Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (463)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

463. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the measures or diagnostic tools being used in hospital settings to diagnose influenza. [29736/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a matter for the Health Service Executive, I have asked them to reply directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Beds Data

Ceisteanna (464)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

464. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the average cost to the health service of a patient staying in an acute hospital bed overnight; and the average cost per bed night for an inpatient stay in an intensive care unit. [29737/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Beds Data

Ceisteanna (465)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

465. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the average cost to the health service of a patient requiring isolation in a hospital. [29738/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have referred the Deputy's question to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Acquired Infections

Ceisteanna (466)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

466. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of patients who contracted influenza while in a public hospital during the influenza seasons 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. [29739/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive collects and collates influenza statistics, I have asked them to reply directly to the Deputy.

Vaccination Programme Data

Ceisteanna (467)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

467. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the figures relating to the uptake of influenza vaccinations during the 2018-2019 influenza season; the percentage of the population that received the vaccination; the percentage of the HSE identified vulnerable groups that received the vaccination; and the percentage of non-vulnerable groups that received the vaccination. [29740/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive collects and collates influenza statistics, I have asked them to reply directly to the Deputy.

Primary Care Reimbursement Service Payments

Ceisteanna (468)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

468. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the spend on antibiotics under the primary care reimbursement service in each of years 2016 to 2018, in tabular form. [29741/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive has responsibility for medicines expenditure, thus the matter has been referred to the HSE for their attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Ceisteanna (469, 470, 471)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

469. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to invest in antimicrobial resistance measures, particularly developing and supporting the development of new diagnostics tools. [29742/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

470. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking in relation to implementing the HIQA assessment on C-reactive protein point-of-care testing, namely the recommendation for a managed and monitored pilot programme in primary care settings. [29743/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

471. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the diagnostic tools, such as the proposed C-reactive protein point-of-care testing, being considered by HIQA and his Department to reduce antibiotic overprescribing. [29744/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 469 to 471, inclusive, together.

The prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has been a significant patient safety and public health priority for my Department for numerous years.

In October 2017, with Minister Creed, I published Ireland's first National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2017-2020 (iNAP) and since publication, my Department, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and other organisations have been engaged in an intensive programme of work to implement the strategic objectives of the iNAP Plan.

In line with iNAP, in 2018 I dedicated additional funding of €2m for HCAIs/AMR measures within the health service and a further €5 million has been allocated in 2019. This additional funding supports a number of initiatives and capacity building across the public health system.

With regard to the use of diagnostic tools to tackle the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, Strategic Objective 5 of iNAP specifically identifies as an action, the need for assessment of the cost and clinical effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tools.

In line with iNAP, HIQA was requested to undertake a health technology assessment (HTA) of near-patient testing to guide antimicrobial prescribing. In considering the scope of the HTA, antibiotic prescribing in community settings was identified as an area where there was potential to influence prescribing patterns using results of diagnostic testing.

Following a scoping review, HIQA identified that CRP point-of-care testing was the only test with evidence applicable to this scope and hence, was the subject of the HTA. The HTA focused on C-reactive protein (CRP) point-of-care testing for patients with symptoms of respiratory tract infection in the primary care setting. The HTA review and its findings relate to the clinical use of CRP point-of-care testing, the cost effectiveness, budgetary impact and the organisational issues associated with implementation.

In line with the advice of the HTA, I have now asked my Department to engage with the HSE regarding the establishment of a pilot project. This would allow for: evaluation of the CRP point-of-care testing in primary care settings; consideration of the sustainability of the benefits of testing; collection of data on costs; and examination of the organisational issues involved in implementing such a pilot project, specifically in the Irish healthcare context.

Care of the Elderly

Ceisteanna (472)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

472. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of places being provided to older persons across 300 day care centres per week. [29766/19]

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.

Care of the Elderly

Ceisteanna (473)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

473. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of long stay and short stay public residential care beds in use. [29767/19]

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.

Care of the Elderly

Ceisteanna (474)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

474. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of persons supported through transitional care funding in their discharge from acute hospitals during the first six months of 2019. [29768/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (475)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

475. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of persons supported by the nursing homes support scheme at the end of June 2019. [29769/19]

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.

Hospitals Discharges

Ceisteanna (476)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

476. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the development and implementation of a discharge-to-assess protocol for persons who require home support to leave hospital. [29770/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

Ceisteanna (477)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

477. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the reconfiguration of nursing home support offices. [29771/19]

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.

Palliative Care Services

Ceisteanna (478, 479)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

478. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the number of additional specialist palliative care inpatient beds provided to date in 2019; and the location of same. [29772/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Butler

Ceist:

479. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if the new palliative care inpatient units in counties Waterford, Mayo and Wicklow will be opened in 2019. [29773/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 478 and 479 together.

Between 2011 and 2018, the number of specialist inpatient palliative care beds increased from 157 to 214, an increase of 36.3%. This is exclusive of the approximately 150 palliative care support beds provided in over 60 locations, specialist palliative care provided in 38 acute hospitals, and the community specialist palliative home care teams which provide palliative care in the homes of those requiring care.

No additional specialist palliative care have opened so far in 2019. However, the HSE’s 2019 National Service Plan commits to the full extension of service at St. Brigid's Hospice, Kildare this year and to opening three new inpatient units in Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow in quarter 4, with the latter three units expected to reach full capacity of 49 additional beds in 2020.

A further three units are planned for development in the coming years, serving people with specialist palliative care needs in the Midlands and Border regions. Once these inpatient units are opened, there will be at least one hospice in every CHO region.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (480)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

480. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring technology will be made available to all persons with type 1 diabetes; if a finding from an organisation (details supplied) will be included as part of the decision making process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29775/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (481)

Denise Mitchell

Ceist:

481. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has still not moved into the residential care unit; the reason deadlines have been repeatedly missed; if he will raise the matter with the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29778/19]

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.

Medical Card Expenditure

Ceisteanna (482)

John Brassil

Ceist:

482. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the estimated full-year cost of the 10% increase across general practitioner visit card weekly income thresholds which took effect from April 2019; and the number of additional persons now covered by free general practitioner access as a result of the change. [29790/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (483)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

483. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a hospital bed will be provided for a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29792/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

General Practitioner Services

Ceisteanna (484)

John Brassil

Ceist:

484. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the estimated full-year cost of providing free general practitioner care to children aged seven and eight years. [29793/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government intends to extend GP care without fees to all children aged between 6 and 12 years on a phased basis, starting in 2020. Legislative changes will be required to give effect to this extension.

It is not possible at this time to give an estimate of the cost of extending GP care without fees to this cohort of the population. The fees payable to GPs for this service will be determined following consultations with GP representatives on the scope and content of the general practitioner service to be provided.

As part of the recent agreement reached on GP contractual reforms and service developments, the IMO has agreed that it will engage with the Department of Health and the HSE in relation to the contractual aspects of this service in advance of implementation.  

Following these consultations, an appropriate fee for the provision of the service by GPs will be set under the Public Services Pay and Pensions Act 2017.

Medicinal Products

Ceisteanna (485)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

485. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health his plans to review the process in regard to the governance of the drugs approval and procurement process with particular reference to facilitating more stakeholder engagement from industry and patients; his plans to extend the timeline for the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29796/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Department recently completed a tender process for a review of the HSE reimbursement and pricing decision-making process. Mazars has been appointed as the consultancy firm to complete this review.

The review will make recommendations, as considered appropriate, in respect of any required improvements to the HSE’s systems, structures, processes, governance arrangements or use of specialist resources in respect of the review.

In making its recommendations, the review will have regard to best practice regarding the procurement of medicines, the conduct of high-value commercial negotiations, governance, organisational structures, skill-mix and oversight.

The agreement signed with Mazars, sets out the relevant stakeholders to be consulted, including patient representatives.

The review is expected to be completed within three months of commencement and consideration will be given, in due course, to publication of a final report.

Palliative Care Services

Ceisteanna (486)

John Curran

Ceist:

486. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the reason he has not met the commitment to fund 50% of a service (details supplied); when the commitment will be met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29814/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Irish Cancer Society operates the Night Nursing Service, an end-of-life nursing care programme which can be used by people with a cancer or a non-malignant diagnosis. The Irish Cancer Society funds care for people with a cancer diagnosis, while the Irish Hospice Foundation funds care for those with a non-cancer diagnosis. The Service can be accessed through referral from the Specialist Community Palliative Care Team, Public Health Nurse, GP or hospital-based Specialist Palliative Care Team. The HSE began co-funding of the service in 2016.

The HSE’s Palliative Care Services Three Year Development Framework, 2017-2019, recommends that steps be taken to progress towards the provision of 50% statutory funding of the service on a phased basis.  

Against this background, the level of statutory funding for the service increased from €88,000 in 2016 to €250,000 in 2018 as set out in the following table. 

Details of Irish Cancer Society expenditure on the service last year will be available on the publication of its annual report for 2018.

Year 

 HSE funding

Irish Cancer Society expenditure

Irish Hospice Foundation expenditure 

 2016

 €88,000

 €3,184,000

€649,000 

 2017

 €250,000

 €2,969,000

€646,500 

 2018

 €250,000

 Not available

 €659,000

The HSE has allocated €250,000 towards the cost of the service in 2019.

The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE, including support for the Night Nursing Service, will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (487)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

487. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the amount spent on tribunals, commissions of investigation and statutory inquiries in each of the years 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by inquiry, tribunal or commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29835/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The amount spent on tribunals, commissions of investigation and statutory inquiries in each of the years 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by inquiry, tribunal or commission is as follows:

Tribunals, Commissions of Investigation, Statutory Inquiries

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

TOTAL

Leas Cross

574,169.07

288,414.17

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

862,583.24

Farrelly Commission of Investigation

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

521,867.04

1,568,217.36

994,560.15

3,084,644.55

Health Services Staff Remuneration

Ceisteanna (488, 489, 491)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

488. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties of an organisation (details supplied) with regard to retrospective payments to its staff due to FEMPI; the position regarding reimbursing same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29843/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

489. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an organisation (details supplied) was included in the initial pilot of 50 section 39 agencies to be considered for pay restoration to staff and that the report was submitted to the HSE in December 2018; the status of the report; if there is an update planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29845/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

491. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an organisation (details supplied) is no longer reimbursed to allow it to pay increments to staff who care for clients and that this is leading to staff shortages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29849/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 488, 489 and 491 together.

The Deputy will be aware that in February 2018, an agreement was reached at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) between my Department, the HSE and health sector Trade Unions in relation to a process aimed at resolving the pay restoration issue for staff employed by section 39 bodies in 50 pilot organisations. The 50 organisations included were agreed at the WRC by all parties.

I asked the HSE to engage with the Section 39 organisations to establish the facts around what cuts were applied and how and when they were implemented. This exercise showed that of the agencies who returned data, a majority did apply pay reductions of some form. It also showed that some agencies made some form of pay restoration between 2016 and 2018.

Following constructive engagement with the assistance of the Workplace Relations Commission, an agreement was reached on 2 October between the parties. Pay restoration is now being processed and is commencing with an annual pay increase of up to €1,000 in April 2019 for those employed by the 50 organisations involved in the pilot. Any outstanding balance will be paid in two equal amounts in 2020 and 2021.