/18]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (360)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

360. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (detail supplied) will be scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20887/18]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (361)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

361. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20888/18]

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.

Stroke Care

Ceisteanna (362)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

362. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided by the HSE for the establishment of stroke survivor groups and the engagement of co-ordinators to facilitate the process in County Tipperary, as has been done in other areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20892/18]

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.

Nursing Home Services

Ceisteanna (363)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

363. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a care home (details supplied); the number of patients in the home; the number of staff; the number of qualified nursing staff; the future plans for the home in view of the ageing population; the number of persons with dementia here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20894/18]

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.

Respite Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (364)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

364. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when respite care will be restored to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20895/18]

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.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Ceisteanna (365, 366)

John Curran

Ceist:

365. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the local and regional drugs task forces that have a representative from his Department on the task force in each of the years 2016 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form; the number of meetings that took place; the number that were attended by the representative from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20900/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

366. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the local and regional drugs task forces that have a member of HSE sitting on the task force in each of the years 2016 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form; the number of meetings that took place; the number that were attended by the representative from the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20901/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 366 together.

Local and regional drug and alcohol task forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem and in initiating appropriate responses in their localities, so that there is a coordinated approach involving all sectors to the problem of substance misuse.

Section 2 of the task force handbook sets our the membership of task forces, to include representatives from the local community, voluntary service providers and relevant statutory bodies. Typically, task forces comprise representatives from the following organisations:

- HSE;

- An Garda Síochána;

- Probation and Welfare Service;

- Education and Training Boards;

- Local Authorities;

- Youth Services;

- Department of Social Protection;

- Service users;

- Local communities;

- Local community development committees;

- Local development companies;

- public representatives; and

- Voluntary sector

The Department of Health is not a member of the task forces as it is a government department and is not involved in service delivery. Rather, the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of health services and is therefore the appropriate representative from the public health sector on the task forces.

I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to its representation on Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and the number of meetings that it participated in.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (367)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Ceist:

367. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20912/18]

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.

Occupational Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (368)

James Browne

Ceist:

368. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for occupational therapy for children with dyspraxia in each of the years 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20915/18]

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.