Eating Disorders

Ceisteanna (197, 198, 199)

James Browne

Ceist:

197. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the model of care for eating disorders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42713/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

198. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if 2018 funding for the model of care for eating disorders has been drawn down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42714/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

199. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health when 2019 funding for the model of care for eating disorders has been drawn down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42715/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 to 199, inclusive, together.

As these are a service issues I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

National Drugs Strategy Budget

Ceisteanna (200)

John Curran

Ceist:

200. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the details of budget 2020 funding for the national drugs strategy; the increase relative to 2019; if additional funding is to be provided in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42716/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am delighted to have secured additional funding of €0.485m in Budget 2020 for implementation of the national drugs strategy. The additional funding will establish a new health diversion programme for people using drugs, increase awareness of drug-related harms, improve access to HSE addiction services and support initiatives developed by Drug and Alcohol Task Forces.

€200,000 has been allocated to begin the phased implementation of the Government health diversion programme for people found in possession of drugs for personal use. The programme will provide a health screening and brief intervention known as SAOR to people who are referred to the health services by An Garda Síochána.

€100,000 will be allocated for an awareness campaign about the dangers of drug use, to target high-risk groups such as young people and festival goers.

€185,000 has been provided to expand services in maternity hospitals for pregnant and post-natal women affected by substance misuse, and their babies. This funding includes the recruitment of additional drug and alcohol liaison midwives.

Budget 2020 also provides for the continued funding of €1m for Drug and Alcohol Task Forces. Of this, €10,000 is being provided in core funding to each of the 24 Drug and Alcohol Task Forces. Funding of €60,000 is being provided for each of the 12 strategic health initiatives which reflect priorities agreed between Task Forces and CHOs. These initiatives target young people, women, families and services users, and homeless people and others with complex needs. It is envisaged a further initiative will be funded on drug-related intimidation.

Budget 2020

Ceisteanna (201)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

201. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the breakdown of the €1 billion increase in health funding announced in budget 2020; the amount which stems from the supplementary in 2019; the amount which provides for the existing level of service; the amount provided for demographics; the amount which relates to increased pay for staff; and the amount which is for new and expanded services. [42720/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The gross current budget for the Health Sector for 2020 is €17,419 billion, an increase of €1,054 million or 6.4% compared to the 2019 allocation of €16,365m.

The increase in the current budget of €1,054m comprises funding to maintain the existing level of service within the level of funding available, cover costs associated with Brexit (€18m), and €210m in funding for new expenditure measures including:

- Older Persons Services (including NHSS): €97m

- Disabilities: €25m

- Primary Care Schemes: €45m

- Sláintecare: €10m

- National Strategies: €8m

- National Treatment Purchase Fund: €25m.

Funding is provided to the HSE for health services in accordance with the letter of determination which sets out the approved level of overall HSE expenditure for the year in question. It is the responsibility of the HSE to manage the entire budget and prepare and implement the National Service Plan which must, under legislation, set out the type and volume of health and personal social services, to be provided during the year in question within the funding allocated.  Both the additional funding allocated to demographics and pay and additional value to be derived from improved efficiencies and productivity will be considered by the HSE in setting out its National Service Plan 2020.

HSE Legal Cases

Ceisteanna (202)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

202. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the amount paid out by the HSE for legal or expert fees between 2014 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the external firms used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42722/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (203)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

203. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of older persons waiting for home support hours in counties Cavan and Monaghan. [42725/19]

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 (204)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

204. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment. [42727/19]

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.

Tobacco Control Measures

Ceisteanna (205, 206)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

205. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will reconsider the need for a ban on self-serve cigarette vending machines (details supplied); his views on the impact of such a ban on small businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42734/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

206. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if a regulatory impact assessment to review the potential effects of introducing an unnecessary ban on already age restricted self-serve cigarette vending machines will be carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42735/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 206 together.

As I have previously stated, I intend to bring forward legislation that will, among other important steps in tobacco control, prohibit the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines. This is done with the aim of protecting children from the harms of smoking and to denormalise tobacco use.

When I bring forward the proposal for this legislation it will be accompanied by a regulatory impact assessment.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Ceisteanna (207)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

207. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the appointment of a consultant oncologist with specialist knowledge of sarcoma; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42742/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Consultant Medical Oncologist with a special interest in sarcoma was due to commence on 1st September 2019.  On 17th September she advised Human Resources in St Vincent’s University Hospital that she would not be taking up the post due to personal reasons.

St Vincent’s University Hospital informed the Department of this on 25 September.  As a voluntary hospital, St Vincent's operates its own recruitment policy.  The post was subsequently re-advertised on Sunday 6th October 2019, with a closing date of Sunday 3rd November 2019.

Hospital Beds Data

Ceisteanna (208)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

208. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the full 75 beds planned to be opened under the winter plan 2018-19 were opened; and if they are still open on a full-time basis. [42758/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

According to the most recent Information provided by the HSE, 71 of the 75 acute beds opened under the HSE Winter Plan 2018/2019 currently remain open. While funding was originally only allocated to maintain the beds during the busy winter period, the HSE have indicated that they will keep these beds open for the entire year.

The HSE also advised that they are reviewing the status of the beds, with the relevant hospitals, in the context of planning for Winter 2019/2020 and the 2020 National Service Plan. My Department will be provided with a further update in the next number of weeks.

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (209)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

209. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for home support by location in tabular form; and the estimated total hours needed for a full year if each person waiting was to be allocated the average of 6.5 hours home support per week. [42761/19]

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 (210)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

210. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the progress being made on offering the FreeStyle Libre device to diabetic patients over 21 years of age for free; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42762/19]

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 Data

Ceisteanna (211)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

211. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the cost in 2018 of providing blood glucose testing strips and basic glucose meters to all diabetes sufferers under the long-term illness scheme; and the way in which this would compare to the cost of rolling out FreeStyle Libre or other electronic monitoring systems. [42763/19]

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 Data

Ceisteanna (212)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

212. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing electronic blood glucose monitoring systems, such as FreeStyle Libre, to all diabetes sufferers under the long-term illness scheme. [42764/19]

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.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (213)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

213. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health if he will address matters raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42767/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental treatments to medical card holders. Services currently available annually, without prior approval of the local HSE Principal Dental Surgeon, include an examination, two fillings and emergency extractions. Other more complex care is also provided some of which requires prior approval by a Principal Dental Surgeon. Patients with special needs and high risk patients can avail of a broader range of treatments including a scale and polish on approval of the Principal Dental Surgeon.

The Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme (DTBS), which comes under the remit of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, provides a free oral examination once in a calendar year. It also provides a payment towards either a scale and polish or periodontal treatment, if clinically necessary, once in a calendar year. Eligibility is based on a person's PRSI contributions. The DTBS and the DTSS operate under separate contracts.

Smile agus Sláinte, the National Oral Health Policy, which was published by my Department in April 2019 includes proposals for the introduction of  "packages" of oral healthcare for adult medical card holders at different intervals during their life course. The packages will focus on prevention and will include examinations, advice, and preventive therapies such as scale and polish, fissure sealants, and fluoride therapy. The timeframe for the delivery of the Policy is 2019 to 2026 and  the roll-out of these packages of care will take place incrementally over the next number of years.

Departmental Correspondence

Ceisteanna (214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 223)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

214. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to him on 10 June 2019. [42768/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

215. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from him to a person (details supplied) on 23 May 2019. [42769/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

216. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters, emails and-or briefings from a person (details supplied) to a person on 1 May 2019. [42770/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

217. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to a person on 30 April 2019. [42771/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

218. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to a person on 24 April 2019. [42772/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

219. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to a person on 5 April 2019. [42773/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

220. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to a person on 4 April 2019. [42774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

223. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to a person on 15 November 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42777/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 214 to 220, inclusive, and 223 together.

The questions relate to a range of communications between the Department of Health and the HSE between November 2018 and June 2019 regarding the roll out of termination of pregnancy services under the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018.

Commencing in November 2018, the Secretary General of the Department of Health wrote to the Deputy Director General of the HSE acknowledging the ongoing work being undertaken across the HSE in relation to the introduction of the expanded termination of pregnancy service from 1 January 2019. The Secretary General restated the Government’s view that the service should be normalised and available in the community as close to patients as possible. He also reiterated the Minister’s requirement that all nineteen maternity hospitals/units should be able to offer services to women.

In April 2019, the Secretary General wrote to the Interim Director General of the HSE to raise concerns in relation to the lack of progress regarding the full implementation of termination of pregnancy services across all maternity hospitals/units. While acknowledging the very substantial work by the HSE to ensure that services were introduced from 1 January, the Secretary General expressed the Minister’s disappointment that services were still not available in early pregnancy in all nineteen maternity hospitals and units. The letter requested the HSE’s attendance at a meeting with the Minister to detail plans to bring service provision in line with Government policy as quickly as possible. The Interim Director General responded to acknowledge the contents of the Secretary General’s letter and to confirm that the HSE would attend the meeting.

In April there was also an exchange of correspondence between the Department's Acute Hospitals Policy Division and the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme in relation to the rollout of termination of pregnancy services in the acute hospital sector. The Programme confirmed that termination services in the hospital setting was working well, and demand was within the planning parameters. The hospitals/units providing services were noted and a detailed update was provided in relation to hospitals not providing services in early pregnancy (up to twelve weeks of pregnancy). In response, the Department requested clarification in relation to hospitals not providing services in early pregnancy.

In May 2019, National Director of Acute Strategy and Planning in the HSE wrote to a Principal Officer in the Department with a briefing note on termination of pregnancy services. The brief detailed the services being provided in hospitals, listed the hospitals providing services in early pregnancy and outlined plans for service expansion in further hospitals. The Minister also wrote to the Director General in May, requesting a further update on the expansion of termination of pregnancy services in early pregnancy in the remaining maternity hospitals/units across the country. The Minister requested a more detailed report on the HSE ‘My Options’ telephone helpline, and information on arrangements put in place by the HSE for reviews to be carried out under the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2019.

In June 2019, the Director General replied to the Minister, outlining the plans in place to expand termination of pregnancy services in a number of further hospitals and addressing the approach in the remaining sites. The Director General provided a report on the My Options helpline, which included details on the number and type of calls received (information / support / counselling). Finally, he addressed the Minister’s request regarding arrangements for reviews under the Act and undertook to provide further information on same.

My Department continues to work with the HSE to ensure full implementation of the service.

HSE Correspondence

Ceisteanna (221)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

221. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a copy of letters and-or emails from a person (details supplied) to the HSE on 2 April 2019. [42775/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The following is the information that relates to the matters referred to by the Deputy.

The officer in question works in my Department's Acute Hospital Division, the division with responsibility for maternity services. In that context, three electronic correspondences were issued by the officer to the HSE on April 2nd, 2019 as follows;

- One email was issued to the HSE's National Women & Infants Health Programme (NWIHP) seeking an update on the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy to inform a detailed brief for the Taoiseach. The Programme was asked for details of the actions commenced or completed in accordance with the Programme's priorities as set out in the National Service Plan 2019.

- A second email was issued to the NWIHP requesting an urgent response to a request for a detailed update on the roll-out of termination of pregnancy services in the acute hospital sector, which had issued on 1st April.

- A third email was issued relating to staffing matters at the NWIHP, in the context of ongoing engagement between my Department and the NWIHP to improve the NWIHP's capacity to lead the management, organisation and delivery of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services across primary, community and acute care.