Health Services

Ceisteanna (870)

James Browne

Ceist:

870. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if the HSE plans to include bowel cleansing services within the public health system for diverticulitis sufferers here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35041/19]

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.

Pension Provisions

Ceisteanna (871)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

871. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35044/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (872)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

872. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 123 of 16 May 2019, the status of services as outlined in the reply (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35055/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

HSE Properties

Ceisteanna (873)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

873. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the sale of a site (details supplied); if it can be retained in public ownership due to its historical significance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35056/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for the management of the public healthcare property estate. Details of properties which have been vacated or are due to be vacated are captured as part of the annual service planning strategy. These properties are reviewed for future use and suitability. They may be refurbished immediately, retained for future use or sold.

The HSE operates a protocol for the disposal of surplus property assets, in accordance with Government Policy for Disposal of Surplus Property . This protocol sets out three options:

1 Transfer to another public body or State agency;

2 Open market sale, subject to favourable market conditions;

3 Other uses such as community / voluntary use will be considered only if points 1 and 2 above do not materialise.

Any proposals for the disposal of surplus property assets must be considered in the context of the capital funding available to Health and the Government's Reform Plan relating to the State's property asset use and management. In this context, the HSE is required to obtain value for money when disposing of surplus property assets. These proceeds will be re-invested in delivering much needed health care infrastructure.

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to the current status of this property.

First Aid Training

Ceisteanna (874, 876)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

874. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding costs of first aid course certificates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35063/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

876. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason the PHECC increased the cost of first aid certificates by up to €25. [35065/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 874 and 876 together.

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) is an independent statutory body with responsibility for professional regulation in the area of pre-hospital emergency care including the recognition of professional qualifications.

Accordingly, the Deputy's queries have been referred to PHECC for direct response.

Health Services

Question No. 876 answered with Question No. 874.

Ceisteanna (875)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

875. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35064/19]

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.

Question No. 876 answered with Question No. 874.

First-Aid Training

Ceisteanna (877)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

877. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason first-aid trainers do not have proper representation on the PHECC council. [35066/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The composition of the PHECC Council is provided for under Section 5 of SI No.109 of 2000. While I acknowledge that the legislation does not provide for specific representation on the Council for first aid trainers, the Deputy may wish to note that under Section 5(1)(h), I may appoint three persons

with a special interest in pre-hospital emergency care.

While currently there are no vacancies on the PHECC Council, a number of vacancies will arise in 2020, some of which will be filled through a Public Appointment Service process. It will be open to first aid trainers to make an application for Council membership at that stage, and I would certainly welcome any such application. I expect the Public Appointment Service to commence early in 2020.

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (878)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

878. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the amount spent by each maternity hospital in the past five years to date on infant feed formula, teats and bottles by hospital, amount and year; if hospitals are permitted to accept infant feed formula and related products without charge from suppliers for distribution to patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35071/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to the Deputy directly.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (879)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

879. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of a place in a home for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35073/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (880)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

880. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hearing aid application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35086/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (881)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

881. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of funding for a bus service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35095/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Eligibility

Ceisteanna (882)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

882. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health his plans to raise the eligibility threshold for the over 70 medical card in view of increases in costs of living. [35096/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) (No. 2) Act 2013, when a person attains the age of 70, the medical card income limits are €500 gross income per week for a single person and €900 gross income per week for a couple. While there are no plans at present to revise the income thresholds for medical cards, it is vitally important that the medical card system is responsive and sensitive to people's needs.

In that regard my Department keeps medical card issues, including existing thresholds under constant review. The gross medical card income limits for the over 70's are reviewed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index. Any new policy measures regarding income thresholds for either medical cards or GP visit cards to be incorporated into the forthcoming Budget will be considered by Government as part of the 2020 Estimates process.

It is important to note that if a person's sole income is derived from a social welfare payment, even where this payment is in excess of the current income thresholds, the persons will be awarded a medical card. In addition, the Deputy may be aware, that from August 2015 all persons aged 70 or over qualify for a GP visit card, regardless of income.

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications

Ceisteanna (883)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

883. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health when a new wheelchair will be provided for a child (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35100/19]

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.

Ambulance Service Data

Ceisteanna (884)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

884. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the HSE procurement framework for private ambulances that is being operated; when the framework was established; the period covered by the framework; when the framework expired; the value of payments under the framework in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; if these payments are in line with procurement rules in the HSE; the reason the current tendering for the framework for private ambulances has not progressed in view of the fact that the HSE is examining whether to continue or restart that process and its plans to pay for private ambulances outside of an approved procurement process; when he expects a new procurement framework for private ambulances to be in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35110/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Agency Staff Expenditure

Ceisteanna (885)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

885. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the spend on agency staff in each HSE hospital for January to July 2019, by month and hospital in tabular form. [35111/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (886)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

886. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the status of the refurbishment and reopening of the HSE children's dental service (details supplied) in Celbridge, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35117/19]

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.

Assisted Human Reproduction

Ceisteanna (887, 912, 1175, 1208)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

887. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of funding for IVF (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35121/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

912. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health the status of the IVF funding set aside (details supplied). [35210/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

1175. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the financial assistance established for families that need to undergo IVF treatment as in the case of a person (details supplied). [36067/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

1208. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if and when funding will be provided for patients who wish to undergo a course of IVF treatment here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36285/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 887, 912, 1175 and 1208 together.

In October 2017, the Government approved the drafting of a bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health published the report of its review of the General Scheme on 11 July 2019, as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January 2018. The Committee makes 11 main recommendations, which include proposals both related to broad policy objectives and more technical amendments. Given the comprehensive scope of the legislation and the ethical, legal and social issues which arise from AHR practices, it is anticipated that certain areas of the General Scheme will require further consideration and refinement during the ongoing process of drafting the bill. The Joint Committee's Report and its recommendations will be considered as part of this process.

Interlinked with the legislation, officials in my Department, in conjunction with the HSE, are developing a model of care for infertility and an associated public fund for AHR. This work includes developing proposals on the allocation of the €1 million fund for use in relation to AHR which was announced in December 2018.

Accordingly, options in relation to the parameters of any potential public funding model, including what eligibility criteria may be included, are still under consideration, and an announcement will be forthcoming once the relevant decisions have been finalised.

It should be noted that while AHR treatment is not currently funded by the Irish Public Health Service, a defined list of fertility medicines needed for fertility treatment is covered under the High Tech Arrangements administered by the HSE. Medicines covered by the High Tech Arrangements must be prescribed by a consultant/specialist and authorised for supply to the client’s nominated community pharmacy by the High Tech Hub managed by the Primary Care Reimbursement Service. The cost of the medicines is then covered, as appropriate, under the client’s eligibility, i.e., Medical Card or Drugs Payment Scheme.

I understand that the impact on the total cost of AHR treatment for individuals who avail of these schemes is not insignificant.

In addition, there is other support available in that patients who access IVF treatment privately may claim tax relief on the costs involved under the tax relief for medical expenses scheme.

Overall, the development of a model of care for infertility will help to ensure the provision of safe, effective and accessible services through the public health system as part of the full range of services available in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Respite Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (888)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

888. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive respite care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35125/19]

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 Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (889)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

889. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when treatment for cataracts will be offered to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35130/19]

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.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (890)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

890. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will be considered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35131/19]

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.

Medical Card Drugs Availability

Ceisteanna (891)

James Browne

Ceist:

891. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health his plans to include vitamin injections as part of medical card cover when the injections are prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35133/19]

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 pricing and reimbursement of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Blind Welfare Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (892)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

892. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health when the blind welfare allowance will be fully restored to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35134/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Funding

Ceisteanna (893)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

893. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the amount of funding his Department has allocated to services (details supplied) in counties Longford and Westmeath since 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35142/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Commencement of Legislation

Ceisteanna (894, 914)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

894. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health when Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 will be commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35154/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

914. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the reason for the four year delay in commencing Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015; the planned date of commencement for the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35301/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 894 and 914 together.

Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives (AHDs). An AHD is a statement made by a person with capacity setting out his or her will and preferences regarding treatment decisions that may arise in the future when he or she no longer has capacity. On 17 October 2016 the Minister for Health established a multidisciplinary working group to prepare a detailed series of recommendations for the Director of the Decision Support Service (DSS), in relation to the code of practice under section 91(2) of the Act. In anticipation of the completion of that process, the Minister for Health commenced the remainder of section 91 on 17 December 2018 [S.I. No. 527 of 2018]. This enabled the Director of the DSS to progress the preparation of the code of practice on the AHD provisions, based on the working group’s recommendations, and in accordance with the specific process outlined in the Act. The multidisciplinary working group submitted its recommendations on the code of practice to the Director of the DSS on 21 December 2018.

The Director of the DSS will go out to consultation of the recommendations and once completed the final code of practice can be published by the Director with the Minister's consent. It is not possible to give a timeline for implementation of Part 8 of the Act at this time but work is ongoing to address the various requirement of this Part before commencement.