Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (174)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

174. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for a hysterectomy for public patients at Cork University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3522/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Reducing waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures is a key commitment of 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. The NTPF will provide funding to the solutions proposed if appropriate.

In relation to the information requested by the Deputy, the NTPF have advised that Cork University Hospital (CUH) does not hold a waiting list for the procedure of hysterectomy.  The NPTF further advise that as of the 17th January 2019 there were 28 patients awaiting a hysterectomy in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), with an average waiting time of 239 days. A breakdown of this waiting list by time bands is provided for the Deputy.

Total IPDC Waiters for a Hysterectomy Procedure in Cork University Maternity Hospital as of 17/01/2019

Hospital

0-3 months

3-6 months

6-9 months

9-12 months

15-18 months

18+ months

Grand Total

Cork University Maternity Hospital

12

6

1

3

2

4

28

Average Wait Time

Cork University Maternity Hospital

239 Days

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Question No. 177 answered with Question No. 173.

Ceisteanna (175, 176)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

175. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the status of the construction of the 60-bed interim unit at University Hospital Limerick; when works will commence; the expected cost of the project; the expected completion date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3529/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

176. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the status of the construction of the 90-bed inpatient facility at University Hospital Limerick; when works will commence; the expected cost of the project; the expected completion date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3530/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 175 and 176 together.

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Question No. 177 answered with Question No. 173.

General Medical Services Scheme

Ceisteanna (178)

John Brassil

Ceist:

178. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the entitlements general practitioners have under the general practitioner contract to payment of compassionate leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3536/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the General Medical Services (GMS) contract, GPs are reimbursed for a range of services they provide to medical card and GP visit card holders. GPs are remunerated for these services primarily on a capitation basis, with a range of additional support payments and fees for specific items of service.

GPs contracted under the GMS scheme receive a contribution towards the cost of securing locum cover for certain types of leave, including annual leave, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, adoptive leave and study leave. The amount payable is dependent on the size of the GP's GMS patient panel. There is no provision under the GMS scheme for a GP to receive contribution towards locum expenses to cover periods of compassionate leave.

Medical Card Administration

Ceisteanna (179)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

179. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if perceived misleading information will be removed from correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3540/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Question No. 181 answered with Question No. 173.

Ceisteanna (180)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

180. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the status of the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3544/19]

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.

Question No. 181 answered with Question No. 173.

Nursing Staff Data

Ceisteanna (182)

John Brassil

Ceist:

182. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of graduate nurses and midwives in 2018 who have been provided employment contracts; the number recruited; the type of contract provided in each area in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3546/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (183)

John Brassil

Ceist:

183. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of times the group examining the risk of medicine shortages and continuity of supply resulting from Brexit have met over the past two years to date; the membership of the group; the remit of the group; the stakeholder groups with which it has engaged; the frequency of this engagement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3547/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As part of the overall Government response to Brexit, my Department is working on a comprehensive and coordinated set of actions to ensure, as far as is possible, continuity of supply of medicines in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit.

Significant work has been undertaken by my Department, the HSE, and the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), together with medicines manufacturers and suppliers, to ensure that risks to the continuity of supply are mitigated to the greatest possible extent.

No major supply issues have been identified through this preparedness and contingency planning work.

The Department of Health, HSE and HPRA do not anticipate an immediate impact on medicine supplies should there be a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. There are already additional stocks of medicines routinely built into the Irish medicine supply chain, and these additional stocks, together with planning by Revenue to allow the fast-tracking of essential drugs into Ireland, will help deal with any delays that may arise.

It is important to note that there is no need for hospitals, pharmacists or patients to order extra quantities of medicines, or for doctors to issue additional prescriptions. To do so could disrupt existing stock levels and hamper the supply of medicines for other patients.

In 2018, the HPRA developed and launched a multi-stakeholder Medicine Shortages Framework to anticipate and manage medicine shortages when they occur. This framework is used to manage and address an average of 45 shortage notifications a month. The health system is therefore well placed to anticipate and respond to any additional shortages, should they arise because of Brexit.

As an additional safeguard, consideration is being given to those categories of medicines which are considered most essential to public health. HSE and HPRA technical experts are undertaking a process to verify the contingency planning in place for the continuity of supply of medicines essential to public health, in order to determine those medicines that have the potential to be vulnerable to supply disruption and, where necessary, identify clinically appropriate alternatives. Work on this process is ongoing and will continue in the months before and after Brexit. 

Both the HPRA and HSE have requested that medicines manufacturers and suppliers highlight any issues regarding the availability of specific products associated with Brexit and, to date, no major issues have been identified through this process.