Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 143.

Dental Services Data

Ceisteanna (152)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

152. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health the funding for the public dental service in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [3251/19]

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.

Orthodontic Services Provision

Ceisteanna (153)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

153. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when an appointment for urgent orthodontic treatment will be allocated to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3266/19]

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.

Vaccination Programme

Question No. 155 withdrawn.

Ceisteanna (154)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

154. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the high cost for persons from low income backgrounds in accessing the meningitis B vaccine whose children were born before 2016; his plans to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3267/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is an independent committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland which is comprised of experts in a number of specialties, including infectious diseases, paediatrics, and public health, which makes recommendations to my Department on vaccination policy in Ireland.  Its recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation.  NIAC continues to revise recommendations so as to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease.

On foot of a recommendation by NIAC, the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule was amended in 2016 to include the introduction of the Meningitis B vaccine for all babies born on or after 1 October 2016.  This change to the immunisation schedule took effect from 1 December 2016.  The first dose of the vaccine is administered to children when they reach two months of age; a second dose is administered at four months and a third and final dose at twelve months.  Meningitis B disease is most common in babies under 1 year of age and the scheduling of the administration of the vaccine under the immunisation programme as recommended by NIAC takes this into account. 

All vaccines administered through the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule are provided free of charge.  Ireland is the second country in Europe to make the Men B vaccine available free of charge as part of its national immunisation programme. 

There are no plans to introduce a catch-up programme for the Men B vaccine to older children.  Those who have a medical card are eligible to have the vaccine administered by their GP free of charge.  However, the purchase of the vaccine is not covered by the medical card scheme.

In Ireland, the following meningitis vaccines are provided to children born on or after 1 October 2016 as part of the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule:

- 2 months - 6-in-1, pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) and Men B;

- 4 months - 6-in-1 and Men B (Meningococcal B);

- 6 months - 6-in-1, PCV and Men C (Meningococcal C);

- 12 months - Men B;

- 13 months - Hib/Men C and PCV.

Note that the 6-in-1 vaccine contains Hib (Haemophilus influenzae b).

Adolescents are also given a Men C booster vaccine in the first year of secondary school against meningitis as part of the School Immunisation Programme. 

Question No. 155 withdrawn.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (156)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

156. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce additional residential care places for the disabled adults of senior citizens; the number of such residential care places he hopes to add in 2019 and 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3270/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans

Ceisteanna (157)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

157. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking or will undertake to further reduce the outpatient waiting lists in dermatology at University Hospital Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3273/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Improving access to hospital treatment is a key priority for government. Budget 2019 announced a funding increase from €55 million to €75 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to provide treatment for patients.  

My Department is working closely with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a Scheduled Care Access Plan for inpatients/day case and outpatients for 2019. In this regard, the NTPF and the HSE will continue to work closely with Hospital Groups, inviting proposals to improve access for patients waiting for either Inpatient/Daycase or Outpatient procedures.

In relation to, steps to further reduce outpatient waiting lists in dermatology at University Hospital Waterford, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Medical Card Eligibility

Ceisteanna (158)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

158. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) had their medical card taken away; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3279/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (159)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

159. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for a knee replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3282/19]

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.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (160)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

160. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the position regarding dental services for medical card holders; the reason medical card holders are reportedly only entitled to two fillings a year; the reason they are not entitled to a clean and polish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3302/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental treatments to medical card holders. In 2010 the range of treatments provided under the Scheme was reduced in order to cap expenditure at the 2008 level of €63 million. Expenditure on the DTSS in 2018 was approximately €58.7 million.

Services currently available annually, without prior approval of the local HSE Principal Dental Surgeon, include an examination, two fillings and emergency extractions. Other more complex care is also provided some of which requires prior approval of the Principal Dental Surgeon. Patients with special needs and high risk patients can avail of a broader range of treatments including a scale and polish on approval of the Principal Dental Surgeon. The HSE continues to monitor the operation of the DTSS to ensure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of available resources

The national approach to future oral health service provision will be informed by the National Oral Health Policy, which is currently being finalised and which I expect will be published shortly.

The aim of the policy is to develop a model of care that will enable preventative approaches to be prioritised, improve access, and support interventions appropriate to current and future oral health needs.

National Treatment Purchase Fund

Ceisteanna (161)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

161. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if treatment for a person (details supplied) will be scheduled under the National Treatment Purchase Fund in view of the fact that the person has been awaiting essential surgery for more than 12 months. [3306/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for the Government.

The 2019 Scheduled Care Access Plan is currently being finalised by my Department and will set out HSE activity levels to reduce waiting lists across specialties and improve access. The Access Plan will also set out activity levels for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) who, following an increase in funding in Budget 2019 to €75 million, will supply additionality to HSE activity by arranging both insourced and outsourced appointments and treatments to reduce waiting times experienced by patients.

The Access Plan is being developed to ensure an appropriate balance between high volume activities and offering treatment to complex long waiting patients. The NTPF will do this by inviting public hospitals to seek solutions for very long waiters either in the private sector or through insourcing.

Under the Waiting List Action Plan the NTPF have committed to make offers of treatment to patients waiting for one of 50 high-volume procedures including hip replacement. The longest waiting patients who are clinically suitable for outsourcing for one of these targeted procedures will be offered treatment in 2019.   

In terms of treatment offers, the NTPF authorises public hospitals to offer outsourced treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic. NTPF authorisations are made in respect of the longest waiting patients first.

In terms of the specific patient query raised,  I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Brexit Staff

Ceisteanna (162)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

162. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of regular grade civil servants his Department has hired in advance of a no-deal Brexit; the number of specialist grade civil servants hired in advance of same; the budget made available in advance of Brexit for hiring of staff in advance of the UK withdrawal from the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3323/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department has not hired any regular grade or specialist grade civil servants specifically in respect of a no-deal Brexit. Eleven roles have been identified as specifically related to general preparations for Brexit.  Other Brexit preparatory work is being undertaken throughout the Department as part of the work of existing roles within various business Units. Staffing for Brexit preparations is being funded through the Department's general payroll budget and no specific allocation has been set aside for Brexit staffing outside of that.

National Children's Hospital

Ceisteanna (163)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

163. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of the final project brief for the new national children’s hospital and the definitive business case for the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3347/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The final project brief and the definitive business case for the new children's hospital  were produced by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and I have asked the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board  to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

National Children's Hospital

Ceisteanna (164)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

164. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if organisations (details supplied) were the construction cost advisers on the national children’s hospital project; the amount paid to each for services rendered to date; if they are still being retained as cost advisers; if so, when the contract is due to expire; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3348/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (165)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

165. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health when funding will be provided and a facility put in place for vulnerable persons (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3360/19]

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.

Nursing Staff

Ceisteanna (166)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

166. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the way in which he plans to show support for nurses (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3364/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Last year, in line with that Public Service Stability Agreement, in September, the Public Service Pay Commission concluded a review in respect of key health service grades, including nurses.  Also, in line with the Public Service Agreement, the Government concluded negotiations on new entrant pay with public service unions. 

The Public Service Pay Commission recommendations would see Specialist Qualification and Location Allowances for nurses increased by 20% and would see them extended to maternity services. In addition, the Commission recommended that eligibility requirements for Senior Staff Nurse /Midwife be reduced from 20 to 17 years.

With regard to new entrant pay, the Government has made proposals to address this issue which will benefit approximately 10,000 nurses to the value of around €3,000 each.

It is clear that these measures would improve the overall pay package for the majority of nurses and midwives.  They show that the Public Service Stability Agreement and the related negotiation process are delivering significant improvements for nurses. 

In terms of the current dispute, what is being sought is in effect a pay increase to the value of approximately 12%.  Both unions are signed up to the Public Service Stability Agreement, which precludes pay claims and commits the parties to maintaining industrial peace.  Any resolution will need to be within the parameters of the PSSA. 

Despite a number of engagements between health sector management and the INMO and PNA, it has not been possible to make progress.  The unions have now referred the dispute to the WRC Conciliation Services.  The WRC engagement is scheduled to commence on 23 January and management will attend.  There still remains time to reach an agreement which could avert this dispute and I would urge the parties to continue to engage.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (167)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

167. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the length of time a person (details supplied) will be waiting for an operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3380/19]

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.

Primary Care Centres

Ceisteanna (168)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

168. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the services available at a primary care centre (details supplied) in County Roscommon; and the number of general practitioners and other medical professionals based in the centre. [3413/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (169)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

169. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of assaults that have been recorded against front line staff, that is, nurses, doctors, social workers, ambulance staff and other health professionals in each of the years 2008 to 2018, by hospital, geographic location and profession in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3414/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Primary Care Centres Data

Ceisteanna (170)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

170. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the operational status of all primary care centres, that is, under construction, planning phase, opened and so on; the healthcare and medical staff working in each operational primary care centre by centre and occupation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3415/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Health Action Plan

Ceisteanna (171)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

171. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of the implementation of the national physical activity plan; the progress to date on implementing each of the recommendations contained in the plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3416/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Significant progress has been made on the implementation of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) since its publication in 2016. Progress is overseen by an Implementation Group (IG), which is co-chaired by the Departments of Health and Transport, Tourism and Sport.  The NPAP IG includes representation from the Departments of Education and Skills, Children and Youth Affairs, Housing, Planning and Local Government, Sport Ireland, the HSE, the LGMA and researchers. The NPAP IG is also supported by two sub-groups with regard to Action Areas Two and Seven; Children and Young People and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Implementation to date is concentrating on a range of activities including:

- Incorporation of physical activity as a key element of the Healthy Ireland Communications Campaign;  

- Supporting the Department of Education and Skills in provision of physical activity and physical education in school, including expansion of the Active School Flag programme to post-primary schools, launch of the Daily Mile and support for the new Leaving Cert and Senior Cycle PE curricula, including the development of the Phyz app to support SCPE.

- Extension of Community Sport and Physical Activity Hubs (by Sport Ireland through Local Sports Partnerships);

- Continued expansion of  community walking groups under the Get Ireland Walking Strategy;

- Support for the European Week of Sport and Physical Activity, an annual week in September with over 500 events nationwide including the Great Dublin Bike Ride and National Fitness Day (led by Sport Ireland, supported by Healthy Ireland and other key stakeholders, including Ireland Active);

- Engagement with key stakeholders to progress actions aimed at increasing national participation in physical activity: a multi-disciplinary Stakeholder Forum on the Built Environment was held in November, 2018, to support key actions in both the Obesity Policy and Physical Activity Plan;

- Co-ordination of the aims and objectives of the NPAP with the new Sports Policy.

- Progressing research into effective physical activity interventions; for example, the Move for Life, Y-Path, Healthy Ireland Demonstration Project and Ireland's Physical Activity Research Collaboration are all ongoing. Sport Ireland and the ESRI are progressing a review and follow-up intervention on physical activity in disadvantaged areas

- Research and monitoring of population physical activity levels are progressing, with pre-NPAP baselines collated and further surveys conducted by the Irish Sports Monitor, Healthy Ireland Survey, Children's Sport

Participation and Physical Activity Study (CSPPA), The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Health Behaviours in School Children (HBSC) and others. Recent iterations of CSPPA and HBSC are scheduled to be published in 2019; the 2019 Healthy Ireland Survey (to be published in October) also contains a module on physical activity and inactivity. 

In summary, many of the key actions in the Plan have been significantly progressed, with some completed. Both a summary Progress Report and a full Implementation Report were published in 2017 and can be viewed on the Healthy Ireland website, healthyireland.ie

An updated Summary and Implementation Report will be published online in Q1, 2019.

Implementation of the NPAP has been supported from various sources, including the Departments listed above, Sport Ireland, the HSE and the Healthy Ireland Fund.