HSE Properties

Ceisteanna (315, 316)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

315. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the progression of refurbishment of the HSE property in Drogheda Street, Monasterevin, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4957/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

316. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the funds spent on the refurbishment of the HSE property in Drogheda Street, Monasterevin, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4958/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 315 and 316 together.

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

Home Help Service

Ceisteanna (317)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

317. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if home help will be reinstated for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4966/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications

Ceisteanna (318)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

318. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for a hearing aid by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4987/19]

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.

Medical Products Supply

Ceisteanna (319)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

319. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the anxiety and worry the parents of children with SMA are experiencing due to the delay in making the drug Spinraza available; the timeline for making it available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4989/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.

Nusinersen (Spinraza) is indicated for the treatment of 5q spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disorder characterised by progressive muscle atrophy and weakness.

I appreciate that this debilitating and progressive condition places enormous pressure on SMA sufferers and their families and carers and that access to potentially beneficial drug treatments is an extremely important issue for people with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. An application for Nusinersen is currently undergoing assessment by the HSE.

The statutory assessment process involves a Health Technology Assessment followed by detailed consideration by the HSE expert groups on new Drug therapies, including the Technology Review Group for Rare Diseases and the HSE Drugs Committee.

The assessment focus is twofold and particularly centred on reviewing the evidence of the clinical effectiveness of this new drug therapy i.e. the benefits for patients undergoing clinical trials; and on the cost effectiveness of the product in view of the prices being charged for the drug.

The application is currently going through the final stages of assessment, and the various reports are due to be considered shortly by the HSE Leadership Team, following which the final decision will be notified.

Home Help Service

Ceisteanna (320)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

320. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of the progress being made to date regarding the development of a statutory home care scheme; the status of the work that is under way and action taken to date; the actions planned for 2019; the further consultation expected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4990/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Department of Health is currently engaged in the development of a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home-support services. In preparation for the development of the statutory scheme, the Department commissioned the Health Research Board to carry out a review of the home-care systems in four European countries. In addition, the Department conducted a public consultation on home-care services, on which a report was published in 2018. These reports are available on the Department’s website and will help to ensure that the new scheme is informed both by international experience and by the views of stakeholders, including service-users.

Work is on-going to determine the optimal approach to the development of the statutory scheme within the broader context of the Sláintecare reforms. The Department’s Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to the introduction of the statutory scheme in 2021. In 2019 work will focus on the design of the scheme, the options for regulation and a review of existing services. Further consultation will also be undertaken in 2019 (with key stakeholders and service-users) and will continue throughout the process of developing the new scheme.

The development of a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home-support services is a complex process. Accordingly, it will be early 2020 before it is possible to set out in principle the parameters of the scheme and to seek Government approval to proceed to draft the heads of a bill.

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (321)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

321. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the situation at a service (details supplied) regarding the operation of the service; the number of beds operational; the number of beds closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4991/19]

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.

Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage

Ceisteanna (322)

John Lahart

Ceist:

322. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health his plans to classify fibromyalgia as a critical medical condition; the supports in place for persons suffering from fibromyalgia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4992/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

There are no plans at present to add fibromyalgia to the list of conditions currently listed under the Long Term illness scheme. However, any patient with a condition, not listed under Long Term illness scheme, is eligible to apply to the Drugs Payment Scheme or to apply for a Medical Card.

Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €134 a month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals with ongoing expenditure on medicines.

People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. People who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of GP consultations.

General medical services are provided by GPs. If the patients clinical condition warrants a referral to a Consultant then their GP will organise that for them.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (323)

James Browne

Ceist:

323. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) has been appointed to a location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4997/19]

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.

Disability Support Services Provision

Ceisteanna (324)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

324. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has not received an appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5000/19]

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 Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (325)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

325. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5001/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (326)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

326. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the status of care service provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5003/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (327)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

327. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a rescheduled date for an operation in Tallaght hospital having had the scheduled date cancelled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5008/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (328)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

328. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been without a specialist doctor, care plan or support services; if same will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5032/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (329, 330)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

329. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for inpatient appointments; the number waiting for outpatient appointments at Galway University Hospital and Portiuncula Hospital, respectively by length of time waiting in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5034/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

330. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for inpatient appointments and outpatient appointments, respectively at Galway University Hospital and Portiuncula Hospital at the end of 2017 and 2018; the number waiting under 18 or over 18 years of age in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5035/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 329 and 330 together.

I hope to publish the joint Department of Health, HSE, NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 shortly. This will ensure an appropriate balance between high-volume activities and offering treatment to complex long-waiting patients.

This Plan for inpatients/day case (IPDC) and outpatients will set out the activity targets for the HSE in line with the National Service Plan, as well as those for the NTPF, taking account of their increased funding, totalling €75 million in 2019, to provide treatment for patients.

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the attached documents.

IP and OP

Outpatients

IPDC

Hospital Appointments Administration

Ceisteanna (331)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

331. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of elective surgeries cancelled at Galway University Hospital and at Portiuncula Hospital in 2017 and 2018 and to date in 2019; the reason for the cancellations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5036/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In relation to the number of elective surgeries cancelled at Galway University Hospital and at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, County Galway in 2017 and 2018 and to date in 2019 and the reason for the cancellations, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (332, 456)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

332. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health if a plan has been devised for medicines that have a narrow therapeutic index that are not interchangeable in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5043/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

456. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which he remains satisfied regarding the unimpeded availability of various medications in the aftermath of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5654/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 332 and 456 together.

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, where necessary, 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, including those with a narrow therapeutic index, 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.