Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (300)

James Browne

Ceist:

300. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the development of a new mental health unit at University Hospital Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38428/19]

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.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (301)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

301. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the weighting percentages to be used as part of the upcoming HSE FreeStyle Libre review decision making process that will be given to criteria (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38429/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (302)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

302. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health if the reimbursement dataset will specifically cover only current HSE funded users of the FreeStyle Libre device; if the Health Technology Assessment Group review will just compare total blood glucose strip usage spend year on year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38430/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Ceisteanna (303)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

303. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health the reason an operation has not proceeded for a person (details supplied); when they will be called for an appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38431/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Maintaining scheduled care access for all patients is a key priority for hospitals. I fully acknowledge the distress and inconvenience for patients and their families when elective procedures are cancelled, particularly for clinically urgent procedures.

While every effort is made to avoid cancellation or postponement of planned procedures, the HSE advise that planned procedures and operations can be postponed or cancelled for a variety of reasons including capacity issues due to increased scheduled and unscheduled care demand, medical reasons, and patient choice.

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

Ambulance Service Data

Ceisteanna (304)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

304. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of ambulance call-outs due to road traffic accidents recorded on the Cork to Limerick road since January 2019. [38434/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Tobacco Control Measures

Ceisteanna (305)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

305. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to vaping advertising on bus stops here; his views on whether such advertising should be curtailed; if he or his officials have met with representatives of the vaping and e-cigarette industry to date in 2019; and if so, the circumstances under which the meeting occurred. [38439/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

E-cigarettes are regulated under the European Union (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016 (S.I. 271/2016). These Regulations prohibit advertisements for e-cigarettes online and in printed publications except for those directed at persons in the e-cigarette industry or publications printed and published outside the EU and intended for markets outside the EU. In addition, advertisements for e-cigarettes are prohibited on television, on-demand television services and on radio. Finally, any form of contribution to an event, activity or person with the aim of promoting e-cigarettes and with a cross-border effect is also prohibited.

The current priority in relation to e-cigaretes is the draft scheme under development for a Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill. The Bill will include provisions to prohibit the sale of nicotine inhaling products such as e-cigarettes by and to persons under the age of 18 and introduce a new licensing system for the retail sale of nicotine-inhaling products such as e-cigarettes.

Neither I, nor my officials have met with representatives of the vaping and e-cigarette industry to date in 2019.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (306)

Pat Buckley

Ceist:

306. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the weighting percentages to be used as part of the upcoming HSE FreeStyle Libre device review decision making process that will be given to criteria (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38441/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (307)

Pat Buckley

Ceist:

307. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health if the reimbursement dataset will specifically cover only current HSE funded users of the FreeStyle Libre device; and if not, if the Health Technology Assessment Group review will compare total blood glucose strip usage spend year on year. [38442/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (308)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

308. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the weighting percentages to be used as part of the upcoming HSE FreeStyle Libre review decision making process to be given to criteria (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38443/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (309)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

309. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health if the reimbursement data set will specifically cover only current HSE funded users of the FreeStyle Libre device; if not, if the Health Technology Assessment Group review will compare total blood glucose strip usage spend year on year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38444/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Pharmacy Services

Ceisteanna (310)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

310. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health if the necessary arrangements will be put in place to ensure that prescribed medications and repeat prescriptions issued by pharmacies will be on a calendar month basis which for 11 months of the year is a 30 or 31 day period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38445/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (311)

James Browne

Ceist:

311. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the availability of propranolol under the drug payment scheme; if the drug will be made available to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38447/19]

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 medicines; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (312)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

312. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if the reimbursement dataset will specifically cover only current HSE funded users of the FreeStyle Libre device; and if not, if the Health Technology Assessment Group review will compare total blood glucose strip usage spend year on year. [38448/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (313)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

313. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the weighting percentages to be used as part of the upcoming HSE FreeStyle Libre review decision making process that will be given to criteria (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38450/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Ceisteanna (314)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

314. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a reimbursement payment through the cross border directive scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38451/19]

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.

HSE Staff

Ceisteanna (315)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

315. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to an employment issue for healthcare workers (details supplied) in County Cork. [38455/19]

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 a service issue, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (316)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

316. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the processing time for colposcopy results by hospital; the number of laboratories examining these biopsies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38465/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

CervicalCheck has established a network of quality assured colposcopy clinics for women requiring further investigation following a smear test. A woman can be referred to one of 15 colposcopy clinics located nationwide. Colposcopy units have experienced significant pressure in recent months, in light of increased demand from both screening and direct referral.

The HSE advises that extra clinical sessions have been added to reduce waiting lists, and extra efforts are being made when appointments are cancelled to fill the vacant slot to further reduce waiting lists, and to ensure the increased referrals are categorised promptly. Notwithstanding these efforts, clinics have been experiencing service pressures, and additional funding is being provided this year to address these pressures.

In relation to the specific data requested, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

National Carers' Strategy Funding

Ceisteanna (317)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

317. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if he will allocate annual funding of €3.2 million in budget 2020 to an organisation (details supplied) to assist it in the delivery of vital core services to carers nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38471/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the 2012 National Carers' Strategy, a range of measures have been introduced or extended by the Department of Health and other departments to support family carers. Funding has been secured for information and training supports for family carers, the development of support networks and support groups to assist with the transition back into social and economic life at the end of the caring role and measures that assist in promoting carer self-identification. In 2016 and 2017, continued payments after the death of the cared for person or their permanent move into residential care or a nursing home was extended from 6 weeks to 12. Since September 2018, free GP visit cards have been extended to persons in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance.

The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.

Transport Support Scheme

Ceisteanna (318)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

318. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if he will replace the mobility and transport grant which was withdrawn in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38472/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

In line with the Government decision in 2013, persons who were in receipt of the Mobility Allowance at the time that the scheme closed have continued to receive the monthly payment.

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

The Deputies may wish to note that in July this year, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D., announced CLÁR funding of €890,632 to 20 voluntary community organisations. This funding will support the purchase and/or fit out of vehicles to provide transport for people in rural areas with mobility issues. It will support voluntary organisations that provide:

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

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

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

General Practitioner Services Provision

Ceisteanna (319)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

319. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if he will extend the general practitioner visit card to carers in receipt of the carer's support grant in Budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38473/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Since 01 September 2018 all those in receipt of either a full or half-rate Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit are automatically eligible for a GP service free of charge. There are currently no plans to extend GP visit Cards to persons specifically in receipt of a Carer's Support Grant (formerly known as the Respite Care Grant), however it is noted that many persons in receipt of this Grant will qualify for a GP visit card as the Carer's Support Grant is paid automatically to persons in receipt of Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit.