Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1580)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1580. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the opening of theatre 12 in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9. [33451/19]

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 (1581)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1581. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of progress on a modular build for a theatre and neonatal intensive care unit in the Rotunda Maternity Hospital. [33452/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this query relates to an operational matter, I have referred it to the HSE for direct reply.

Disease Management

Ceisteanna (1582, 1583, 1584)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1582. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the incidences to date in 2019 of cases of carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae, CPE, at 30 June 2019, by public and voluntary hospitals in tabular form. [33453/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1583. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the acute hospitals implementing the requirements for screening of patients with CPE guidelines in tabular form. [33454/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

1584. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the acute hospitals implementing the national policy on restricted antimicrobial agents in tabular form. [33455/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1582 to 1584, inclusive, together.

As these are service matters and the data is collated by the HSE, the questions have been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to Deputy Stephen Donnelly. This reply was taken as a composite with 33453/19 and 33454/19.

The prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has been a significant patient safety and public health priority for the Department of Health for numerous years. A wide range of initiatives has been put in place in the Irish health system over several years including improved surveillance of infections and prescribing, infection prevention and control processes, antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, public and professional awareness raising and with a significant emphasis on the education and training of healthcare professionals.

Ireland's National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020 (known as iNAP) was launched on 25th October 2017. The Plan, jointly launched by the Minister Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and I, has been a cross-Departmental initiative, requiring a cross sectorial and whole of Government (‘One Health’) approach to addressing the world wide threat of AMR. iNAP aims to ensure the development and implementation of multifaceted interventions which will safeguard against inappropriate prescribing, dispensing and consumption of medicines, while simultaneously promoting rational use in patients and animals that are expected to benefit from treatment.

I activated the National Public Health Emergency Plan in October 2017 to address CPE in our health system. Together with the implementation of iNAP, we have had an enhanced response to HCAIs and AMR across the health system. The HSE have strengthened their national implementation governance structures, an Expert Group provides assurance that HSE CPE guidance and requirements are in line with international best practice and the HPSC are publishing a monthly national CPE surveillance report. Most recent published figures (to end May 2019) is attached for information. A number of new developments are being rolled out in both acute hospitals and community care settings, including increased capacity for infection prevention and control and the relevant laboratory services. The HSE National Clinical Team has also been expanded, including provision for two dedicated implementation leads, one each for acute hospitals and community services. In addition, there are a variety of initiatives to improve antimicrobial use and surveillance underway.

Since 2018, my Department has allocated €7 million (full year costs) for these new developments to address challenges presented by HCAIs and AMR, including CPE. The funding includes €2 million allocated in 2018 and a further €5 million for 2019.

Surveillance Report

Hospital Relocation

Ceisteanna (1585)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

1585. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a report on the proposed relocation of the Rotunda Hospital to Connolly hospital; and the way in which the project has advanced in 2019. [33456/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In line with Government policy to co-locate maternity services with acute adult services, the Rotunda Hospital will be relocated to the Connolly Hospital campus.  Co-location is considered international best practice and will facilitate the provision of an appropriate environment within all our maternity hospitals and units to enable the delivery of a modern, safe, quality service where the woman’s need for privacy and dignity is respected. 

Project Ireland 2040 provides €10.9 billion for health capital developments across the country, including funding to support implementation of the National Maternity Strategy. The relocation of the Rotunda Hospital to the Connolly campus is one of the key infrastructure projects which will be funded under Project Ireland 2040. It is important that we carefully plan all projects to meet population health needs and achieve value for money. This work is ongoing.  While I am not in position to outline the year on year provisions for any individual maternity hospital project at this stage, this will be considered through the process of the determination of service priorities and in the context of the finalisation of the Health Capital Plan. 

The Deputy will appreciate that the Rotunda project is at an early stage and will require to progress through appraisal, planning design and tender before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.

Hospitals Building Programme

Ceisteanna (1586)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

1586. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a report on the Connolly hospital laboratory expansion and replacement. [33457/19]

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 Staff Data

Ceisteanna (1587)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

1587. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of additional whole-time equivalent staff provided to the rapid access chest pain unit in Connolly hospital. [33458/19]

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 Staff Data

Ceisteanna (1588)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

1588. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if an additional consultant has been appointed to the stroke unit in Connolly hospital. [33459/19]

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 (1589)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

1589. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of a new radiology intervention suite in Connolly hospital; and the number of additional whole-time equivalent staff that have been provided for same. [33460/19]

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.

Drugs Payment Scheme

Ceisteanna (1590)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

1590. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the waiting time for processing applications under the nursing home support scheme in CHO7; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33461/19]

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.

Drugs Payment Scheme

Ceisteanna (1591)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

1591. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the measures he is taking in budget 2020 to reduce charges for cancer patients; the estimated cost of reducing the drugs payment scheme threshold to €100 for families and €72 for single persons, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33462/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) is a non-means tested scheme which is open to any person who is ordinarily resident in the State, regardless of illness. 

Under the scheme, no individual or family pays more than €124 a month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals with ongoing expenditure on medicines. 

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to reduce the cost of medicines. In line with this commitment, I announced a reduction in the DPS threshold, from €134 to €124 a month, as part of Budget 2019 and this reduction was implemented on 1 April 2019. 

 I intend to consider further proposals for reductions in the DPS threshold, in the context of the implementation of the health commitments in the Programme for Government and with regard to the funding available. However, at present I have no plans to reduce the DPS threshold for specific illnesses. 

The estimated cost of reducing the DPS monthly threshold to €100 is €25.2 million.

The estimated cost of reducing the DPS threshold for a single-headed household to €72 is €8.3 million, where a single headed household is defined as one eligible DPS patient on a family card in a claim month.

Medical Products Supply

Ceisteanna (1592)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

1592. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have their already provided prosthesis customised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33463/19]

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.

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (1593)

Seán Crowe

Ceist:

1593. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Health when he plans to introduce new legislation that will address the motorised transport grant and the mobility allowance particularly for drivers that have a physical impairment in view of the commitment given when the original scheme was scrapped. [33464/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in 2013.

With regard to the proposals for a new Health (Transport Support) Bill, the Deputy may be aware that my colleague, the Minister for Health and I, brought a Memorandum to Government on proposals for a new Transport Support Payment Scheme.  Following consideration of the matter, it was decided to withdraw the Memorandum from the Cabinet Agenda at that time.  I intend to revert to Government in due course with revised proposals to reflect the discussions at that Cabinet meeting and further discussions between myself and Minister Harris, on the best way to progress the Transport Scheme.

It is important to note that the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme, operated by the Revenue Commissioners, remains in place.  This scheme provides VRT and VAT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with a disability, who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in governing regulations made by the Minister for Finance. Specifically adapted vehicles driven by persons with a disability are also exempt from payment of tolls on national roads and toll bridges. Transport Infrastructure Ireland has responsibility for this particular scheme.

There are improvements in access to a range of transport support schemes available to persons with disabilities in the State and on-going work is being carried out by Government Departments, agencies and transport providers to further improve access to public transport services. Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of public transport for people with a disability. 

The Deputy may wish to note that my colleague the Minister for Rural and Community Development recently announced CLÁR funding of €890,632 to  20 voluntary community organisations. This funding will support the purchase and/or fit out of vehicles to provide transport for people in rural areas with mobility issues. It will support voluntary organisations that provide:-

- transport for people with significant mobility issues, including those requiring specialised  wheelchair accessible vehicles, to day-care or other medical, therapeutic or respite services; or

- transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres under the National Cancer Care Programme.

Respite Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1594)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1594. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if proper and adequate respite facilities will be provided for persons with mental and physical disabilities in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33467/19]

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.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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.

Disability Support Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1595)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1595. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if adequate residential facilities will be provided for adults with mental and physical disabilities in County Kerry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33468/19]

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.

Orthodontic Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1596)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1596. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will receive orthodontic treatment; when the next clinic will be scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33476/19]

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.

National Children's Hospital Expenditure

Ceisteanna (1597)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

1597. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 608 of 11 July 2019, the estimated cost of the project; the amount that remains to be paid beyond 2019 assuming that the estimated €250 million is paid in 2019; the source of the remaining funds required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33487/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The estimated capital cost of the new Children's Hospital is €1,433m.

Capital funding for the project has been and will be provided through the annual health capital programme.

€235 was spent on the project up to the end of 2018, €250m is the estimated expenditure in 2019, and the estimated cost of completing the new Children's Hospital is €948m.

Orthodontic Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1598)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

1598. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) in County Cork will receive the orthotics they are waiting for; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33498/19]

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.

Protected Disclosures

Ceisteanna (1599)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

1599. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if his Department or another Department has been notified of the receipt of protected disclosures submitted to the National Maternity Hospital; the number of protected disclosures submitted to the hospital he has been notified of; and if he has been notified of protected disclosures submitted to other maternity hospitals. [33499/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Any protected disclosures submitted to the National Maternity Hospital are a matter for that organisation.

 Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires each public body to publish an annual report setting out the number of protected disclosures received in the preceding year and the action taken (if any).  Information regarding the number of any protected disclosures received by the hospital can be accessed through the hospital's website

http://www.nmh.ie/home/freedom-of-information.13646.html

Protected Disclosures

Ceisteanna (1600)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

1600. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if he has been notified of protected disclosures that referred to the reduction of genetic expertise in foetal healthcare at the National Maternity Hospital. [33500/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Given the need the protect the identity of the source of protected disclosures, I am not in a position to confirm whether any protected disclosures of the nature indicated in the question have been notified to me.

Under Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 my Department, as a public body, is required to publish an annual report setting out the number of protected disclosures received in the preceding year and the action taken (if any).  All such annual reports are published on my Department's website and can be accessed at: https://health.gov.ie/contact-us/protected-disclosures/

 Finally, I would like to assure you that all protected disclosures submitted to my Department are given due attention in keeping with the Department's protected disclosures policy and procedures, and in accordance with the requirements set out under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

Prescriptions Charges

Ceisteanna (1601)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

1601. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of reducing the maximum that a family can be charged under the prescription charge system from €20 to €10 per month [33503/19]

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.

Health Services Funding

Ceisteanna (1602)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

1602. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the estimated amount it will cost to maintain the current levels of service provision across the health service in 2020 in view of demographic changes and inflation. [33540/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The level of funding available for my Department is being considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process for 2020 which is currently underway. Pending completion of this process it is not appropriate for me to comment further at this stage.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (1603)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

1603. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of implementing each of the measures recommended in the Sláintecare report. [33541/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Sláintecare report details the vision of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare. In their report, the Committee estimated the cost of the series of reforms to expand eligibility, to expand the health system to deliver better access to primary care, general practice and to public hospital care for all, and for the phasing out of private care in public hospitals, alongside the removal or reduction of significant proportion of out of pocket payments from households.  This was estimated at €2.8 billion for full delivery of these reforms within 10 years. In addition, the Committee recommended that once-off transitional funding of €3 billion be provided to implement system change, with funding identified for capital projects, new structures, new equipment, additional staff training capacity and new services. The costing of these reforms is dependant on many key factors such as the phasing of implementation, ongoing and future negotiations with key stakeholders in the health system, demographic change, and inflation within the economy.

The Action Plan details the outputs that are to be delivered over 2019, with progress to be measured and reported on a biannual basis.

All the actions committed to be delivered in 2019 are intended to be achieved from the existing agreed expenditure estimates for 2019. The actions included in the Sláintecare Action Plan are underpinned by the commitments in the HSE's National Service Plan, which provides detailed breakdowns of 2019 deliverables, alongside costings of these deliverables. 

I can confirm that within Programme 4.4, the programme that will manage the Sláintecare budget, a ring-fenced amount of €20 million has been set aside for the establishment of an Integration Fund in 2019. The Integration Fund will focus on supporting the development of existing and new best practice projects that are capable of being scaled nationally, and which promote the engagement and empowerment of citizens in the care of their own health, scale and share examples of best practice and processes for chronic disease management and care of older people and encourage innovations in the shift of care to the community or provide hospital avoidance measures. This Fund was launched on March 22nd, 2019 and a significant number of project submissions with a focus on community care and integration of care across all health and social care settings have been received. The successful submissions are due to be announced shortly.

Prescriptions Charges

Ceisteanna (1604)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

1604. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost to reduce prescription charges by €0.50. [33542/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The estimated full year cost of reducing prescription charges by €0.50c is €23.5 m.