Medical Card Eligibility

Ceisteanna (141)

James Browne

Ceist:

141. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the reason medical card cover does not cover operations conducted by periodontists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40192/19]

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.

Home Care Packages Provision

Ceisteanna (142)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

142. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if the position in which some HSE staff are refusing to take representations from TDs in respect of homecare services on the grounds of GDPR will be clarified; the specific direction given to staff in this regard; the arrangements for TDs to interact with staff in respect of constituents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40196/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This is a question for the HSE. Representations by elected representatives fall under Section 40 of the Data Protection Act. The Data Controller in this respect is the HSE and so it is for the HSE to decide how to deal with these representations, and it will have its own policy on this. It should be noted that there is a section on the Data Protection Commissioner's website providing guidance on Section 40 representations.

Disabilities Assessments

Ceisteanna (143)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

143. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health when an assessment of needs will be carried out for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40200/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service issue, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (144)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

144. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in County Louth on waiting lists for home support hours. [40201/19]

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 Data

Ceisteanna (145)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

145. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of home support hours which have been approved and enacted since June 2019. [40202/19]

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 (146)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

146. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if only palliative patients in County Louth have been allocated home support hours since June 2019. [40203/19]

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 Data

Ceisteanna (147)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

147. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of home help hours allocated to County Louth; and if home help hours are recycled within a county or on a CHO-wide basis. [40204/19]

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 (148)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

148. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of extra home help hours for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40205/19]

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.

Tobacco Control Measures

Ceisteanna (149)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

149. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his views on the banning of vending machines (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40206/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Tobacco use is both addictive and lethal and remains the leading risk factor driving the most death and disability combined in Ireland. Approximately 6,000 of our population die annually from tobacco related diseases and tobacco use has been estimated to cost Irish society €10.7 billion annually. This is comprised of healthcare costs of $507 million, productivity costs of €1,071 million, fires and litter costs of €75 million and loss of welfare of €9,012 million.

The 2018 Healthy Ireland Survey found that 20% of those aged 15 or over are current smokers

Tobacco Free Ireland, our national tobacco control policy, has set an overarching goal of having Ireland tobacco free by 2025 (i.e. a smoking prevalence of less than 5%) and prioritising the protection of children and the denormalisation of smoking.

In this context I intend to bring forward a proposal for legislation that will, among other important steps in tobacco control, prohibit the sale of tobacco products from self - service vending machines in order to protect our children, to further denormalise smoking and to reach our goal of becoming a tobacco free society.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (150)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

150. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [40215/19]

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 Status

Ceisteanna (151)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

151. 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. [40216/19]

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 Services

Ceisteanna (152)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

152. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if x-ray results for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40219/19]

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 Services

Ceisteanna (153, 154, 245)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

153. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health the steps he has taken to identify and implement a direct pathway to high-level care for women and their families that suffered significant side effects and have been severely disaffected by the transvaginal mesh implant devices they received within the healthcare system since the numerous meetings he has facilitated with members of a group (details supplied) and others over the past year and beyond; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40220/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

154. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the transvaginal mesh implant devices procedure in view of the number of affected women; if his attention has been drawn to the risks associated with this procedure and the need for a State apology and possible compensation to be awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40221/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

245. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number and which of the 19 recommendations of the report of the Chief Medical Officer on vaginal mesh was introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40471/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 153, 154 and 245 together.

As Minister for Health, I requested Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), to draft a report on the use of Uro-Gynaecological Mesh in the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women. The report covers the clinical and technical issues involved in ensuring both:

1. the safe and effective provision of mesh procedures in urogynaecology and

2. an appropriate response to women who suffer complications as a result of undergoing such procedures.

This report was published on the Department of Health website on 21 November 2018.

The CMO’s Report identifies that for many women, surgical procedures using synthetic mesh devices have provided a more effective and less invasive form of treatment than traditional SUI and POP procedures. However, mesh devices are associated with significant and severe complications in a minority of women. These are of concern given the difficulties of mesh implant removal.

The CMO's Report makes 19 recommendations including:

- the development of patient information and informed consent materials;

- surgical professional training and multidisciplinary expertise in units carrying out mesh procedures;

- the development of clinical guidance;

- the development of information systems to monitor the ongoing use of mesh devices;

- ensuring the reporting of mesh related complications; and

- ensuring timely, appropriate and accessible care pathways for the management of women with complications.

In advance of the report’s completion, the HSE was requested in May 2018 to begin work immediately on the development of national standardised patient information and informed consent materials and the clarification and development of treatment pathways and appropriate referral services for women suffering serious complications.

The HSE was also asked by the Chief Medical Officer on 24 July 2018 to pause all mesh procedures where clinically safe to do so, pending confirmation by the HSE of the implementation of recommendations relating to (i) professional training requirements, (ii) patient information and consent and (iii) the development and maintenance of a national data set for all mesh procedures carried out in HSE funded hospitals.

A Synthetic Mesh Devices Advisory Group was convened by the HSE, to advise on and progress all of the recommendations which included three patient representatives, as well as representatives of the HPRA, the IOG, the RCSI, the CFI and all Hospital Groups to advise on and action all of the recommendations above.

I am informed that an ongoing work programme for the clarification and development of treatment pathways and appropriate referral services for women suffering from mesh-related complications is being progressed by the HSE. This work includes identifying the appropriate specialist clinical expertise and facilities required at hospital group level and nationally to provide comprehensive aftercare services.

Pending the completion of this work, I am informed that work to identify and progress service options for women with immediate or urgent needs is nearing completion.

As was requested by the Secretary General of my Department in November 2018, the HSE prepared an Implementation Plan for the complete set of recommendations set out in the CMO’s Report, which was approved by the Leadership Team in the HSE and published on the HSE website on 26 April 2019.

I am informed that the HSE has advised that a further detailed progress report on implementation of the recommendations will be provided to my Department in the coming weeks.

The HSE has published a dedicated webpage about vaginal mesh implants, including contact information for women suffering complications, which I hope is a useful resource. This can be found on the HSE website.

I would strongly encourage all women affected by mesh to engage with the relevant HSE contact points provided, to ensure that their service needs can be identified and provided for.

At my meeting with the Mesh Survivors Ireland Group on 7 March 2019 I agreed to continue engagement with them on a pathway forward, to ensure that the ongoing clinical management of this patient group is in line with international best practice and emerging evidence. It is my intention to meet again with the Mesh Survivors Ireland group in the coming weeks.

Mesh devices are regulated medical devices and the overall risk benefit profile associated with their use is considered positive. There is no basis for the introduction of a general redress scheme for women who have suffered mesh complications.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (155)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

155. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided for a wheelchair for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40222/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (156)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

156. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of equipment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40223/19]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Staff

Ceisteanna (157)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

157. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if funding will be available to a service (details supplied) in order for it to hire additional speech and language therapists to prevent cutbacks to the vital service it provides to children with autism. [40228/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service issue, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

National Children's Hospital

Ceisteanna (158)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

158. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if all correspondence between his Department and the national paediatric hospital development board since 1 February 2019 will be provided. [40231/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) was established in 2007 under SI 246/2007.  The NPHDB has statutory responsibility for planning, designing, building and equipping the new children's hospital.  Correspondence between the NPHDB and my Department would encompass a range of matters in relation to the hospital, including for example funding, developments, updates and organisational matters as well as ongoing engagement on general issues and on, for instance, representations and Parliamentary Questions received in my Department.

While the precise extent of correspondence between the NPHDB and my Department is not presently quantified, it can be anticipated that the volume would be significant.  From a practical perspective, it would not be possible to arrange for the search, retrieval and compilation of the full extent of correspondence within the normal timeframe for response to Parliamentary Questions, nor to review the documents from the perspective of compliance with data protection principles.

I will be more than happy to respond to a request from the Deputy for correspondence on information of a more specific nature in relation to the NPHDB.

Health Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (159)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

159. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the corrective and preventative actions that have been put in place under the diabetic retina screen programme to ensure the correct results are issued to the correct patient, in a timely manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40232/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (160)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

160. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting scoliosis procedures; the number of these procedures that have taken place on a weekly and monthly basis in the past twelve months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40238/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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