National Lottery Funding Applications

Ceisteanna (1295)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

1295. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health if an application for national lottery funding made by an organisation (details supplied) has been successful; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36545/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Applications for National Lottery funding are not handled by my Department and, as such, I have referred your question to the HSE.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (1296)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1296. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36546/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

Ceisteanna (1297)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1297. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason funding for the fair deal scheme is taking a long time to be granted (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36550/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost.

As outlined in the HSE's National Service Plan for 2019, the NHSS is expected to support 23,042 people in 2019. The NHSS budget for 2019 is €985.8m which is an increase of €24.3m over its 2018 budget.

Over the last two years, an additional €45 million has been provided to NHSS budget for the continued provision of services in line with pricing and demand. As part of normal governance and performance management arrangements The Department and the HSE maintain regular service area engagements, which also form part of ongoing collaborative work on issues relating to older persons policy and service delivery.

The HSE have noted that the number of residents in nursing homes whom are supported by the NHSS to be ahead of forecast for the year to date. The latest available performance reports indicate that there are 23,236 people supported in the Scheme at the end of July this year. This is significantly more people than forecast and this creates a challenge. The HSE has also advised that the cost of care continues to rise and the average weekly cost per bed is higher in 2019 than anticipated.

Having regard to the available budget and the demand for support, the HSE releases funding in a managed way to ensure that the operation of the NHSS remains within the budgetary allocation. The HSE cannot legally fund clients beyond the determined funding allocation, and the appropriate mechanism relating to funding allocations is through the estimates and budgetary process. To manage the available funds throughout the year, a national placement list for the release of funding is operated by the HSE, to enable it to operate within budget. Funding issues to applicants in chronological order, to ensure equity nationally. Approved applicants are placed on the national placement list in order of their approval date and funding is released to applicants in order of their place on this list. The length of time spent on the placement list depends on the number of applicants currently receiving financial support and the number of new applications. Where demand is higher, the time spent on the waiting list may increase having regard for the prudent management of the Scheme's budget.

The HSE has put in place arrangements that a monthly analysis of performance of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme continues to ensure that the maximum number of new entrants are approved with the shortest possible waiting times while remaining on track to deliver a balanced budgetary position by year end. My Department and the HSE will continue to closely engage on this matter, including with a view to improving the approval time frame for release of funding for approved cases.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (1298)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

1298. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be called for an operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36551/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1299)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1299. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36552/19]

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.

Hospital Overcrowding

Ceisteanna (1300)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

1300. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health his plans to alleviate the issue of overcrowding in a hospital (details supplied). [36554/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I wish to acknowledge the distress overcrowded Emergency Departments cause to patients, their families, and frontline staff working in very challenging conditions in hospitals throughout the country.

This is a very busy period for our health services, with many hospitals reporting significant numbers of patient attendances. For the first seven months of 2019, the number of patients attending hospital EDs increased by 3.3%, and the number of ED admissions increased by 2.3% compared to the same period last year.

My Department is engaging extensively with the HSE this year to identify mitigating actions to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in the ED in the face of growing demand.

An independent expert review aimed at identifying the specific factors that contributed to performance over the winter period is now under way. The group will carry out a comparative analysis of unscheduled care performance across the nine hospital sites and the relevant Community Healthcare Organisations that were the subject of specific focused support through Winter 2018/2019. This will include Cork University Hospital and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. My Department and the HSE will receive the report of the independent review group and its recommendations in due course.

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 additional acute beds in Cork University Hospital.

- 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.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (1301)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

1301. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 117 of 2 July 2019, the status of the options appraisal for the model 4 hospital at Merlin Park, Galway; the cost to date of the options appraisal process; the anticipated overall cost of the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36555/19]

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.

Hospitals Building Programme

Ceisteanna (1302)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

1302. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the status of the new emergency department at University Hospital Galway; the timeframe for delivery; the anticipated cost of the unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36556/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive recently published its Capital Plan for 2019-2021 outlining 250 projects to be progressed over the three-year period.

The Capital Plan includes the new Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that the new ED will be part of a larger development incorporating maternity and paediatric services. Significant pre-planning work is being undertaken in this regard.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals, including the new Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway, must progress through detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, in line with the requirements of the Public Spending Code, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (1303)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

1303. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if an operation will be brought forward for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36557/19]

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.

Hospital Discharges

Ceisteanna (1304)

John Curran

Ceist:

1304. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 1203 of 23 July 2019, the number of persons waiting one week, one, three, six and 12 months, respectively, to be discharged from each hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36566/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Department does not have the level of detail the Deputy is seeking. As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Ceisteanna (1305)

John Curran

Ceist:

1305. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 1884 of 23 July 2019, when the services listed will be operational at the centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36567/19]

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.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Ceisteanna (1306)

John Curran

Ceist:

1306. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health if the tender for the main construction work at the planned primary care centre in north Clondalkin, Rowlagh, has been issued; when enabling works will commence on site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36568/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Car Parks

Ceisteanna (1307)

John Curran

Ceist:

1307. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health when his Department and the HSE will have an implementation plan complete to accompany the review report by the HSE of hospital car parking charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36572/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Hospitals which charge parking fees are cognisant of the financial implications parking costs can have on patients and their families, particularly those with long-term illnesses. Some hospitals have introduced a maximum daily fixed parking charge, thus capping this expense. I understand that some hospitals also provide reduced rate parking for long-term patients and visitors for whom the payment of the full rate would cause hardship.

I have made it clear I want to see progress made in this area and I am working with my Department and the HSE in this regard. In March 2018, I requested the HSE to conduct a review of hospital car parking charges with a view to establishing clear national guidelines in the area. My Department and the HSE are currently engaging on a draft implementation plan to accompany the review report.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (1308)

John Curran

Ceist:

1308. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the actions that have been taken to reduce the spread of measles and the risk of Ireland losing its measles-free status (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36576/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have recently announced my intention to establish a Vaccination Alliance of policy makers, healthcare professionals and patient advocates to examine vaccine hesitancy, the reasons behind it and what we can do to combat it. I also intend to travel to the Global Vaccination Summit later this month to discuss the issue with my European colleagues.

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is responsible for the surveillance of notifiable infectious diseases such as measles. As the Deputy’s question relates to a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (1309, 1355)

John Curran

Ceist:

1309. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health if the delay in reimbursing Tagrisso for the treatment of a small group of cancer patients will be reviewed (details supplied); the necessary steps to ensure availability of the drug; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36577/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

1355. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the reimbursement status of Tagrisso; the recommendation and decision taken by the HSE leadership team with regard to the reimbursement of the drug in July 2019; when it will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36905/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1309 and 1355 together.

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.

In line with the 2013 Act and the national framework agreed with industry, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE, the company must submit an application to the HSE to have the new medicine added to the reimbursement list.

Reimbursement is for licenced indications which have been granted market authorisation by the European Medicines Agency or the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE).

I am advised by the HSE that it has received two applications for the reimbursement of osimertinib:

1) The treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC.

In respect of this indication, the HSE received a health technology assessment (cost utility analysis) for this application in May 2018. Following the assessment and after a number of rounds of commercial negotiations and HSE reviews, the HSE notified the applicant in February 2019 that it was minded to not approve reimbursement for this indication.

The 2013 Act provides for a period of representations after such notifications, before the HSE can make its final decision. The HSE have received representations from the manufacturer and they are under consideration by the HSE leadership team in advance of a final reimbursement decision.

2) The first-line treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations.

In respect of the second indication, a health technology assessment was completed on 6 August 2019 with the NCPE recommending that 'osimertinib not be considered for reimbursement unless cost effectiveness can be improved relative to existing treatments.' The HSE will assess this application for reimbursement in line with the 2013 Health Act.

Medicinal Products Availability

Question No. 1311 answered with Question No. 1294.

Ceisteanna (1310)

John Curran

Ceist:

1310. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the progress being made to make intranasal naloxone spray available to healthcare professionals and drug workers which reverses the effects of opioid overdose within minutes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36578/19]

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.

Question No. 1311 answered with Question No. 1294.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (1312)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

1312. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which a person (details supplied) can qualify for corrective dental treatment through their medical card or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36592/19]

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.

European Health Insurance Card

Ceisteanna (1313)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

1313. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; if their eligibility can be applied retrospectively under a heading; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36602/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

It is my understanding that this case concerns the application of charges for services received under the EHIC scheme. The person concerned, as is normal practice in situations where a person presents for necessary treatment while on a temporary stay without an EHIC, is advised to contact the competent institution in their Member State of Affiliation regarding the reimbursement of the charges incurred.

Separately, it is my understanding that an application for a medical card was made but remains incomplete. The person concerned is advised to engage with the HSE to seek to complete their application. However, it important to note that Medical card eligibility is not applied retrospectively.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (1314)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

1314. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if speech therapy can be restored to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36603/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Availability

Ceisteanna (1315)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

1315. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Duodopa, which is particularly advised to patients with Parkinson’s disease who require pump therapy, is no longer available to such patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36609/19]

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.

Proposed Legislation

Ceisteanna (1316)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

1316. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health when the Bill to give effect to the proposed changes to the fair deal scheme will come before the Houses of the Oireachtas; the full extent of the proposed changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36616/19]

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 the 11th June 2019 and subsequently published. 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.

National Maternity Hospital Status

Ceisteanna (1317)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

1317. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the status of the discussions with St. Vincent’s and Holles Street hospitals in relation to the governance of the new maternity hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36623/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy may wish to note that the Mulvey Agreement, which was agreed following extensive discussions between the National Maternity Hospital and the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, will provide the basis for the governance arrangements for the new maternity hospital on the St Vincent's Hospital campus. The terms of the agreement provide for the establishment of a new company - National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park DAC - which will have clinical and operational, as well as financial and budgetary independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services.

Hospital Consultant Contracts

Ceisteanna (1318, 1319)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

1318. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the status of the consultant contract negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36624/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

1319. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health when the inequity of new consultant pay introduced in 2012 will be corrected as per the recommendations of the de Buitléir report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36625/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1318 and 1319 together.

The Report of the Independent Review Group established to examine private activity in public hospitals was published on the 26 August 2019. The recommendations in the report have implications for contracts under which consultants working in the health service would be employed. It is my intention to consult with key stakeholders and with my colleagues in Government on the Report, in advance of any negotiations with consultants representative bodies on a new contract. My Department officials and I have met with the IHCA in recent months to discuss a range of issues. It is my view a process should be commenced with the various bodies in the near future. However, any solution has to be realistic and affordable.