Nursing Homes Support Scheme

Ceisteanna (1555)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1555. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health when the fair deal changes for farming families will be brought forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33402/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department developed draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.

It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period.

The General Scheme of Bill for the NHSS was approved by Government on 11 June 2019. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the legislative process is successfully complete. I intend to progress this as quickly as possible, however, the timeline for completion of the legislation will also depend on how it passes through the Houses. The General Scheme has been sent to the relevant Joint Committee and I look forward to participating in pre-legislative scrutiny when scheduled by the Committee.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1556)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1556. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the action being taken to address waiting times for orthopaedic procedures in the north-west; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33403/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am conscious that waiting times are often unacceptably long and of the burden that this places on patients and their families. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

The latest published National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures for the end of June show that there are 3,420 patients on the IPDC Orthopaedics waiting list at Saolta University Health Care Group. Of these 73% (2,508) are waiting 9 months or less and 84% (2,856) are waiting 12 months or less.

In terms of NTPF orthopaedics proposals for Saolta University Healthcare Group, 4 IPDC orthopaedic proposals have been approved to the end of June 2019 with 420 offers of treatment (CANs) authorised by the NTPF in public and private hospitals.

More broadly, Budget 2019 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the NTPF increasing from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019. The joint Department of Health/HSE/NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 was published in March and sets out measures to improve care for patients waiting for scheduled care in 2019 by reducing waiting times for inpatient/day case treatment and outpatient appointments. The plan places a strong focus on ten high-volume Inpatient/Day Case procedures, including hip/knee replacements. When combined with HSE activity, it is projected that the NTPF will be in a position to offer treatment to all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months for one of these high-volume procedures.

The NTPF advise that over recent months they have placed a particular focus on engaging with hospital groups and individual hospitals to identify waiting list proposals. The NTPF welcomes proposals from all acute hospitals for initiatives to improve access for patients on waiting lists.

In addition, my Department is working with the HSE and NTPF, under the Access Plan, with the objective of developing medium-long term improvement initiatives for patient access to hospital procedures. This will include moving care to more appropriate settings and providing care at the lowest level of complexity.

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1557)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1557. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for speech and language, psychology and occupational therapy services in CHO1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33404/19]

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.

Health Services

Ceisteanna (1558)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1558. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a child (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33405/19]

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.

Hospitals Building Programme

Ceisteanna (1559)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

1559. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the status of the development of St. Patrick’s Hospital, Cashel, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33410/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Reform

Ceisteanna (1560)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

1560. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health his plans to reorganise the structure of the HSE along the lines of the former health boards model; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33416/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A clear governance and accountability framework was identified as a key building block of Sláintecare by the Committee on the Future of Healthcare. As part of its recommendations in this area, the Committee called for the HSE to become a more strategic and patient-focused ‘national centre’ carrying out national level functions, and the establishment of regional bodies with responsibility for the planning and delivery of integrated care at a regional level.

As the Deputy will be aware, 9 Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) and 6 Hospital Groups are in place on an administrative basis to plan and deliver community and acute care services respectively. While significant progress has been made by these structures, there is broad consensus that having separate and un-aligned structures for acute and community care impedes the development of a more integrated health service underpinned by population based planning, as envisaged under the Sláintecare programme.

As a first step in this process, I announced the areas for six new regional bodies last week. This is an important step in signalling the future shape of the health service.

The new structure is not a return to the old health board model.  There will be six health regions, whereas there were eleven health boards. Those health boards had political representation; I have indicated that any new boards are likely to be competency-based.  While the regions will have devolved responsibility for decision making, they will operate within a national framework, including national policies and strategies, such as the National Trauma Strategy  and the National Cancer Strategy and national organisation of certain services such as national clinical programmes, our screening programmes and ambulance services.

As agreed by Government, my Department will now progress the development of detailed policy proposals on reconfiguration of the HSE, including the establishment of regional health bodies, and bring these proposals back to Government for approval next year. 

The regions will have a “one budget, one system” approach; improved accountability and governance; equitable resource allocation; and increased clinical governance compliance requirements. They will also be complemented by a lean HSE that will retain responsibility for national services, strategic planning, national systems (e.g. ICT, financial, etc.) and ensuring equity and standards are maintained across regions.

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (1561)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1561. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for a homecare package in counties Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Roscommon; the number of persons on a waiting list for an increase in home support hours in each county; the number waiting zero to three, three to six and six to 12 months, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33424/19]

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

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (1562)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

1562. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the names of the laboratories and their subsidiaries and-or related companies that are subject to ongoing correspondence and the HSE regarding CervicalCheck (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33429/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy will be aware that, where low grade changes are detected on a cervical smear test, a second, so-called ‘triage test’ - which looks for the HPV virus - is carried out by laboratories.

If HPV is found, women are recommended to attend for further testing (colposcopy). If HPV is not found, women are recommended to attend for routine screening again in 3-5 years.

Earlier this year, the HSE, working with Quest Laboratories, identified a situation in relation to the HPV testing. In this laboratory, the manufacturer’s recommendation is that the test for HPV should be carried out within 30 days of the sample having been given by a woman.

Of the approximately 500,000 samples tested by Quest since 2015, the HSE advised that a proportion of these HPV tests had been performed outside of the recommended 30 day timeframe. Approximately 4,200 women were invited to attend for a retest and approximately 3,000 women took up that offer. The section of the webpage referred to by the Deputy is in reference to this issue. The webpage states that the HSE had also contacted the other two labs which provided services to the programme to ensure that this issue did not occur with them. These labs are the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital and MedLab Pathology Ltd., as both of these labs were providing services for CervicalCheck at that time.

This is separate to the current issue in relation to delays in reporting test results for a particular cohort of women affected by the HPV expiration issue, which is also referenced on the same webpage. A number of women had their existing samples retested with a different type of HPV test, the HPV DNA test, which has a longer expiration period. The use of this test meant that women were not required to attend their GPs for a repeat smear test. Both tests are acceptable and are used in international screening programmes.

The HSE advised the Department on 10 July that the IT system in the laboratory undertaking these retests required updates to ensure electronic issuing of results letters and that, as these updates could not be completed in time, letters were to issue manually to GPs. Regrettably, this had not happened in all cases.

The HSE has apologised for this issue, and has affirmed that the clinical risk to the women affected is low. A HSE Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) is in place to manage the response to this incident, and to ensure all necessary communications to women and/or their GPs have taken place.

Hospitals Building Programme

Ceisteanna (1563)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1563. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of the proposed capital developments at Sligo University Hospital, St. Patrick’s Hospital, Carrick-on-Shannon, St John's Hospital, Sligo, and the North West Hospice, Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33430/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to these developments.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Ceisteanna (1564)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1564. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of plans for new primary care centres in Carrick-on-Shannon, Drumcliffe, Grange, Nazareth House, Sligo town and Tubbercurry, County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33431/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospitals Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (1565)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1565. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of capital funding for increased medical bed capacity at Sligo University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33433/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1566)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1566. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health when the new 25 bed acute mental health unit at Sligo University Hospital will be operational. [33434/19]

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.

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (1567)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1567. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health if the tender process for the new diabetic centre at Sligo University Hospital has been completed; the estimated operational date of the centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33435/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Beds Data

Ceisteanna (1568)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1568. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the opening of two new heart and lung transplant beds in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7. [33439/19]

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.

Hospital Beds Data

Ceisteanna (1569)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1569. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the opening of four high dependency unit beds in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7. [33440/19]

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.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1570)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1570. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the additional theatre capacity being provided in Cavan General Hospital in 2019. [33441/19]

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.

Hospital Groups

Ceisteanna (1571)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1571. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if the Ireland East Hospital Group has undertaken a review of maternity services across the group. [33442/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly. 

Health Insurance Data

Ceisteanna (1572)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1572. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the revenue received as private health insurance income to the end of June 2019 or the latest date available by hospital group in tabular form; and the equivalent figures for 2018. [33443/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Revenue raised from private patients in public and voluntary hospitals is recorded as maintenance charge income by the HSE.  The maintenance charge income reported to May 2018 and May 2019 for hospital groups is provided below.

Maintenance Charges Income (€'m)

May-19

May-18

Children's Health Ireland 

7.2

6.9

Dublin Midlands 

41.6

45.6

Ireland East 

34.2

39.2

RCSI 

29.4

28.8

Saolta 

29.0

28.5

South/South West 

51.2

51.4

UL 

20.6

23.1

Total Year to Date 

213.1

223.4

Emergency Departments

Ceisteanna (1573)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1573. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the emergency department upgrade at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9. [33444/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive to provide the Deputy with the current position in respect of the development of a new emergency department at Beaumont Hospital.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1574)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1574. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of a cystic fibrosis unit in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9. [33445/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the Health Service Executive to provide the Deputy with the current position in respect of the new cystic fibrosis unit at Beaumont Hospital.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1575)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1575. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the neurointerventional radiology suite replacement at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9. [33446/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Beds Data

Ceisteanna (1576)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1576. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the additional acute bed capacity provided in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, to date in 2019; and his plans for same during the remainder of 2019. [33447/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Capacity Review published last year was clear on the need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community – combined with a wide scale reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.

An additional 267 acute hospital beds opened under the Winter Initiative 2017/2018, including 20 beds which opened in Beaumont Hospital in December 2017.

The main elements of the 2019 capacity programme are:

- the provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19 - the HSE have confirmed that 75 acute beds and 59 community beds have been opened to date;

- 47 additional beds, including a 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital, 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital, and 3 HDU beds in the Mater which are due to open by Q4 2019;

- preparation of 202 beds during 2019, with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in Q1 of 2020;

- commencement of works on a 60-bed modular ward in University Hospital Limerick.

No additional beds for Beaumont Hospital are included in the National Service Plan for 2019.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1577)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1577. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the Cavan General Hospital phase 2 new endoscopy unit, CSSD and ward upgrade. [33448/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1578)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1578. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the opening of five theatres in the phase 2 extension of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. [33449/19]

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.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1579)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1579. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the opening of a hybrid theatre in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9. [33450/19]

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.