Hospital Equipment

Ceisteanna (368)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

368. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the retention of an MRI scanner at Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, referred to in the capital plan; and the number of staff required to operate the service. [37150/19]

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 Recruitment

Ceisteanna (369)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

369. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the number of staff recruited to date to operate an MRI scanner at Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore. [37151/19]

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

Ceisteanna (370)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

370. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to difficulties regarding the lack of key staff to operate an MRI scanner at Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37152/19]

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 Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (371)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

371. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a child (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37161/19]

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.

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (372)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

372. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the timelines for the extension in Fermoy Community Hospital in view of the fact that it was included in the HSE Capital Plan 2019; and the details of the planned extension. [37162/19]

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 provides for €220m capital funding to the Community Nursing Unit programme over the period 2019 to 2021 and also sets out the current status of all projects within the programme, including St. Patrick's Community Hospital, Fermoy.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that a design team has been appointed to the project, which is expected to have 72 beds, and planning has been granted for the project since August 2019. The project is currently advancing through acceptance of statutory conditions and detailed design. It is anticipated that construction could commence in mid 2020 and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

It is important to note that all proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (373)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

373. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the status of the HSE proposals with respect to the future of Lifford Community Hospital post-2021; if health services offered at the facility will be preserved as part of plans to redevelop the unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37166/19]

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.

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (374)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

374. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of replacement home help hours for a person (details supplied). [37173/19]

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.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (375, 376)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

375. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health when a position (details supplied) will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37175/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

376. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health when the embargo on recruitment in CHO9 Dublin north will be lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37176/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 375 and 376 together.

I am advised by the HSE that while there is no recruitment embargo or moratorium, there is a priority requirement for all HSE services to maintain, or get to, an affordable staffing level that is sustainable in 2019 and 2020, while also prioritising the delivery of safe services.

In light of this, the HSE advise that they have introduced control measures relating to staffing and recruitment to ensure that they live within the available resources provided to them. This does mean that in some Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations non-critical replacement posts will be paused. The preference is for these controls to remain in place for as short a period as necessary, with on-going review until there is satisfactory evidence of traction and delivery of balanced financial plans from Hospital Groups and CHO’s.

The HSE report that there is on-going capacity for recruitment of newly funded posts and replacement of critical clinical posts within frontline services throughout this period.

With regard to CHO9 Dublin North specifically and the Occupational Therapy post the Deputy is enquiring about, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Medicinal Products Supply

Ceisteanna (377)

John Brassil

Ceist:

377. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 390 of 9 July 2019, the updated position regarding the provision of duodopa for peritoneal dialysis 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. [37182/19]

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.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (378)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

378. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hearing aid for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37186/19]

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.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Ceisteanna (379)

John Brassil

Ceist:

379. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the provision of a primary care centre in Rathmore, County Kerry; his plans to prioritise the provision of this service as a permanent location for general practitioner services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37188/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Community Development Projects Funding

Ceisteanna (380)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

380. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided to an organisation (details supplied) to support its work in the community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37189/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

Ceisteanna (381)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

381. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health his plans to deal with the growing waiting lists and the pressures upon families, hospitals and community care nationally due to delays in accessing fair deal and transitional care funding support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37194/19]

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.

The HSE has noted that the number of residents in nursing homes whom are supported by the NHSS is 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. 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.

My Department and the HSE are working to ensure that the resources that are available are deployed in the most effective way possible and deliver the best outcomes for older people, and are also engaging extensively with the HSE in the context of planning for winter, including consideration of the response to dealing with the current challenges such as the high-level of delayed transfers of care. While this engagement continues the HSE has been authorised to undertake immediate action to mitigate the challenges. Engagement will continue over the coming weeks having regard to the Estimates 2020 process.

Delayed Transfers of Care continue to represent a significant challenge to the Health Service as a whole, and for some hospital patients their ultimate destination will be into transitional care or long term residential care supported by the NHSS. However, there are a number of challenges apart from those related to the NHSS, that lead to delayed transfers of care. The Delayed Discharges Implementation Group has been established to address these challenges through the implementation of the recommendations emanating from the Report of the Independent Expert Review of Delayed Discharges.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (382)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

382. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37196/19]

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 Appointments Administration

Ceisteanna (383)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

383. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an operation will be rescheduled for a person (details supplied). [37200/19]

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.

Rehabilitation Training Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (384)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

384. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health his plans to reinstate the rehabilitative training allowance for new students; if not, the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37214/19]

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (385)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Ceist:

385. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment. [37225/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

386. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the way in which he plans to introduce free contraception as recommended by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution; if models in other countries are being reviewed to ensure that choice is maintained; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37226/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

387. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if general practitioners have been consulted regarding the model that is being considered and the process that is being selected on the way in which free contraception is introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37227/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

388. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if an organisation (details supplied) is on the group that he set up to discuss free contraception becoming available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37228/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

389. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if training of health personnel will be included in the free contraception scheme once it is introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37229/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

390. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the way in which he is ensuring that the free contraception regime that he plans to introduce will protect the human rights principles of non-discrimination and informed decision making for all women on their contraception of choice including the most recent up-to-date options; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37230/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

391. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if the free contraception scheme he plans to introduce will be limited to the oral contraceptive pill and condoms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37231/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

392. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the way in which general practitioners and pharmacists will co-operate professionally when the new contraception scheme is introduced; if pharmacists will have the powers to prescribe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37232/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 386 to 392, inclusive, together.

A Working Group was established in April 2019 to consider the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception. The Group was established as an internal Working Group and consists of officials from relevant policy areas within the Department of Health. 

The Group is working to the following Terms of Reference:  

- To conduct a rapid review of national and international literature on contraception and associated issues;

- To specifically examine the extent to which cost is a barrier to accessing reliable methods of contraception in Ireland and to consider whether there are other factors influencing access to contraception that could be addressed;

- To examine mechanisms to address any access issues identified, including financial, legislative, regulatory and contractual issues, as well as any other relevant matters;

- To consult with relevant stakeholders; and

- To make recommendations to the Minister on the optimal policy options and next steps.

These ToR have enabled the Group to consider the different issues raised by the Deputy, including considerations about the cost and efficacy of different contraceptive methods; the importance of informed decision-making; international comparators; and the potential role of and training requirements for healthcare professionals.

A   public consultation exercise was conducted in July-August, and meetings have been held with various stakeholders, including the Irish Family Planning Association.   A meeting with the Irish College of General Practitioners has also been scheduled.       

The Group is continuing its deliberations and intends to report to the Minister shortly.