Health Services Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (363)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

363. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the average time to finally fill each position across all grades the national recruitment service, Manorhamilton, is responsible for over the years 2011 to 2017 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41165/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.

Maternity Services Provision

Ceisteanna (364)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

364. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health when anomaly scans will be available to all maternity patients at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41166/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Maternity Strategy is very clear that all women must have equal access to standardised ultrasound services. The Strategy is being implemented on a phased basis and this work is being led by the National Women and Infants Health Programme. The Programme's Implementation Plan for the Strategy includes a number of actions to facilitate the provision by all maternity hospitals/units of dating and anomaly scans to all pregnant women.

Furthermore, additional development funding of €4.15 million is being allocated to maternity services this year. The Programme has prioritised improving quality and safety, establishing community midwifery teams and increasing access to anomaly scans. I understand that the Programme has approved the appointment of an additional 28 ultrasonographers which was the total requirement identified to provide 100% access to anomaly scanning.

Pending the completion of the requisite recruitment and training processes, I am assured that the Programme will continue to work with the six Hospital Groups to assist in increasing access to anomaly scans for those units with limited availability. The Programme is also working with the Maternity Networks to ensure foetal medicine expertise is available when an anomaly is identified. In relation to the status of anomaly scan provision at the Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (365, 366)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

365. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the amount expended outsourcing anomaly scans at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41167/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

366. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the number of births at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, in each of the years 2011 to 2017; the number of anomaly scans carried out in each of those years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41168/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

As the queries raised by the Deputy relate to a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

HSE Data

Ceisteanna (367, 368, 369, 372)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

367. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the number of contracts and the accumulated total of all contracts procured for each year to date since the establishment of the HBS procurement service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41169/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

368. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the number of staff across all grades working at the HBS procurement service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41170/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

369. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the budget allocated to the HBS procurement service versus expenditure for each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41171/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

372. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the number of services and contracts awaiting procurement at the HBS procurement service across all hospital groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41174/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 367 to 369, inclusive, and 372 together.

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you as this is a service matter.

Health Services Staff Data

Question No. 372 answered with Question No. 367.

Ceisteanna (370, 371)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

370. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the expenditure on agency staff costs in each of the years 2011 to 2017 at the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41172/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

371. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the number of unfilled staff vacancies both current and new across all grades at Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41173/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 370 and 371 together.

I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.

Question No. 372 answered with Question No. 367.

Medical Card Administration

Ceisteanna (373)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

373. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if the medical card application process will be reviewed to assess under discretionary medical grounds before assessing income (details supplied). [41183/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE's Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility examined the issue of awarding medical cards on the basis of illness and among its conclusions was the recommendation that a person’s means should remain the main qualifier for a medical card. This position remains unchanged.

Nevertheless, every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of the difficult circumstances in the case of applicants who may be in excess of the income guidelines.

It should be noted, in certain circumstances, the HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card, even though an applicant exceeds his or her income threshold, where he or she faces difficult financial circumstances, such as extra costs arising from an illness. Social and medical issues are considered when determining whether undue hardship exists for an individual accessing general practitioner or other medical services. The HSE affords applicants the opportunity to furnish supporting information documentation to fully take account of all the relevant circumstances that may benefit them in the assessment, including medical evidence of cost and necessary expenses

Health Services Staff

Question No. 375 answered with Question No. 205.

Ceisteanna (374)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

374. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if funding for an additional community based diabetes podiatrist in County Limerick will be made available in the upcoming budget; the reason Limerick had the second largest year-on-year increase in the number of persons with diabetes hospitalised for foot ulceration treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41187/18]

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.

Question No. 375 answered with Question No. 205.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (376)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

376. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a radio campaign is being run stating that the flu vaccine is free for at-risk groups but does not mention that a consultation fee may be charged as is stated on the HSE website; the steps he is taking in order to ensure the vaccine is free for at-risk groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41197/18]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (377)

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

377. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health if funding to a care centre (details supplied) will be increased in order that services can be expanded to support those with multiple sclerosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41216/18]

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.

Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (378)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

378. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that physiotherapists within the Health Service Executive who have submitted a section 38 registration application to CORU and are awaiting approval have not been allowed to continue to work as physiotherapists after 30 September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41241/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.

Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (379)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

379. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if the number of physiotherapists within the Health Service Executive who have been downgraded to work as physiotherapy assistants while awaiting CORU registration and the impact it has on patient care will be examined; if this will be considered a break in service for employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41242/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.

Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (380)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

380. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the status of CORU physiotherapist registration processing times; if he is satisfied that processing times are adequate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41243/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The two year transition period for the Physiotherapists in question to register with the Physiotherapists Registration Board (CORU) commenced in September 2016. This means that these physiotherapists were required to have applied for registration by 30 September 2018.

During this two year period, CORU met with and continually encouraged physiotherapists to register in a timely manner. This included visits by the CEO and her team to many hospitals and meetings with the union and the professional body. Extensive information was made available on the registration process and, in particular, the documentation to be submitted by the applicant and the time lines involved in processing an application, including Garda vetting. I met with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists on number of occasions in 2017 on various issues and requested that they have their members register with CORU without delay.

A number of Physiotherapists left it until the closing stages of the two year period to apply for registration, with much of the documentation submitted being incomplete despite extensive information having been made available by CORU at various information session over the past two years and comprehensive information on the application process been made available on its website. CORU is working tirelessly in assisting late applicants gain entry to the Register of Physiotherapists and is keeping all applicants updated on their application for registration.