Health Services Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (95)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

95. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied that the recruitment methods of healthcare assistants for the nursing home and healthcare industry are sufficient to address the reported labour shortfall in the health service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20229/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

With regard to difficulties in the recruitment and retention of Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) being reported by the voluntary and private nursing home sector, officials from my Department and from the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) met with representatives from the sector on this matter last year, and in particular to work through a business case submitted by them. The business case seeks to address the reported shortage of HCAs by bringing in workers from outside of the EEA, via the removal of HCAs from the Ineligible List for employment permits, which is operated by DBEI.

Sectoral representatives were advised at the last meeting which took place in November, that my Department is not in a position to support their request to DBEI at present. This is on foot of analysis of their submission, and information received from the Services for Older People Unit within my Department, as well as from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), who had been contacted in order to seek validation on some of the content of the business case.

The business case seeking changes to the DBEI employment permits lists as it stands cannot be supported, however officials from my Department have assured the sectorial representatives, that the lines of communication remain open in this regard, and that this matter can be revisited when they can demonstrate that the issues set out by the DEASP, as well as improvements with regard to terms and conditions of employment have been addressed.

Hospital Overcrowding

Ceisteanna (96)

James Browne

Ceist:

96. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding overcrowding at the department of psychiatry in University Hospital Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20230/19]

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.

Patient Data

Ceisteanna (97)

James Browne

Ceist:

97. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting transfer to the department of psychiatry at University Hospital Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20231/19]

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.

Patient Data

Ceisteanna (98)

James Browne

Ceist:

98. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of patients referred to the department of psychiatry, University Hospital Waterford in 2018; the number of patients with a County Wexford address; the number of patients with a County Waterford address; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20232/19]

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

Occupational Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (99)

James Browne

Ceist:

99. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children in County Wexford awaiting an occupational therapy appointment; the number waiting more than 12, 24 and 36 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20233/19]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (100)

James Browne

Ceist:

100. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the number of children in County Wexford awaiting a speech and language therapy appointment; the number waiting more than 12, 24 and 36 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20234/19]

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.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (101)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

101. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the waiting list for CAMHS appointments by CHO area and region; the length of time each child has been waiting; the waiting list for inpatient CAMHS beds by CHO area and region; the length of time each child has been waiting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20237/19]

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.

Thalidomide Victims Compensation

Ceisteanna (102)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

102. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health his plans for persons who have been affected by a drug (details supplied). [20241/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I wish to inform the Deputy that work is underway in the Department of Health to bring forward Heads of a Bill, to provide on a statutory basis for health and personal social services for the Irish survivors of thalidomide.

By way of background to the supports currently provided to Irish survivors of thalidomide, the Deputy may be aware that following an Irish Government Decision in January 1975, the Government granted an ex-gratia sum equivalent to 4 times the German lump-sum and an ex-gratia monthly allowance for life equal to the German monthly allowance, to each of the Irish children found to have thalidomide related injuries. The German monthly payments are made by the Contergan Foundation which is established under German legislation.

There are currently 29 Irish people in receipt of ex-gratia monthly payments from my Department and all are now in their late 50s. Both the German payments and the Irish ex-gratia payments made to the survivors are exempt from tax, including DIRT and are not reckonable as means for the purpose of Social Welfare payments. The rate of payment is related to the survivors' level of thalidomide related injury.

In addition to the initial lump sum and the monthly payments for life, the supports provided to each Irish survivor include a medical card on an administrative basis regardless of means, provision of appliances, artificial limbs, equipment, housing adaptations, and access to a full range of primary care, hospital and personal social services. There is a designated senior manager in the Health Service Executive to act as a liaison with regard to the ongoing health and personal social service needs of Irish survivors.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (103)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

103. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to reports regarding the storage of bodies at a hospital (details supplied); his plans to investigate the matter further; if he is satisfied that there is sufficient refrigeration capacity at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20242/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am aware of the shortcomings with the current mortuary and it is a priority to replace it. Interim arrangements have been made to expand the refrigeration capacity at the mortuary and they will be in place this week. I have acknowledged the requirement for a review of processes and management arrangements at the mortuary and expect details of it to be finalised in the coming days.

Patient Safety

Ceisteanna (104)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

104. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his plans to address an issue (details supplied) with regard to University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20245/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department and I were notified by the HSE in September 2017 of this patient safety issue, where cases of misdiagnosis / failure to diagnose occurred at University Hospital Kerry Radiology Department and the commencement of the look-back review. My Department and I received regular updates on the progress of the review, including the publication of the report in December 2018.

Throughout the review process, my Department continually sought and was assured by the HSE that open disclosure and direct contact with each patient was occurring, where clinically significant findings were identified through the Look-back Process.

The HSE has assured my Department that it is continuing to engage with and support the patients who have been impacted by these issues, and that open disclosure and follow up care as needed has occurred with affected patients and their families.

My Department continues to be in contact with the HSE regarding this matter, and in particular the implementation of the recommendations resulting from this look back review. The HSE has confirmed that the implementation of the recommendations is underway.

While the Department of Health and I are unable to comment on individual cases, I have expressed my heartfelt sympathies to the patients and families involved and acknowledged this was a time of uncertainty for patients and their families.

Hospital Appointments Administration

Ceisteanna (105)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if appointments for a department in a hospital (details supplied) are being cancelled at short notice due to the fact that this department is being used as an overflow for the accident and emergency department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20246/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Maintaining scheduled care access for all patients is a key priority for hospitals. I fully acknowledge the distress and inconvenience for patients and their families when elective procedures are cancelled, particularly for clinically urgent procedures.

While every effort is made to avoid cancellation or postponement of planned procedures, the HSE advise that planned procedures and operations can be postponed or cancelled for a variety of reasons including capacity issues due to increased scheduled and unscheduled care demand, medical reasons, and patient choice.

In relation to the specific question raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to the Deputy directly.

Medical Card Drugs Availability

Ceisteanna (106)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

106. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has to pay for medication prescribed by their general practitioner; if immediate assistance will be granted in view of the extenuating circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20248/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the particular issue raised relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (107)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

107. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if a replacement knee operation will be arranged as a matter of urgency for a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in providing the operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20249/19]

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.

Medical Card Administration

Ceisteanna (108)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

108. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if retrospective costs will be reimbursed to a cancer patient (details supplied) who was granted a medical card after their diagnosis having incurred significant expenses in the interim. [20250/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware the medical card assessment process is based primarily on a financial assessment and not medical need. The HSE is required to conduct an assessment of an individual's financial circumstances to determine if an individual meets the eligibility requirements before a medical card may be granted. The medical card therefore will only come into effect from the date of approval by the HSE. It should be noted that where particular medical costs arise in advance of any medical card being issued other supports are available to individuals to assist in the cost of medical care. If an individual has registered for the Drugs Payment Scheme he/she will only be required to pay for medication costs up to the value of €124 per month. In addition tax relief on medical expenses that an individual pays for oneself or on behalf of any other person may also be claimed.

It is noted that the HSE can in very particular circumstances issue an emergency medical card for persons in need of urgent or on-going medical care that they cannot afford and for persons in palliative care who are terminally ill. These medical cards are issued within 24 hours of receipt of the required patient details and a letter which confirms the medical condition from a doctor or consultant. With the exception of terminally ill patients, all medical cards, granted on an emergency basis, are followed up with a full application within a number of weeks.

Disabilities Assessments

Ceisteanna (109)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

109. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay for a person (details supplied) to receive an appointment with the Cavan-Monaghan child development team; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20254/19]

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.

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (110)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

110. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for nursing home support by a person (details supplied). [20255/19]

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.

Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (111)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

111. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the steps being taken to tackle the long waiting times for access to mental health services particularly in CHO area 8. [20257/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (112)

Mick Barry

Ceist:

112. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Health the reason the HSE has ceased to fund the provision of patches for the treatment of chilblains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20262/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Officials from my Department have sought additional information from the Deputy. As soon as it is received, I will arrange for a reply to issue.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Ceisteanna (113)

Mick Barry

Ceist:

113. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) can receive the hip operation they require and was promised for January 2019 but has subsequently been informed of a two-year delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20263/19]

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 (114)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

114. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for full-time residential care by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20267/19]

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 a service issue, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications

Ceisteanna (115)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

115. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for a hearing aid by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20268/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (116)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

116. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will have shoulder surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20273/19]

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 Procedures

Ceisteanna (117)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

117. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the location to which patients from County Sligo are referred for positron emission tomography scans; the reason those requiring PET scans are not referred to County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20286/19]

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 reply to the Deputy directly.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Ceisteanna (118)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

118. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a compulsory purchase order was confirmed by An Bord Pleanála in August 2011 for Lough Foyle; the amount paid for the order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20164/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Responsibility for foreshore licensing, other than for activities relating to aquaculture and fisheries, is a matter for the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

An examination of my Department’s records indicates some correspondence in 2013 from Donegal County Council in relation to the matter referred to by the Deputy. However, the specific information sought is not immediately available and a further in-depth examination of records will be necessary.

My Department will issue a substantive response directly to the Deputy within two weeks.

GLAS Appeals

Ceisteanna (119)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

119. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an appeal submitted by a person (details supplied) in respect of a scheme. [20170/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was approved into GLAS 1 and has received payments for scheme years 2016 and 2017.

The Department notified the person named that a number of GLAS actions had been rejected due to non-compliance with the scheme conditions and advised them of the option to appeal this decision to the Agriculture Appeals Office. To date, the Department has not received notification from that Office of an appeal by the person named.