Cancer Services Funding

Ceisteanna (128)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

128. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of increasing funding for CervicalCheck by 10%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27238/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Government has committed to fully implementing the recommendations of Dr Scally’s Scoping Inquiry. Full implementation represents a very broad programme of work incorporating improvements across the National Screening Service and wider health services, and funding to support this work was allocated in Budget 2019, together with funding to support the switch to HPV primary testing. The HSE has advised that the total allocation for CervicalCheck in 2019 was €38.35m, or an increase of just over 20% on the previous year's allocation of €31.75m. The cost of increasing this by a further 10% would therefore be €3.8m.

Health Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (129)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

129. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of expanding the newborn screening programme to screen for all diseases for which there is a medical treatment here, [27239/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A National Screening Committee will be established and become operational before the end of 2019, as per recommendation 5, contained within the Scally Review (2018). The Committee’s role will be to undertake an independent assessment of the evidence for screening for a particular condition against internationally accepted criteria and make recommendations accordingly.

Ireland, has traditionally evaluated the case for commencing a national screening programme against the internationally accepted criteria (collectively known as Wilson Junger criteria). The evidence bar for commencing a screening programme should and must remain high. This evidence threshold ensures that we can be as confident as we can be that the programme in question is effective, quality assured and operating to safe standards for the population.

Financial cost is but one factor that is considered in the decision making process. Due to the complex nature of the evaluation process and the 20 criteria against which a decision is made it would be impossible to accurately quantify the cost of expanding a screening service until a full evidential assessment was completed.

I am conscious that having committed to implementing the Scally recommendations I am reluctant to undermine the decision making processes of the National Screening Committee. Any future potential changes to the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme will be incorporated as part of the Committee’s immediate work programme beginning this year. I will also be shortly announcing the appointment of the Chair of the NSC and the planned recruitment of the remaining members of the Committee.

Medical Products

Ceisteanna (130)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

130. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing contraceptives to all women who need them. [27240/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This figure is not currently available to the Department, but it is intended that it will be determined as part of the deliberations of the Working Group on Access to Contraception.

Medical Products

Ceisteanna (131)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

131. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing items (details supplied) in tabular form [27241/19]

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 pricing and reimbursement of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Products

Ceisteanna (132, 133, 134, 135)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

132. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing free female hygiene products to all women in receipt of a medical card. [27242/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

133. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing free female hygiene products to all women in receipt of a general practitioner card. [27243/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

134. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing free female hygiene products to all girls between 12 and 18 years of age. [27244/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

135. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing free female hygiene products to all women in homeless shelters. [27245/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 132 to 135, inclusive, together.

Period poverty is defined as the inability to afford female sanitary products and is a significant equality and equity concern. Female sanitary products can be either disposable (sanitary towels, tampons and panty liners) or reusable (menstrual cups, cloth menstrual pads and period panties).

A motion on period poverty, proposed by the cross-party Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, was passed in the Dáil on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, and in the Seanad on Wednesday March 27, 2019. Amongst other things, the motion called on the Government to provide a range of free, adequate, safe and suitable sanitary products and accompanying information, to be distributed throughout all public buildings.

Cost estimates of €132 to €208 per annum per woman in Ireland have been mentioned in the context of a recent Plan International survey and during the recent Oireachtas debates on period poverty in Ireland. Furthermore, newer products are subject to the standard rate of VAT, while older products avail of an exemption and are subject to zero percent VAT.

It has been agreed that the best way to progress this matter is through the National Strategy for Women and Girls (NSWG) Strategy Committee, which is led by the Department of Justice and Equality and includes representation from across Government, the HSE, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and a number of NGOs.

The issues raised were discussed at the last meeting of the NSWG Strategy Committee, which was held on June 11, 2019; it was agreed at the meeting that a sub-Committee on period poverty, chaired by the Department of Health, but including representation from a number of Government Departments and NGOs, including the National Women's Council of Ireland, would be convened to explore the issue further. Work is ongoing in terms of agreeing representation from relevant Departments and organisation and scheduling an initial meeting of the Sub-Group, which will examine the issues involved, including costs, in greater detail.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (136, 140, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 197, 198, 199, 200, 205)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

136. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of increasing the number of obstetricians and gynaecologists employed by ten. [27246/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

140. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of recruiting five and ten orthodontists, respectively, on the average pay grade in tabular form. [27250/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

176. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 100, 200, 300 and 400 nurses, respectively, on the average pay scale in tabular form. [27326/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

177. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 100, 150 and 200 midwives, respectively, on the average pay scale in tabular form. [27327/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

178. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing ten and 25 advanced nurse practitioners in tabular form. [27328/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

179. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing ten and 25 community nurse specialists in tabular form. [27329/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

180. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing ten community physiotherapists and hospital physiotherapists at entry level with five years experience and ten years of experience, respectively. [27330/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

197. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 100 occupational therapists. [27347/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

198. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 100 physiotherapists. [27348/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

199. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 150 psychologists. [27349/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

200. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 100 speech and language therapists. [27350/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

205. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of employing 250 speech and language therapists based on mid-point 2018 pay scales. [27355/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 136, 140, 176 to 180, inclusive, 197 to 200, inclusive, and 205 together.

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

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (137, 138, 141)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

137. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of recruiting ten consultants on the average pay grade. [27247/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

138. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of recruiting ten, 20 and 40 dentists, respectively, on the average pay grade in tabular form. [27248/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

141. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of recruiting 60 dental nurses on the average pay grade. [27251/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137, 138 and 141 together.

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

Hospital Consultant Remuneration

Question No. 140 answered with Question No. 136.

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 137.

Ceisteanna (139)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

139. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of delivering pay parity for medical consultants taken on since 2012 and longer serving colleagues. [27249/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

It is estimated that it would cost €40 million to address the differential in pay between consultants recruited from 1 October 2012 and consultants recruited before that date.

Question No. 140 answered with Question No. 136.
Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 137.

Drugs Payment Scheme Threshold

Ceisteanna (142)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

142. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of reducing the threshold of the drug payment scheme by every euro to €100. [27252/19]

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.