Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Data

Ceisteanna (105)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the INIS has investigated or is investigating the way scammers get hold of the phone numbers of INIS applicants in view of reports (details supplied) of a telephone scam targeting persons who made applications to the INIS; and if a data breach in the INIS has been found, if it has been reported to the Data Protection Commission. [16972/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that it is not aware of any data breach which could have resulted in the personal contact details of customers becoming publicly available.

The Department is occasionally alerted to possible cases of fraud by members of the public.  In such circumstances, a caution notice giving advice to customers will be displayed prominently on the home page of the INIS website. This has been carried out several times since 2013 for various issues, most recently in early April 2019.

INIS does not under any circumstances request payment for its services over the telephone. Any persons facing deportation will be communicated to by way of official written and registered correspondence only, as part of a detailed process of engagement.

I would advise any INIS customer who has been contacted in the manner described in the question to report the matter immediately to An Garda Síochána who will investigate the matter.

IDA Ireland

Ceisteanna (106)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

106. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 121 of 23 January 2019, the progress made in marketing the site in question; if there have been further meetings between the IDA and the site owners; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16922/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I am informed that the IDA met with the site's new owners last December and that it has been provided with marketing information for the Liffey Business Campus. The Agency is continuing to actively market the site to both existing and potential clients through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas.

More broadly, the Agency's efforts to attract more investment to Kildare will be assisted by the County's already strong profile as a home to overseas firms in the Technology, Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals sectors. IDA client companies such as Intel, Pfizer, and Procter and Gamble are all located there and continue to perform well. Kildare has seen a 4.5% increase in foreign direct investment-driven employment over the last 12 months and I am hopeful that that positive trend will continue.

Free Travel Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (107)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

107. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if acceptance of the free travel pass on all LocalLink services will be granted in view of HSE charges of €4 a day being imposed on elderly and disability service users accessing public transport to and from day services; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that these charges were introduced by the HSE in recent days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16870/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

LocalLink is the Transport Coordination Unit appointed by the National Transport Authority to deliver all rural public transport in each area and as such, both it and matters relating to the Free Travel Pass  come under the remit of the Ministers for Transport, Tourism and Sport and Employment Affairs and Social Protection 

Having regard to the €4 transport charge introduced recently in counties within the HSE Community Healthcare Organisation 1 area, as this is a service matter the question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (108)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

108. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of public health doctors recruited each year since 2014; and the number recruited to date in 2019. [16766/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Orthodontic Services Provision

Ceisteanna (109)

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

109. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect to receive an orthodontic appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16768/19]

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.

General Practitioner Services

Ceisteanna (110)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

110. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of providing an automatic entitlement to a general practitioner visit card to those in receipt of a full-time carer's payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16771/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Since 1st September 2018 all those in receipt of either a full or half-rate Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit are automatically eligible for a GP service free of charge.

The cost of this measure will be dependent on a number of factors, including the number of additional applications made to the HSE and the number of applicants who are found to be eligible. This figure will always be subject to fluctuation due to people's eligibility for Social Welfare payments changing over time. Funding of €4.7 million in respect of the measure has been included in the HSEs allocation for 2019.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (111, 112)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

111. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost in 2019 of implementing the new national oral health policy; the estimated full year cost of the complete implementation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16785/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

112. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the timeframe for the implementation of the new national oral health policy; his plans to bring forward an implementation plan for the policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16786/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 and 112 together.

The new National Oral Health Policy, "Smile agus Sláinte" was published on 3rd April 2019. 

The Policy supports a preventive approach. It includes proposals for the introduction of  packages of care for children from birth to 16 years of age to be delivered by contracted local dental practices and preventive packages of care to be made available for all eligible adults at different intervals during their life course.

The ESRI worked with my Department to provide indicative costings for the delivery of various interventions under the proposed packages and it is estimated that the cost of implementing the packages in full would be in the region of €80m.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the timeframe for the delivery of the Policy is 2019 to 2026 and that the roll-out of these packages of care  will take place incrementally over the next number of years.

The focus in 2019 and into 2020 will largely be on putting in place the appropriate governance frameworks; the development of oral health promotion programmes; and the establishment of oral health assessment programmes, the cost of which can be accommodated from within existing budgetary resources and streams. 

A key priority of mine for 2020 is the introduction of packages of care  for children under 6 years of age and I will be seeking funding for this under the Estimates 2020 process.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

Ceisteanna (113)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

113. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if there are funding issues with regard to the fair deal scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16792/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings. 

As outlined in the HSE's National Service Plan for 2019, the NHSS is expected to support 23,042 people in 2019. The NHSS budget for 2019 is €985.8m which is an increase of €24.3m over its 2018 budget. This increase in funding is aimed at maintaining existing levels of service in the Scheme, having regard for cost pressures in Scheme.

As part of normal governance and performance management arrangements my officials and the HSE maintain regular service area engagements, which also form part of ongoing collaborative work on issues relating to older persons policy and service delivery. I understand that as part of these regular engagements the HSE has recently highlighted that, on the basis of preliminary data and intelligence, activity levels relating to the NHSS may be outside of expectations in the year so far.

The Department has requested further and more detailed information and data in this regard. My officials are engaging with the HSE and will continue to do so over the next few weeks to fully assess the situation, including a detailed analysis and validation of this data and to understand if specific trends can be identified. This work will help to inform a view on the Scheme activity and financial projections for the remainder of 2019. 

HSE Properties

Ceisteanna (114)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

114. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of the proposed use for a site (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16793/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Speech and Language Therapy Data

Ceisteanna (115)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

115. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of speech and language therapists employed in each CHO; and the equivalent figures for the same date in 2017 and 2018, in tabular form. [16800/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Occupational Therapy Data

Ceisteanna (116)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

116. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of occupational therapists employed in each CHO; and the equivalent figures for the same date in 2017 and 2018, in tabular form. [16801/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Long-Term Illness Scheme

Ceisteanna (117)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

117. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health his plans to make the FreeStyle Libre device freely available to diabetic patients over 21 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16808/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Long-Term Illness Scheme

Ceisteanna (118)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

118. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health his plans to approve the FreeStyle Libre device for children with diabetes under the long term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16809/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Expenditure

Ceisteanna (119)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

119. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the cost per patient per year of the FreeStyle Libre diabetes monitoring system. [16810/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Expenditure

Ceisteanna (120)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

120. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the cost per patient per year for the traditional blood test strip system of diabetes monitoring. [16811/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (121)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

121. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the correct pathway for diabetic patients to access a device (details supplied). [16812/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (122)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

122. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when an appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16834/19]

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.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (123, 124, 125, 126)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

123. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 265 of 12 March 2019, if the phone records for 28 April 2018, between his Department and the national screening service, will be provided; if the calls will be identified; and the times the cals made regarding the offer of an out-of-cycle smear test (details supplied). [16854/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

124. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 265 of 12 March 2019, if the email and all related correspondence between the national screening service and his Department relating to the offer of an out-of-cycle smear test (details supplied) will be provided. [16855/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

125. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 265 of 12 March 2019, the way in which the information was shared within his Department in relation to concerns raised regarding an offer of an out-of-cycle smear test by the national screening service with his Department by phone on 28 April 2018; the level of seniority and role of persons within his Department the concerns were shared with; if his attention was drawn to the concerns raised; and if so, when. [16856/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

126. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 265 of 12 March 2019, the way in which the information was shared within his Department in relation to concerns raised regarding an offer of an out-of-cycle smear test, by the national screening service with his Department by email; the level of seniority and role of persons within his Department the concerns were shared with; if his attention was drawn to the concerns raised; and if so, when. [16857/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 126, inclusive, together.

On 28 April, at around lunchtime, I made the decision to provide for a free out of cycle smear test for any woman who was concerned, where her GP felt she should have a further test as part of her reassurance. My Department’s advice on this decision was reflected in the subsequent press statement issued on 28 April which said that, “for any woman who has had a CervicalCheck smear test and where her GP feels she should have a further test as part of her reassurance, the Minister has asked CervicalCheck to make the necessary arrangements, including payment provision. These arrangements will be confirmed next week."

After the decision was made, and on foot of telephone contact by my Department regarding implementation, the National Screening Service voiced unhappiness, but this failed to recognise the circumstances of the unfolding crisis in the programme. Following the announcement of my decision, the Screening Service set out concerns at 6pm that evening in an email to my Department. These related to uncertainty about costs, volume, impact on turnaround times, impact on perceptions of the programme's accuracy, challenges with processing GP payments, and the potential difficulty in ceasing the arrangements in due course.

These concerns were already readily identifiable, and of course would have been a sufficient reason why such a step would not have been taken in the ordinary course of operation of the screening programme. However, these were unique circumstances, as reflected in the level of queries forthcoming from women and also in the exceptional measures already initiated by the Department and the HSE, including the necessity for the Department to direct the establishment of a Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) to address the CervicalCheck response.  The reality was that general practitioners, in difficult circumstances, were dealing with large numbers of worried patients as a result of the issues which had come into the public domain in the preceding couple of days. GPs needed to be supported while they awaited supporting information to be developed and disseminated by CervicalCheck. The alternative, which would have been that the State failed to recognise the reality of patients presenting to GPs in this way, or that the State refused to pay for such smears, would have been untenable in the circumstances.

The email was received and shared within my Department at Principal Officer level and I provided a copy to the Select Committee on Health on 10 April. A copy of the email has been forwarded to the Deputy. The Deputy has requested specific phone records. It would not be possible to isolate records associated with these contacts from others, given that over the time period from 26 April, including Saturday 28 April, there were extensive ongoing contacts between my Department and the National Screening Service. However, I am advised that the telephone contact was made with the National Screening Service at Principal Officer and Management Board level. It is important to stress this was regarding implementation of the decision and the phone calls took place after my decision was made.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (127)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

127. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if he sought to meet the senior management of CervicalCheck after receiving a 2018 memo CervicalCheck: Patient claim following a diagnosis of cervical cancer, Briefing note for Minister Harris, or after the case referred to in the memo became public on 25 April 2019 or at any time before expressing publicly that he did not have confidence in them. [16858/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Issues relating to the appropriate communication of the results of the retrospective audit carried out by CervicalCheck emerged following publicity about the case of Ms Vicky Phelan on the evening of 25 April 2018. I met with senior officials from the National Screening Service and the National Cancer Control Programme, with my Department, on Thursday 26 April 2018.

Palliative Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (128)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

128. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if a palliative care bed will be made available at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow, for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16860/19]

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.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Data

Ceisteanna (129)

John Brassil

Ceist:

129. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of the 40,000 first outpatient appointments and treatments under the NTPF arranged to date in 2019; the hospitals that have been allocated outpatient NTPF capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16864/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The information requested by the Deputy is currently being collated by officials in my Department and will be provided to the Deputy directly as soon as it becomes available.