Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (174)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

174. 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. [4820/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (175)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

175. 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. [4821/19]

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.

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (176)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

176. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if the parents of a severely disabled child (details supplied) will be allowed to collect three months supply of the child's medical supplies as opposed to one month's supply from Cherry Orchard Hospital as is the case when supplies are delivered to their home. [4824/19]

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.

Health Strategies

Ceisteanna (177)

John Curran

Ceist:

177. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the progress made to best strengthen the chain of survival for cardiac arrest, for example, increasing CPR training, building on the community first responder programme and making public access defibrillators more easily accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4826/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

An Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) Steering group has recently produced an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy for Ireland, “Putting Survival at the Heart of the Community.” The overall aim of the OHCA Strategy is to increase the number of people who survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the Republic of Ireland through the development, implementation and evaluation of an out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy to increase survival rates. This work will support the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and Community First Responder Ireland (CFR Ireland) in their commitment to improve clinical outcomes for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA).

The Strategy aims to make Ireland a leading ‘beating heart’ in Europe as a result of implementing a strategic plan derived from national and international experience in implementing targets which address all the elements in the Chain of Survival. In order to achieve the aims outlined, the Strategy discusses, among many other things, maximising public awareness of how to recognise OHCA; reducing emergency response time; the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training; bystander CPR training; ‘CPR 4 Schools’; CPR training in local communities; CPR training for government and HSE employees; the establishment of 250 Community First Responder Schemes in Ireland by 2020; guidance on the purchase, display, positioning, accessing, use and maintenance of automated external defibrillators and much more.

The report has recently been finalised and when launched it is anticipated that the report of the OHCA Steering group will provide advice to the HSE and the Department on the most effective ways of addressing all of the elements in the Chain of Survival and improving survival rates for those suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

Disability Support Services

Ceisteanna (178)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

178. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4831/19]

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.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (179)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

179. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the details of the capacity plan the HSE is developing for the CervicalCheck programme; the timeline to have the plan actioned; the extra resources that will be deployed to ensure that the backlog of cases is dealt with; if the turnaround time for the tests will be brought back to the previous waiting time of four to six weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4839/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In May 2018, I asked CervicalCheck to make the necessary arrangements to provide that any woman who had had a CervicalCheck smear test, and whose GP considered that they should have a further test, to access such a further test without charge. This decision was made in good faith to address the considerable fears of the many anxious women in Ireland as a result of significant media coverage of the issues that emerged in late April.

In the months since then, there has been a significant increase in the volume of women presenting for smear tests. This includes women who have availed of the out of cycle tests, but also a greater number of women presenting for scheduled screening.

This increased level of engagement with the programme is welcome. However, the increased demand has undoubtedly put immense pressure on lab capacity. The HSE has advised that results of smear tests may take up to 22 weeks from the time of the test. Although many results are returned in less time, some may take longer.

The HSE has been working actively with the contracted laboratories, and reports they have agreed to undertake additional recruitment, provide for overtime and manage annual leave in an effort to address this issue. In addition, the HSE is aiming to source additional screening capacity internationally, which would improve the turnaround time of results. However, I am advised that cytology capacity is a challenge internationally, as countries start to move to primary HPV screening.

As referenced by the Deputy, the HSE is developing a capacity plan which takes account of available capacity and expected demand, with the aim of bringing the programme into stabilisation this year. This is a priority concern for my Department and the HSE, and detailed consideration will be given to the report and its contents as soon as it is received by my Department.

Alcohol Pricing

Ceisteanna (180)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

180. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the timelines for the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4840/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The 2013 Government Decision which approved the drafting of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill envisaged that Minimum Unit Pricing would be implemented simultaneously in Northern Ireland.

This situation has changed owing to the suspended administration in Northern Ireland and on that basis it is my intention to seek a revised Government Decision to implement Minimum Unit Pricing in this jurisdiction only in order to address the health harms and costs associated with the availability of cheap strong alcohol.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (181)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

181. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on a waiting list for bariatric surgery at Galway University Hospital by length of time on the waiting list; the number on the equivalent waiting list at the same time one and two years ago, respectively; the number of surgeries carried out in each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4841/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In relation to the number of persons on a waiting list for bariatric surgery at Galway University Hospital by length of time on the waiting list; the number on the equivalent waiting list at the same time one and two years ago, respectively; the number of surgeries carried out in each of the past three years, as these queries concern service matters, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (182)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

182. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health if a person can secure funding to access private services for a child with disabilities if the services cannot be delivered within the public service locally or if the public service available locally has a waiting list of a year or more, in view of the fact that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been ratified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4842/19]

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

Ceisteanna (183)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

183. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4847/19]

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.

General Practitioner Services

Ceisteanna (184)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

184. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if the demands of a union (details supplied) representing the general practitioners who are under pressure will be recognised; the steps being taken to deal with the issue that patients are unable to sign up to a new general practitioner in view of the fact that the system is at capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4853/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to engaging with GP representatives on the development of modernised GP contractual arrangements.

Talks between the Department of Health, HSE and the IMO as the established GP representative body are continuing. While some progress has been made, there are a number of outstanding issues that need to be progressed before any agreement can be secured. Discussions are ongoing in an effort to bring matters to a conclusion.

Agreement on the delivery of a range of service improvements and contractual reforms has the potential to facilitate a substantial increase in the resourcing of general practice on a multiannual basis. In line with the long established approach to such processes, and by agreement of the parties concerned, I am not in a position to give further details at this stage.

The Government has implemented a number of measures to improve recruitment and retention in general practice in general practice. These include an increase in GP training places from 120 in 2009 to 202 places available in 2019; changes to the entry provisions to the GMS scheme to accommodate more flexible GMS contracts; the extension of the retirement age for GPs with GMS contracts to 72; and the introduction of an enhanced support package for rural practices.

The Government remains committed to the continued development of GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country continue to have access to GP services and that general practice remains an attractive career option.

Health Care Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (185)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

185. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the stage the development of the Sacred Heart Hospital, Roscommon, is at; if the design team has incorporated a day care unit dedicated to older persons and to persons with dementia or Alzheimer's disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4854/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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.

Health Strategies

Ceisteanna (186)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

186. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health if his Department has undertaken an assessment of the results arising for respiratory disease sufferers who have benefitted from the warmth and well-being scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4863/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Warmth and Wellbeing Pilot Scheme is a joint initiative between the Department of Health, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Health Services Executive (HSE). To date, the HSE have referred 1,402 qualifying households to the SEAI for assessment for energy efficiency upgrades such as attic and wall insulation, boiler replacement, and window and door replacement.

Housing quality is key determinant of health, especially among those who live with respiratory conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The scheme is a concrete example of working across government to directly address the determinants of health in line with the Healthy Ireland Framework, and has my full support. Officials in my Department have been working very closely with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the next phase of the scheme.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been contracted to analyse the effectiveness of the scheme. Work is underway to provide a preliminary report on the scheme early in 2019 and a final research report in 2021. The feedback from the majority of scheme participants to date is positive.

Tattooing and Body Piercing Regulation

Ceisteanna (187)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

187. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the status of his plans to regulate the piercing and tattoo sector; the status of guidelines on the sector; the age of consent for such procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4871/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

There is no specific legislation relating to the regulation of tattooing and body piercing businesses in Ireland. However, tattooing and body piercing businesses are required to comply with public health as well as health and safety legislation in the same way as any other business. In the absence of sector specific regulation, my Department and the Health Service Executive are finalising guidelines on infection control for use by the tattooing and body piercing industry. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance in relation to infection control, and it is aimed at achieving the highest standards of safety and prevention. It will also provide information concerning best practice for people who are considering getting a tattoo or body piercing when choosing an operator.

With respect to consent, including the age of consent, under the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act, 1997, and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1935, tattooing and body piercing may be construed as a criminal offence if proper informed consent is not obtained; or in the case of minors, if tattooing or body piercing is carried out on certain parts of the body, with or without consent. Consequently, any queries relating to these issues would be a matter for An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice and Equality.

The guidelines are in the process of being finalised and are expected to be published later on this year.

Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (188)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

188. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health the way in which a care assistant (details supplied) can apply for a transfer to an elderly care facility run by the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4873/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Disabilities Assessments

Ceisteanna (189)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

189. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting a first assessment from the HSE under the Disability Act 2005 by each local health office area in tabular form. [4874/19]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (190, 191, 192)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

190. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the speech and language therapy assessment waiting list for each local health area in tabular form; and the number waiting less than four, four to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively. [4875/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

191. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the speech and language therapy initial treatment waiting list for each local health area in tabular form; and the number waiting less than four, four to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively. [4876/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

192. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the speech and language therapy further treatment waiting list for each local health area in tabular form; and the number waiting less than four, four to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively. [4877/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 to 192, inclusive, together.

As these questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for them to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Occupational Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (193)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

193. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the occupational therapy first time assessment waiting list for each local health area in tabular form; and the number waiting less than four, four to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively. [4878/19]

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.

Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation

Ceisteanna (194)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

194. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health when he expects the full appointment of the counsellors and psychotherapists registration board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4894/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In May 2018 I signed the regulations to designate the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. The Public Appointments Service carried out a recruitment campaign to identify suitable candidates for my consideration for membership of the board. I can confirm that I recently made my selection of twelve of the members. There is one outstanding vacancy, which under the Act is filled by a candidate nominated by the Minister for Education and Skills. I anticipate that the candidate’s details will be submitted to the Department shortly. Once this candidate has been nominated I will sign the appointment orders and letters of appointment to the members of the newly established board. It is envisaged that the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Boards inaugural meeting will take place in May.

The registration board will then begin the substantial programme of work to draft the various bye-laws to allow the board to establish its registers. The board will also be requested to advise myself and the Health and Social Care Professionals Council on a range of issues pertaining to the regulation of the professions, including minimum standards of education and training and the titles to be protected.

HSE Complaints Procedures

Ceisteanna (195)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

195. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a complaint made by the family of a person (details supplied) with respect to purported deficits in the care and level of treatment provided to the person at Letterkenny University Hospital has been received by the HSE; if a response has issued to the complaint; the efforts made by authorities to address the concerns raised therein and investigate same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4900/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Health Care Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (196)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

196. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health if funding will not be delayed for a project (details supplied) in view of the overrun of the funding for the national children's hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4902/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive is currently developing its Capital Plan for 2019. The HSE Capital Plan will determine the projects that can progress in 2019 having regard to the available capital funding, the number of large national capital projects currently underway and the relevant priority of each project. The requirements of primary care centres and other health capital projects, currently at various stages of development, are being considered as part of this process.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (197)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

197. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4904/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (198)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

198. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4909/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.