National Cancer Strategy

Ceisteanna (351)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

351. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce a national cancer centre in an area (details supplied); if a review of such a service is underway; if the Border region will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5137/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the second National Cancer Strategy, in 2007 the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme initiated a programme of centralisation of cancer services to a smaller number of high-volume, specialist centres with the aim of optimising treatment and improving survival outcomes.

In relation to surgery, centralisation of cancer services is based on clear evidence that patients who are cared for in a multidisciplinary environment and operated on by surgeons who carry out high volumes of surgery in specialist centres, that themselves have high volumes, achieve better clinical outcomes.

As part of the overall centralisation model, Rapid Access Clinics for Breast, Lung and Prostate cancer were established in the 8 designated cancer centres, 4 in Dublin (Beaumont, Mater, St. Vincent’s and St James’s) and the others in Cork (CUH), Waterford (WUH), Limerick (UHL) and Galway (UHG - with Letterkenny University Hospital operating as a satellite for breast cancer services).

Centralisation of cancer services is providing better outcomes for patients in terms of quality of life and survivorship. There are no plans to increase the number of designated cancer centres.

Positive Ageing Strategy

Ceisteanna (352)

John Deasy

Ceist:

352. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health the detail of the recent research conducted into the effects of rural isolation on the well-being of senior citizens particularly those living alone; the findings and recommendations arrived at; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5139/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS), published on 24 April 2013, provides a framework for cooperation to address age-related policy and service delivery across Government and society in the years ahead. The Strategy is intended to promote older people’s health and well being so that older people can continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and family life in their own communities for as long as possible, thereby representing a vision for an age-friendly society. The Strategy highlights that ageing is not just a health issue, but rather requires a whole of Government approach to address a range of social, economic and environmental factors that affect the health and well-being of our ageing citizens.

As part of the NPAS implementation process, a Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) was established in collaboration with the HSE’s Health and Well-being Programme and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

HaPAI provides an ongoing system for measuring and reporting on positive ageing and implement the research objectives of the National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS). It was jointly funded by the Department of Health, the HSE’s Health and Well-being Programme, and the Atlantic Philanthropies until December 2017, with a commitment to Department of Health funding for a further two years.

The initiative aims to monitor changes in older people’s health and well-being linked to the goals and objectives of the NPAS. This is done primarily through the development of national positive ageing indicators to be published every two years.

The first Positive Ageing National Indicators Report in 2016 identified that 7.1% of people aged 50+ often feel lonely and that women have a higher loneliness score than men at all ages. However, more than nine out of 10 (93%) people aged 50+ have at least one supportive relative or friend, five in seven (85%) of people aged 50+ engage in at least one social leisure activity on a weekly basis, more than one in four (26%) people aged 50+ volunteered in the past 12 months and eight out of 10 (82%) people aged 50+ report high life satisfaction. The second National Positive Ageing Indicators report will be published later this year.

A Local Indicators report, entitled Positive Ageing in Age Friendly Cities and Counties, was published in June 2018. This identified that older people in rural settings were more likely to have difficulties accessing public transport than those in more urban settings. However, an urban or rural environment made no difference to older peoples level of socialising, with over 90% of people aged 55+ socialising at least once a month.

The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) is a large-scale, nationally representative, longitudinal study on ageing in Ireland, the overarching aim of which is to make Ireland the best place in the world to grow old. TILDA is funded by the Department of Health, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Irish Life.

Using data from TILDA, a recent study on “Poor health and loneliness in later life: the role of depressive symptoms, social resources, and rural environments ” was conducted by Vanessa Burholt (Swansea University) and Thomas Scharf (Newcastle University). The findings were that older people in poor health have lower social resources, and that rurality can exacerbate this.

Rural Transport Services

Ceisteanna (353)

John Deasy

Ceist:

353. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health the proposals he is considering and has discussed with other Departments with regard to providing practical and reliable transport systems to cater for persons in rural areas particularly senior citizens to which bus or taxi and hackney services are not readily accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5138/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In October of 2018 I proposed an App based taxi service dubbed "RUXI" to be developed to allow persons to offer transport to the public with the use of their own car subject to insurance, NCT and Garda vetting. The proposal is to target areas of rural Ireland that currently have no public transport or taxi services.

My colleague, Shane Ross TD the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has requested the National Transport Authority (NTA) to evaluate the proposal and I am due to meet with the NTA on the 13th of February to discuss the matter. I have also furnished the proposal to the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Justice and Equality.

I have written to the Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and requested that he would consider debating the issue in his committee with the various stakeholders. I will be happy to update the Deputy again post my meeting with the National Transport Authority.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (354)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

354. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the overspend at the National Children’s Hospital and the National Maternity Hospital has impacted upon capital projects in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath; if so, the projects impacted upon; the way in which they will be impacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5142/19]

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 and beyond 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 the new children's hospital and other health capital projects, currently at various stages of development, are being considered as part of this process. Once the HSE has finalised its Capital Plan for 2019, it will then be submitted to me for consideration.

Healthcare Professionals

Ceisteanna (355)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

355. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health the status of the regulation of psychotherapy and counselling under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005; if members have been appointed to the registration board; the number of times the board has met to date; and if further legislative changes are necessary for regulation. [5144/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In May 2018 I signed regulations to designate the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. I can confirm that I recently selected twelve of the board 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.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

Ceisteanna (356)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

356. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health if appointments under the treatment abroad scheme which have been scheduled prior to Brexit on 29 March 2019 will be honoured regardless of the way in which the UK will leave the EU; if another appointment can be scheduled in another EU country immediately to avoid unnecessary delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5147/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE operates the EU Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) for patients entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA Member State under EU Regulation 883/2004, where the treatment is not available in the Irish public hospital system. The treatment must be one which is among the benefits provided for by Irish legislation. GPs refer patients to consultants for acute care and it is the treating consultant who, having exhausted all treatment options including tertiary care within the country, refers the patient to an EU/EEA Member State under the terms of the TAS. The consultant must specify the specific treatment and in making the referral accepts clinical responsibility in relation to the physician and facility abroad where the patient will attend.

As part of a whole of Government response to Brexit, the Department of Health is working to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated set of preparations to ensure continuity of health services post-Brexit. This work involves the Department and the HSE and other agencies in engaging in intensive Brexit preparedness and contingency planning.

Work is ongoing to ensure that insofar as possible there is minimum disruption to health services and that essential services, such as those covered under the current EU TAS, are maintained on a cross-Border, all-island and Ireland-UK basis.

It should also be noted that post-Brexit, the TAS will continue to entitle patients to be referred, by their Irish based consultant, to the remaining EU/EEA Member States.

Medical Card Administration

Ceisteanna (357)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

357. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the way in which a medical card expiry date can be changed and brought forward by 12 months without an explanation to the medical card holder; if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5157/19]

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 Appointments Administration

Ceisteanna (358)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

358. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if a hospital appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [5159/19]

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 Staff

Ceisteanna (359)

Pat Buckley

Ceist:

359. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the key workers employed by the HSE by respective CHO areas and additional catchment areas they operate under or services they are assigned to. [5172/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (360)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

360. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if an ENT appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5176/19]

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.

Orthodontic Services

Ceisteanna (361)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

361. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the measures being taken to address the significant delays in accessing orthodontic treatment in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5185/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (362)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

362. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive cataract surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5186/19]

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 Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (363)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

363. 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. [5193/19]

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 (364)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

364. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) can gain access to denture repair through their medical card. [5204/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (365)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

365. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if an orthopaedic appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [5215/19]

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.

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

366. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list for six months or more for speech therapy. [5216/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

367. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list for 12 months or more for speech therapy. [5217/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

368. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list for 18 months or more for speech therapy. [5218/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

369. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list in excess of 24 months for speech therapy. [5219/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

370. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list for six months or more for occupational therapy. [5220/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

371. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list for 12 months or more for occupational therapy. [5221/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

372. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list for 18 months or more for occupational therapy. [5222/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

373. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children in counties Laois and Offaly on the waiting list in excess of 24 months or more for occupational therapy. [5223/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

374. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting an assessment of need in counties Laois and Offaly. [5224/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 366 to 374, inclusive, together.

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