Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (1270)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

1270. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health his plans to have the perinatal epidemiology centre operate on a statutory basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36439/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (NPEC) collaborates with Irish maternity services to translate clinical audit data into improved maternity care for families in Ireland. It is an audit and research centre based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in UCC, Cork.

The NPEC conducts audit and research into pregnancy outcomes in the Irish maternity services, working in collaboration with all 19 of Ireland’s maternity and neonatal units.

The Minister for Health currently has no plans to have the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (NPEC) operate on a statutory basis.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (1271)

John Brassil

Ceist:

1271. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health if the necessary resources will be provided to staff to run the DEXA scanner at University Hospital Kerry as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36441/19]

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.

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (1272)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

1272. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a maternity monthly safety statement covering serious reportable events will be published; his plans to have these issued on a monthly basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36452/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy may be aware the Chief Medical Officer’s report on Perinatal Deaths at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise (2014), recommended that every maternity service should be required to complete and publish a monthly Patient Safety Statement. The National Maternity Strategy and the HIQA (Portlaoise) Report reinforced that recommendation and monthly Patient Safety Statements are now published by all 19 maternity units.

Maternity Patient Safety Statements are generally published 2 months in arrears and provide individual unit/hospital level detail, including Hospital Activities, Major Obstetric Events, Delivery Metrics and Clinical incidents. The Statements are an important element of the clinical governance for maternity services and help inform assurances around the safety and quality of our maternity services.

HSE National Service Plan

Ceisteanna (1273)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

1273. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when the HSE service plan 2019 and capital expenditure plan will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36453/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The 2019 HSE National Service Plan was published on Thursday, 20 December 2018.

The plan is available to download from the HSE website:

https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/media/pressrel/hse-publishes-national-service-plan-2019.html

Work is already underway between my Department and the HSE on the National Service Plan 2020. The Legislation (Health Act 2004 as amended) outlines the timeframes that must be adhered to in the publication of the Plan. This outlines that my Department must write to the Health Service Executive to notify it of its allocation for 2020 not later than 21 days after the publication by the Government of the Estimates for Public Services. The legislation further provides that, on receipt of the letter of this determination, the Executive has 21 days to prepare and submit its Service Plan for 2020 for my approval.

Following the submission of the service plan, the legislation provides 21 days for me examine the proposed plan and either:

a) approve the service plan in the form it is submitted,

b) approve the service plan with such amendments as I, having consulted with the Executive, may determine, or

c) issue a direction to the Executive to amend the plan.

The National Service Plan must be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas within 21 days of its approval. Once the Service Plan is laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas, the HSE will ensure it is published at the earliest possible time.

The HSE Capital Plan was published on Monday 02 September 2019 and provides for the spending of €2.1 billion on health capital projects from 2019 to 2021.

The plan is available to download from the HSE website: www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/corporate/hse-capital-plan-2019-2021.pdf

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (1274)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

1274. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the funding set aside for the maternity strategy in 2019; the amount provided for this purpose in each year since 2016; the amount drawn down and used in each year to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36454/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Implementation of the National Maternity Strategy is continuing, led by the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme. The Strategy represents a significant development in the delivery of national maternity policy that will fundamentally change how maternity care is delivered in this country. Funding allocated to-date for the Strategy’s implementation has helped to improve the quality and safety of our maternity services through the recruitment of additional midwives, consultants, theatre staff, ultrasonographers and quality and safety managers, by increasing access to routine anomaly scanning and through the roll-out of the Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System.

In 2019, an additional €4.1 million was allocated to support the ongoing implementation of the Strategy.

In relation to your specific query on how funding was used on an annual basis, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

HSE Staff

Ceisteanna (1275)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

1275. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when additional placements will be provided at a HSE centre (details supplied) in view of the increased demand for services there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36467/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (1276)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

1276. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health if his recent decision to remove the rehabilitative training allowance to disabled students and school leavers will be reviewed; if he will engage with the relevant stakeholders such as disability groups and service users in seeking a solution that would reinstate the allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36469/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This 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. The 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 payment of the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus came into place on the transition of Rehabilitative/Training Programmes to the HSE following the dissolution of the National Rehabilitation Board in June 2000.

The decision to phase out the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus payment is designed to bring equity and consistency between people with a disability attending HSE funded rehabilitative training programmes who receive the payment, and those attending similar HSE funded Day Services or in other State schemes such as further education and training, who do not.

This action will ensure all HSE funded Day Services are provided on an equitable basis and will also ensure that the use of finite resources is maximised.

The Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus Payment is a historical payment, introduced in July 2001, aligned with a similar FÁS Training Bonus. However, during 2011 the FÁS Training Bonus was reduced to €20.00 and then eliminated the following year while to date the RT Bonus Payment has continued to be paid in the Health Sector.

It is worth remembering that:

- There is no cut in the number of RT places available

- There is no cut in payment of the bonus - those who have it will continue to receive it for the remainder of their RT Placement

- All participants continue to be eligible for Disability Allowance of €203 per week

- All participants continue to be eligible for a free travel pass

- No expectation of an additional RT bonus payment has been created by HSE for 2019 participants

The redirected funding (€3.7 m over 4 years), which will be ring-fenced, will facilitate 148 full day placements or 370 enhanced day places nationally based on priority need.

Each CHO will have the flexibility to redirect its own savings to address local service requirements. The HSE will put in place a monitoring system and regularly report the additional placements realised to the Department of Health.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (1277)

John Brassil

Ceist:

1277. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the provision of duodopa for Parkinson's disease patients in view of the fact that the health technology assessment process has been completed by the NCPE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36471/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Cancer Incidence

Ceisteanna (1278)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

1278. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons undergoing treatment for cancer. [36476/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Cancer Registry of Ireland estimate that cancer-directed treatment was undertaken for an average of 27,500 cancer patients per year in 2017 and 2018, within 12 months of the patients' diagnosis. Excluding patients only diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, an average of 17,700 cancer patients each year have undergone treatment.

These figures include surgery, radiotherapy, medical oncology or other treatments aimed at (or with the effect of) removing, reducing or preventing cancer growth, whether for curative or palliative purposes. They exclude purely diagnostic procedures, and also exclude treatments for recurrences.

Medical Card Expenditure

Ceisteanna (1279)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

1279. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the average cost per person of providing healthcare under a medical card annually. [36478/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

National Traveller-Roma Integration Strategy

Ceisteanna (1280)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

1280. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the status of the Traveller health action plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36482/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, the HSE is committed to developing and implementing a detailed action plan to continue to address the health needs of Travellers, using a social determinants of health approach.

The HSE circulated a first draft of the action plan in March 2019 for consultation with stakeholders, including the Department of Health. The draft is currently being revised to take account of feedback and is expected to be finalised in quarter 4 2019.

The Department of Health is actively engaged with the HSE and Traveller organisations in developing the action plan. I am very supportive of the action plan and look forward to receiving it in due course.

Dental Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1281)

Michael Collins

Ceist:

1281. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Health if all primary school children in second, fourth and sixth class receive free dental check-ups under the school dental screening scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36484/19]

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 Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (1282)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

1282. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the waiting lists for robotic surgery for prostate cancer patients at University Hospital Galway in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [36486/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service delivery matter, I have referred the question to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1283)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

1283. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the waiting lists for robotic surgery for prostate cancer patients at University Hospital Galway is in line with the recommendations of the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026. [36487/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 does not include a specific recommendation on robotic surgery for prostate cancer patients.

As the issue raised involves service delivery, I have referred the question to the HSE for further direct reply.

Hospital Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (1284)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

1284. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided to reopen all 20 beds in the short stay ward at Letterkenny University Hospital in 2019. [36488/19]

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.

Since 2017, an additional 267 beds have been opened. The Capacity Programme for 2019 provides for the following increases in capacity, as set out in the National Service Plan 2019:

- The provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19 – the HSE has confirmed that all the acute beds and 59 community beds have opened to date. This includes 5 acute beds that opened in Letterkenny University Hospital in June 2019.

- 47 additional beds, including the 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH), 3 HDU beds in the Mater Hospital and 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital.

- preparation of 202 beds, of which 16 are critical care, during 2019, with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in the first quarter of 2020.

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

With regard to the specific questions the Deputy has asked, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (1285)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

1285. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in reimbursing the drug levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel known as duodopa; when a decision will be made regarding reimbursement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (1286)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1286. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a procedure for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36496/19]

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.

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1287)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

1287. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the services in place to meet the needs of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36497/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1288)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

1288. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health if additional resources have been provided to the HSE to eliminate the delays in processing of applications and the issue of payments under the HSE cross border directive scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36499/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE is responsible for the operation of the Cross Border Directive and the management of the HSE Cross Border Directive (CBD) office is an operational matter for the HSE. Officials of my Department recently met with the HSE to discuss this matter and have requested the Executive to examine current resourcing of the CBD office, and to identify necessary actions to mitigate waiting times arising from current demands for the Scheme. As the HSE have operational responsibility for the CBD office I have also referred the Deputies question to them for direct reply.

Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1289)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

1289. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health his plans to improve services in a mental health area in a region (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36500/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (1290)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

1290. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when he plans to reinstate the rehabilitative training allowance in view of its importance over the years for many young persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36501/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This 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. The 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 payment of the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus came into place on the transition of Rehabilitative/Training Programmes to the HSE following the dissolution of the National Rehabilitation Board in June 2000.

The decision to phase out the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus payment is designed to bring equity and consistency between people with a disability attending HSE funded rehabilitative training programmes who receive the payment, and those attending similar HSE funded Day Services or in other State schemes such as further education and training, who do not.

This action will ensure all HSE funded Day Services are provided on an equitable basis and will also ensure that the use of finite resources is maximised.

The Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus Payment is a historical payment, introduced in July 2001, aligned with a similar FÁS Training Bonus. However, during 2011 the FÁS Training Bonus was reduced to €20.00 and then eliminated the following year while to date the RT Bonus Payment has continued to be paid in the Health Sector.

It is worth remembering that:

- There is no cut in the number of RT places available

- There is no cut in payment of the bonus - those who have it will continue to receive it for the remainder of their RT Placement

- All participants continue to be eligible for Disability Allowance of €203 per week

- All participants continue to be eligible for a free travel pass

- No expectation of an additional RT bonus payment has been created by HSE for 2019 participants

The redirected funding (€3.7 m over 4 years), which will be ring-fenced, will facilitate 148 full day placements or 370 enhanced day places nationally based on priority need.

Each CHO will have the flexibility to redirect its own savings to address local service requirements. The HSE will put in place a monitoring system and regularly report the additional placements realised to the Department of Health.

Nursing Home Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (1291)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

1291. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide occupational and rehabilitation services for persons under 65 years of age resident in nursing homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36528/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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 Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1292)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

1292. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health when additional and essential health services (details supplied) will be provided in counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36529/19]

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.

Occupational Therapy Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1293)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

1293. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) will be waiting for occupational therapy for four years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36530/19]

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.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (1294, 1311)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

1294. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if certain aspects of the HPV immunisation programme will be reviewed with the view to introducing a catch-up scheme for persons that have just missed the September 2019 introduction of the programme for boys entering the first year of second-level education (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36544/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

1311. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide a catch-up programme for boys to receive the HPV vaccine that have already completed the first year of secondary school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36579/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1294 and 1311 together.

The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). NIAC is an independent committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland comprising of experts in several specialties including infectious diseases, paediatrics and public health. The committee's recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. It makes recommendations on vaccination policy to my Department. NIAC continues to revise recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease. Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time.

As you are aware, NIAC recommended that the HPV vaccine should also be given to boys. The ages at which vaccines are recommended in the immunisation schedule are chosen by NIAC in order to give each child the best possible protection against vaccine preventable diseases. On foot of NIAC’s recommendation, my Department asked the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake a health technology assessment (HTA) to establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness of extending the current immunisation programme, which offers HPV vaccination to all girls in their first year of second level education (generally 12 to 13 year olds), to a programme that also offers the vaccination to boys in their first year of secondary school.

HIQA completed the HTA in December 2018, recommending that the HPV immunisation programme be extended to include boys. As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection. A policy decision was made to extend the HPV immunisation programme to include boys starting this September with the introduction of a 9-valent HPV vaccine. However, HIQA did not recommend inclusion of a catch-up programme for boys who have already completed the first year of secondary school.

My Department will continue to be guided by NIAC's recommendations on any emerging evidence on this issue in the future.