Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (324)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

324. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of scheduled treatments and procedures cancelled in all acute hospitals in 2018. [11670/19]

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 Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (325)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

325. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an operation on their spine; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11676/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (326)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

326. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a repayment for an operation received through the cross-border directive; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11679/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (327)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

327. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the amount expended by the HSE on services provided under the cross-border directive that resulted in claims being made to the HSE in each year since 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11680/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (328)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

328. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the number and value of claims in process by the HSE for reimbursement under the cross-border directive; the average delay in paying claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11681/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE operates the Cross Border Directive in Ireland. Patients in Ireland can seek to be referred to another EU/EEA country for medical treatment that is available in the public health service in Ireland. The patient may access the overseas service in either the public or private health sector of the country they choose to receive the service in. The patient pays for the treatment and claims reimbursement from the HSE at the cost of that treatment in Ireland or the cost of it abroad, whichever is the lesser.

The HSE's target for reimbursing patients for healthcare accessed abroad under the CBD is a maximum of 20 working days from receiving all the completed documents. However, the HSE confirmed that it currently takes approximately 64 days to process reimbursements. The HSE have confirmed the increase in processing times is due to a significant increase in the amount of applications received for the CBD.

As it is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on the number and value of claims for reimbursement under the Cross Border Directive.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (329)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

329. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the waiting time for MRI scans in Galway University Hospital by category of urgency; the steps proposed to be taken to reduce the waiting time for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11682/19]

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 Facilities

Question No. 331 answered with Question No. 255.

Ceisteanna (330)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

330. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take with the HSE to provide a kidney dialysis unit at Ennis General Hospital thereby reducing significant transport costs associated with taking patients to hospitals in counties Limerick and Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11684/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Question No. 331 answered with Question No. 255.

Hospital Appointments Administration

Ceisteanna (332)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

332. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have a follow-up appointment with the dermatology unit at University Hospital Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11698/19]

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.

Counselling Services Provision

Ceisteanna (333)

James Browne

Ceist:

333. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who availed of the counselling in primary care service in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11703/19]

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.

Counselling Services Provision

Ceisteanna (334)

James Browne

Ceist:

334. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of extending eligibility for the counselling in primary care service to all adult general practitioner card holders. [11705/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) service was established in July 2013 to provide counselling for patients experiencing mild to moderate psychological difficulties who present in the primary care setting. All adults in receipt of a medical card are eligible for the service. Access to this service is by referral from the client's GP or a member of the Primary Care Team. All clients referred to CIPC are requested to opt into the service before they are allocated to a counsellor and an appointment is then offered.

Under Section 58 of the Health Act 1970 (as amended) the HSE can make available a GP visit card to eligible persons. This card enables eligible persons to visit a participating GP free of charge. No other health or social services, such as counselling, are provided by this card.

As of 1 February (latest figures available) 506,283 individuals hold eligibility for a GP visit card. This figure also includes GP visit cards which are provided on a discretionary basis.

As the part of this question in relation to full year costs is a service matter, I am referring that section to the HSE and I have asked them to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Counselling Services Provision

Questions Nos. 336 to 338, inclusive, answered with Question No. 255.

Ceisteanna (335)

James Browne

Ceist:

335. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of extending eligibility for the counselling in primary care service to all children whose families qualify for a medical card and to all children whose families qualify for a general practitioner card, respectively. [11706/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Counselling services for children in primary care aims to ensure that adolescents and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs can access services in their local communities in a timely manner. The service is suitable for children who are experiencing certain difficulties such as depression, anxiety, panic reactions, relationship problems, loss issues, stress. A medical card is not required in order to access these services.

A national pilot programme involving the recruitment of staff grade psychologists and assistant psychologists has been introduced in order to improve access to counselling services for children in primary care settings.

Questions Nos. 336 to 338, inclusive, answered with Question No. 255.

Hospital Staff

Ceisteanna (339)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

339. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of conferring consultant status on specialists in public health medicine here further to a report (details supplied). [11713/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Ceisteanna (340)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

340. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter regarding medication for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11714/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, I cannot respond to questions regarding individuals, however the following information may be of assistance.

This question raises a query over a PQ reply that was recently issued to Deputy Stephen Donnelly, and specifically that it indicated that the forthcoming Cannabis Access Programme (CAP) would be aligned with the existing Ministerial licence system, whereby patients access medical cannabis products currently from a pharmacy in The Hague.

The reply to the Deputy’s PQ indicated that the Ministerial licence application scheme will continue “to operate in parallel” with the CAP after the CAP becomes operational, for exceptional cases only, where there is an unmet clinical need. The reply did not use the word “align”.

While both the CAP and the Ministerial licence route might run in parallel initially, it is possible that some of the patients currently using the Ministerial licence route might be subsumed into the CAP, should their treating clinician decide to change their current prescribed cannabis medication to a product that will be provided under the CAP. It may not be possible for all the current Ministerial licence holders to transfer immediately into the CAP, however this will be based on a clinical decision.

It is envisaged that over a period, a variety of medical cannabis products, both THC and CBD and manufactured by multiple producers, would be available for use in the CAP.

Travel to The Hague to obtain Bedrocan medical cannabis product after the CAP is introduced may be a necessity for some licence holders and their patients. Due to current Netherlands government policy, Bedrocan products as oil formulations are not permitted to be commercially exported from the Netherlands, but are only supplied in The Hague on foot of a valid medical prescription to the appropriate pharmacy. Notwithstanding the fact that Bedrocan products might ultimately be listed as products that could be accessed under the CAP, until the export barrier is removed by the Netherlands government, anyone who is prescribed Bedrocan oils under the CAP, will have to travel to the Hague to access it.

It is open to any patient to discuss their current prescribed medication with their clinician, and consider whether it might be possible to change it to a product that will be provided under the CAP. To reiterate, this is a clinical decision and as Minister for Health I have no role to play in it.

The Department of Health website contains detailed information on medical cannabis, including clinical guidance on the use of medical cannabis and details on how a medical practitioner may apply for a Ministerial licence. This information can be found at: health.gov.ie/blog/publications/cannabis-for-medical-use.

With reference to the fact that in the UK a distribution company is being used to get Bedrocan medication delivered to patients in the UK. I understand that this company is acting as the patient’s “nominated representative” in the collection of medical cannabis products. No similar Irish entity is known to the Department to provide this service, but it is certainly open to licence holders to engage someone to carry out a collection service.

Finally, I understand that the Transvaal pharmacy in the Hague has confirmed to the Department of Health that there are no supply issues with THC and CBD Bedrocan products to patients and that a three-month supply can be obtained.

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (341)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

341. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if a further assessment will be arranged for a person (details supplied) in County Cork who requires additional home help hours. [11715/19]

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

Questions Nos. 343 and 344 answered with Question No. 255.

Ceisteanna (342)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

342. 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. [11716/19]

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.

Questions Nos. 343 and 344 answered with Question No. 255.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Ceisteanna (345)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

345. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the establishment of a working group to examine drug testing at nightclubs and music festivals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11720/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Government policy in relation to drug and alcohol addiction services is set out in the national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery-a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025 (RHSR).

There is a specific action in RHSR which commits the HSE to establishing a working group to examine the evidence in relation to early harm reduction responses including drug checking at festivals, amnesty bins and media campaigns, current and emerging trends in relation to the use of new psychoactive substances and image and performance enhancing drugs.

It is anticipated that the HSE will establish this working group in Quarter 2 of 2019. It is also anticipated that the working group will draw together the relevant stakeholders and examine the available evidence and best practice models from other countries.

Medical Card Administration

Ceisteanna (346)

James Browne

Ceist:

346. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the reason medical card holders in County Wexford no longer receive appointments with a medical centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11723/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.