Sign Language and Deaf Services

Ceisteanna (408)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

408. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health if additional funding will be provided in order that a service (details supplied) will not be forced to close; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5456/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am aware of the financial difficulties that the Irish Deaf Society is currently experiencing and the concerns regarding its future sustainability.

The Irish Deaf Society focuses its service delivery on advocacy, training and development as distinct from the delivery of health and social care supports to the deaf community and for this reason, it does not receive core funding from the Health Vote. However, there are a number of other funding options available to the Irish Deaf Society. It has received funding in the past from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Department of Education and Skills. It has also received grants from the Department of Justice and Equality and the National Lottery.

I am currently working with colleagues in Government to see if this issue can be resolved and I remain hopeful of a positive outcome.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Ceisteanna (409, 410, 411)

John Brady

Ceist:

409. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the reason the South Inner City Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force cut the funding to a project (details supplied) when its service provision has increased from the time the funding was last approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5469/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

410. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health how an organisation which is running multiple services that either seek to prevent drug use, provide counselling to those involved in addiction or educate on the dangers of addiction and which employs more than 50 persons can be expected to function without a centralised co-ordinator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5470/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

411. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the process to appeal the decision to cut funding for a project (details supplied) in view of the fact that efforts to engage directly with the South Inner City Drugs and Alcohol Task Force have proved fruitless; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5471/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 409 to 411, inclusive, together.

The project referred to by the Deputy is funded by the Health Service Executive. I have therefore asked the Executive to investigate the matter and reply directly to him.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (412)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

412. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the Gardasil vaccine. [5476/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has advised that the use of aluminium hydroxide and aluminium phosphate as adjuvants in products for specific immunotherapy is established for several decades and the substances are defined in the European Pharmacopoeia. The incorporation of aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulphate into the formulation for Gardasil is aimed at enhancing, accelerating and prolonging the specific immune response towards the vaccine antigens (purified proteins for four types of the human papillomavirus). The content of aluminium in Gardasil is well below the upper limit specified in the European Pharmacopoeia.

Adverse reactions (side effects) known to occur in association with Gardasil are outlined in the authorised product information (Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) and Package Leaflet (PL)). The SmPC is intended for healthcare professionals, and the PL is intended for patients and care-givers. Gardasil is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the active ingredients or the excipients listed in the product information. All new and emerging safety data related to Gardasil is assessed to continuously monitor its safety, and routine ongoing pharmacovigilance activities are in place to review any new safety signals identified, published literature, or data from any other source of information. In addition, cumulative safety data are assessed at regular intervals to support evaluation of the overall benefit-risk balance of the vaccines. Where necessary and appropriate, the outcome of these assessments results in updates to the product information (SmPC and PL).

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (413)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

413. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive a date for a procedure at St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5477/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (414)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

414. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the support services in place in County Donegal for those in foster care transitioning from Tusla services on reaching 18 years of age requiring mental health and disability services; if such services are provided without a break in service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5478/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (415)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

415. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if financial support is provided in County Donegal to foster parents for those in care on reaching 18 years of age that they continue to care for into adulthood and require mental health and disability services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5479/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Department of Health is responsible for setting the policy regarding the provision of health services, including those for people with disabilities and/or mental health issues and these services are provided through the HSE. The policy having regard to the payment of Foster Care Allowances comes under the remit of my colleague Deputy Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Mental Health Policy

Ceisteanna (416)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

416. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of officials in his Department who specialise in mental health policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5481/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Mental Health Unit of my Department is responsible for all aspects of Mental Health policy as it relates to health services.

There are currently eleven officials working in the Department's Mental Health Unit.

Abortion Services Provision

Ceisteanna (417)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

417. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of plans to provide free access to termination of pregnancy services for women from Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5491/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy knows, I am very much aware of the concerns that women in Northern Ireland have in relation to access to termination of pregnancy, which are similar to those which women in the Republic faced prior to the recent change in the law here. I believe it is welcome that women who live in Northern Ireland can now access termination services in this jurisdiction.

However, under the Health Act 1970, eligibility for public health services is based on a person being ordinarily resident in the State. This is the bedrock upon which our eligibility system for health services, and indeed many other public services, is founded. The necessary provisions were made in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 to enable universal access for women living in the State to the services in question without charge. Women who live in Northern Ireland can access termination services in this jurisdiction but would, in effect, be doing so as private patients and would be subject to charges in this regard.

While I share the Deputy's wish to facilitate access without charge to termination-of-pregnancy services to women from Northern Ireland, such a proposal raises a number of legal and policy issues. I have had some initial discussion with the Attorney General about the matter. He has indicated that as a proposition along these lines appears not to have been considered before, it would require detailed examination. I therefore intend to undertake such an examination of the issues, in conjunction with the Attorney General and other Government colleagues as necessary.

I was glad to be able to meet groups working on this issue with the Deputy and look forward to doing so again.

Abortion Services Provision

Ceisteanna (418)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

418. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if pharmacies that have indicated their willingness to participate in termination of pregnancy services have now been authorised to dispense the relevant medications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5492/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Abortion Services Provision

Ceisteanna (419)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

419. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of the availability and national distribution of termination of pregnancy services in hospital settings; the number of hospitals providing termination of pregnancy services under sections 9 to 12, inclusive, of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 and their adequacy to meet demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Abortion Services Provision

Ceisteanna (420)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

420. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if guidance has been issued to general practitioners who are not participating in termination of pregnancy services on the model of care and the referral pathways to those who are participating in the provision of the new service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5494/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (421)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

421. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the status of plans to improve access to contraception in 2019; if this includes measures to remove the cost barrier to accessing long-acting reversible contraceptives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5495/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Work is continuing on the implementation of the ancillary recommendations of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. This includes exploring issues associated with enhancing access to contraception, with a view to developing evidence-based policy in this area.

Preparations are ongoing for the initial expansion of free access to condoms in 2019. Condom use has the advantage of reducing both crisis pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Hospital Staff

Ceisteanna (422)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

422. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to an ongoing dispute between maintenance staff and management at Mayo University Hospital; if so, his plans in place to resolve the dispute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5501/19]

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.

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (423)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

423. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the cost of maintenance contractors and agency workers for maintenance at Mayo University Hospital in each of the years 2016 to 2018, inclusive, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5502/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (424)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

424. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure that a child (details supplied) has their assessment of needs carried out; when they will be provided with services by the early intervention team; if they can receive speech and language therapy, psychology services and occupational therapy in the meantime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5504/19]

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.

EU Directives

Ceisteanna (425)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

425. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health if the medical provisions of the basic safety standards directive have now been finalised; if a proposal (details supplied) has been accepted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5509/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Having considered all the advices received, I recently signed regulations transposing the medical provisions of the Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD), the purpose of which is to protect the public, patients, workers and others from all forms of ionising radiation. The regulations were published on 15 January 2019.

The regulations designate those who may refer for radiological tests, those who may carry them out and other functions; nurses, doctors, dentists and radiographers are designated as appropriate. Chiropractors are not designated in the regulations.

The issue of statutory regulation raised by chiropractors will be the subject of work facilitated by CORU involving a risk assessment of a number of professions seeking such regulation later this year. Based on this assessment of risk to the public, recommendations will follow regarding professions to be statutorily regulated. It should be noted that not all statutorily regulated professions are designated for the purposes of the BSSD.