Health Services Staff Training

Ceisteanna (393)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

393. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health if there is a difference in the clinical performance between non-consultant hospital doctors trained here and internationally, respectively; and the way in which this is assessed and addressed. [12024/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (394)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

394. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health if the dependency of Ireland on internationally trained non-consultant hospital doctors has grown or reduced between 2010 and 2018 and to date in 2019; and the reason therefor. [12025/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (395)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

395. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health when a unique identifier will be introduced for patients here; and the reason for the delay in the introduction of same. [12026/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Individual Health Identifier (IHI) is a key aspect of the eHealth strategy and has a legal basis in the Health Identifiers Act 2014. Under the Health Identifiers Act 2014 (Delegation of Relevant Functions) Order 2015, the HSE have responsibility for implementing the IHI which is a long term project intended to be phased into a number of national systems on a periodic basis over the coming years. As the implementation of the IHI is a matter for the HSE, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (396)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

396. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health the grant schemes for items (details supplied) available through his Department or the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12028/19]

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.

Alcohol Pricing

Ceisteanna (397, 398)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

397. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if a revised decision on minimum unit pricing in the event of an extension to Article 50 will be committed to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12029/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

398. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the reason for delaying minimum unit pricing pending further clarity on Brexit in view of the fact that statistics show the level of cross-Border trade has not increased between 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12030/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 397 and 398 together.

It remains my intention to seek a revised Government Decision to implement Minimum Unit Pricing after the existing date for the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union has passed and there will be more certainty about the outcome of that process.

Home Care Packages Data

Ceisteanna (399)

John Lahart

Ceist:

399. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the status of a home care application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12035/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (400)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

400. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an application under the cross border scheme by a person (details supplied) will be expedited. [12053/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (401)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

401. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of vacancies in a hospital (details supplied) unfilled or filled on a temporary basis by category. [12055/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (402)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

402. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health the number of internationally trained non-consultant hospital doctors who were or are registered and working in hospitals here in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by hospital group. [12059/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Generic Drugs Substitution

Ceisteanna (403)

John Curran

Ceist:

403. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the actions he is taking to increase the use of biosimilar drugs in order to get more value for money; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12060/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department and the HSE are engaging in a number of initiatives which will endeavour to lead to better access to medicines for patients, value for the taxpayer and the cost- effective provision of medicines in Ireland.

A public consultation on a National Biosimilar Medicines Policy was undertaken by my Department in 2017. The responses to that consultation and other possible policy levers are being considered by my Department with a view to developing a National Biosimilar Medicines Policy which will require the involvement of stakeholders from across the health service. I expect that my Department will make progress in this regard in 2019.At an operational level, the HSE's Acute Hospitals Drugs Management Programme has a biosimilar strategy in place since 2017 which is making considerable progress using a collaborative approach with hospital pharmacists and clinical teams to bring about changes in prescribing practice. In that respect, hospitals are working towards a targeted minimum prescribing rate for biosimilars of 50%.

The HSE is also working on identifying barriers to the prescribing of biosimilars with a specific focus on education and support. It is seeking to increase understanding of biosimilars through targeted presentations to clinicians and hospitals.

The culmination of these initiatives is a greater uptake in the usage of biosimilars and this is evident by hospital dispensing data. For example, the prescribing rate for the biosimilar drug Infliximab has increased from 5% in 2017 to 40% in 2018.

My Department proposes to build on these positive developments and to bring forward a policy that would support and complement the many initiatives which are already underway.

Respite Care Services Funding

Ceisteanna (404)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

404. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if efforts have been made to increase the funding for respite care services for children in care with disabilities. [12068/19]

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.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (405, 406, 407)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

405. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if his Department or agencies under his remit have conducted a systematic review of the supports and services being offered in a case (details supplied) which was reviewed in 2018. [12069/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

406. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if his Department or agencies under his remit have conducted a review of the services and supports which are offered to children in care who have disabilities; and if so, if this report will be published. [12070/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

407. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health if his Department or agencies under his remit have developed performance metrics to monitor and measure the outcomes of children in care with disabilities. [12071/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 405 to 407, 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 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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (408)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

408. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an application for cross-border assistance will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [12074/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (409)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

409. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of vacancies unfilled or filled on a temporary basis in Cavan General Hospital; and the details of each by categories. [12084/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Medical Card Eligibility

Ceisteanna (410)

Joan Collins

Ceist:

410. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health if the income thresholds will be raised for medical card means tests (details supplied). [12085/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) issues income guidelines to assist in determining entitlement to medical cards/GP visit cards. Any revision to the income thresholds must have regard for Government policy, increases in the Consumer Price Index and other issues which may be relevant.

While there are no plans at present to revise the income thresholds for medical cards, it is vitally important that the medical card system is responsive and sensitive to people's needs. In that regard my Department keeps medical card issues, including existing thresholds under constant review. It should be noted that the gross medical card limits for the over 70s are reviewed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index.

The Deputy may be aware that Budget 2019 made provision for a 10% increase across all GP visit card thresholds. This measure will be implemented on 1st April 2019.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Ceisteanna (411)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

411. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health the waiting time for a speech and language therapy appointment for children in County Meath. [12091/19]

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.

National Drugs Strategy Implementation

Ceisteanna (412)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

412. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the degree to which each of the 50 actions of the national drugs strategy has been implemented; the timeline for the implementation of each outstanding action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12093/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

It is just over 18 months since the Government launched the national drug strategy 'Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery - A health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017 - 2025' (RHSR). RHSR sets out the Government’s health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland up to 2025. The strategy contains a 50 point Action Plan from 2017 to 2020 and provides the scope to develop further actions between 2021 and 2025 to ensure the continued relevance of the strategy to emerging needs into the future.

My officials recently presented the progress report on the Strategy for 2018 and the planned activity for 2019 to the National Oversight Committee (NOC), which I chair.

This Committee has representatives from all relevant Government Departments, State Agencies, Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, Voluntary Organisations and community representatives. Its remit is to give leadership, direction, prioritisation and mobilisation of resources to support the implementation of the Strategy.

The progress report will be reviewed on an ongoing basis during 2019 by a standing sub-committee. Progress will be further reported through Cabinet Committee B, chaired by An Taoiseach and the associated senior officials group.

Next year will see the launch of a mid-term evaluation of the Strategy. This will allow all stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on progress on implementing the Strategy and to identify what new actions may be required for period up to 2025.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (413)

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

413. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is not entitled to assistance towards the cost of a cushion and shoes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12095/19]

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.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Question No. 415 answered with Question No. 292.

Ceisteanna (414)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

414. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 161 of 24 January 2019, the breakdown of orthodontic patients waiting less than two years for treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12098/19]

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.

Question No. 415 answered with Question No. 292.