Ambulance Service Data

Ceisteanna (156)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

156. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health if a schedule of each emergency transfer request to the National Ambulance Service from St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny to St. James's Hospital will be provided detailing the time of ambulance service request raised at St. Luke's; the time of clinical handover to the ambulance team in St. Luke's; the time of clinical handover at St. James's for each request made in each of the years since 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018, distinguishing between echo and delta responses in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26967/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly. 

Ambulance Service Data

Ceisteanna (157)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

157. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health if a schedule of each emergency transfer request to the National Ambulance Service from Wexford General Hospital to St. James's Hospital will be provided detailing the time of ambulance service request raised at Wexford General; the time of clinical handover to the ambulance team in Wexford General; the time of clinical handover at St. James's for each request made in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018, distinguishing between echo and delta responses in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26968/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly. 

Ambulance Service Data

Ceisteanna (158)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

158. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health if a schedule of each emergency transfer request to the National Ambulance Service from University Hospital Waterford, UHW, to Cork University Hospital, CUH, will be provided detailing the time of ambulance service request raised at UHW; the time of clinical handover to ambulance team in UHW; the time of clinical handover at CUH for each request made in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26969/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Ambulance Service

Ceisteanna (159)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

159. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied with the performance of the National Ambulance Service on a county basis and NUTS3 regional basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26970/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

National Stroke Programme Implementation

Ceisteanna (160)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

160. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 166 of 30 May 2018, the way in which it is envisaged that community rehabilitation will be delivered to stroke survivors in the same way as other persons with neurological conditions in view of the fact that early supported discharge replaces hospital based care (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26976/18]

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 a service issue, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Assisted Animal Reproduction

Ceisteanna (161)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

161. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if there has been cross-departmental collaboration between his Department and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection with respect to proposed amendments or policy changes to the registration of births and birth certificates and the introduction of surrogacy services; if he will address concerns (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26982/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. In the context of developing the General Scheme of the AHR Bill, officials in my Department engaged with colleagues from a number of other Departments, including the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, to ensure that the proposed legislation is developed in a coherent way within the existing legislative framework.

The surrogacy provisions in the General Scheme set out a court-based mechanism through which the parentage of a child born through surrogacy may be transferred from the surrogate (and her husband, if applicable) to the intending parent(s). If a Parental Order is granted by the court, the intending parents would be declared to be the legal parents of the child and they would subsequently be issued with a "surrogacy certificate" that would replace the original birth certificate. This is a similar procedure to the mechanism which deals with the civil registration of children who are adopted, whereby an adoption certificate replaces the original birth certificate.

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (162)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

162. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if extra home help hours will be provided in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26986/18]

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 Help Service Expenditure

Ceisteanna (163)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

163. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the financial allocation in 2018 for home support, home help and home care packages in counties Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26992/18]

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.

Home Help Service Expenditure

Ceisteanna (164)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

164. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the initial financial allocation in 2017 for home support, home help and home care packages in counties Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal; the expenditure incurred to year end in the programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26993/18]

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.

Psychological Services

Ceisteanna (165)

James Lawless

Ceist:

165. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Health when an appointment will be made for a person (details supplied) for primary care psychology services for ongoing support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26994/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Psychological Services

Ceisteanna (166)

James Lawless

Ceist:

166. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Health the funding and positions provided for regarding primary care psychology services in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26995/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (167)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

167. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health when an appointment will be made to fill the vacant position in the pain management unit in the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this position has been vacant for over three years since the previous person retired and the effect this vacancy is having on public waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26996/18]

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 Procedures

Ceisteanna (168)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

168. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a required kidney transplant will take place at the National Kidney Transplant Centre at Beaumount Hospital in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26997/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy's question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (169)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

169. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae 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. [27003/18]

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, since 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 (170)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

170. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be seen in Waterford University Hospital in view of the fact that they are over two years on a waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27004/18]

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, since 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.

Medicinal Products

Ceisteanna (171)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

171. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the details of ephedrine and its use here; the resources available through the aegis of his Department to raise awareness of the effects of drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27007/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Ephedrine is currently controlled in Ireland as a drug precursor under EU drug precursors legislation and as a prescription medicine under the medicines legislation.

Drug precursors are chemicals that are primarily used for the legitimate (legal) production of a wide range of products, such as medicines, perfumes, plastics, cosmetics etc. However, they can also be misused for the illicit (illegal) production of drugs such as methamphetamines, heroin or cocaine.

Ephedrine is a substance that, whilst it has legitimate uses, is also known to be used in the illegal manufacture of narcotic or psychotropic substances. As a consequence, there are control systems in place that require an operator to be licenced to possess and import it. 

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is responsible for ensuring that operators within Ireland who manufacture, supply, possess and/or use precursor chemicals operate in compliance with European legislation for certain activities. The Health Products Regulatory Authority is responsible for;

- licensing of operators

- registration of operators

- import/export authorisations

- annual reporting to the International Narcotics Control Board

- inspection of operators within Ireland 

Ephedrine may also be present in an authorised medicine, in which case it is supplied to a patient through a pharmacy or in a hospital. Every authorised medicine includes a Package Leaflet which provides detailed information on safe use of the medicine for patients, carers and other members of the public.

The HSE maintains a detailed online resource regarding drug misuse and the effects that drugs can have on human health. The HSE also provides funding to drugs.ie, Ireland's national drug information and support website which provides a comprehensive range of information and supports related to substance use.

The HPRA is responsible for monitoring the safety and side effects of authorised medicines. The Authority regularly runs campaigns and workshops to ensure that the public are made aware of any safety issues concerning particular medicines.

It should be noted that the Department of Health works closely with other Government Departments and agencies to address the wider effects of drug misuse.

HSE Staff Remuneration

Ceisteanna (172)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

172. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health when a gratuity payment due to certain home help workers will be made in lieu of pension payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27012/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy is referring to Home Help workers who are employed by voluntary providers of home help services which are funded under section 39 of the Health Act 2004.

I advised the Deputy previously that as these home help workers are not employed by the HSE, the HSE and the Department have no role in determining the salaries or other terms and conditions applying to these staff including any pension arrangements.

In addition, the Deputy is aware that a joint working group was established, as agreed as part of the 2015 Lansdowne Road talks, to consider a number of issues in relation to section 39 organisations.  Unfortunately it was not possible to reach an agreement between the parties on the issue of gratuity payments.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (173)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

173. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the progress being made in relation to the drafting of primary legislation for a new transport support scheme to assist those with a disability to meet their mobility costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27015/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. Since the closure of the Mobility Allowance, the Government has directed that the Health Service Executive should continue to pay an equivalent monthly payment of up to €208.50 per month to the 4,046 people in receipt of the Mobility Allowance, on an interim basis, pending the establishment of a new Transport Support Scheme. 

The Government decided that the detailed preparatory work required for a new Transport Support Scheme and associated statutory provisions should be progressed by the Minister for Health.  The Programme for a Partnership Government acknowledges the ongoing drafting of primary legislation for a new Transport Support Scheme to assist those with a disability to meet their mobility costs.  The Health (Transport Support) Bill is on the list of priority legislation for publication in the Spring/Summer session 2018. I can confirm that work on the policy proposals for the new Scheme is at an advanced stage.  The proposals seek to ensure that:

- There is a firm statutory basis to the Scheme's operation;

- There is transparency and equity in the eligibility criteria attaching to the Scheme;

- Resources are targeted at those with greatest needs; and

- The Scheme is capable of being costed and is affordable on its introduction and on an ongoing basis.

My colleague, the Minister for Health and I recently brought a Memorandum to Government for proposals for a new Transport Support Payment Scheme. Following consideration of the matter,  it was decided to withdraw the Memorandum from the Cabinet Agenda on 8 May last.  I intend to revert to Government with revised proposals to reflect the discussion at Cabinet, in due course.

With regard to the Motorised Transport Grant, this scheme operated as a means-tested grant to assist persons with severe disabilities with the purchase or adaptation of a car, where that car was essential to retain employment. The maximum Motorised Transport Grant, which was payable once in any three year period, was €5,020. Following the closure of the scheme in February 2013, no further Motorised Transport Grants have been payable.

It is important to note that the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme operated by the Revenue Commissioners, remains in place. This scheme provides VRT and VAT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with a disability, who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in governing regulations made by the Minister for Finance.  Specifically adapted vehicles driven by persons with a disability are also exempt from payment of tolls on national roads and toll bridges. Transport Infrastructure Ireland has responsibility for this particular scheme.

There are improvements in access to a range of transport support schemes available to persons with disabilities in the State and on-going work is being carried out by Government Departments, agencies and transport providers to further improve access to public transport services.  Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of public transport for people with a disability.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Ceisteanna (174)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

174. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will be called for speech and language therapy. [27017/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (175)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

175. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for a child to access speech and language therapy in County Meath. [27018/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.