Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (119)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

119. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the steps taken to expedite the reimbursement of payments made by patients under the cross-border healthcare directive; and if contingency plans have been put in place for patients who may become financially vulnerable if there are delays in the reimbursement process. [46917/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE is responsible for the operation of the Cross Border Directive and the management of the HSE Cross Border Directive (CBD) office is an operational matter for the HSE.

With regard to the issue of reimbursement delays for patients who have availed of the Directive, officials of my Department met with the HSE in July to discuss this issue.  At that meeting the HSE undertook to give consideration to measures which could be put in place in the short-term to address the significant backlog in processing applications, and to also examine current resourcing of the CBD office and to identify necessary actions to mitigate waiting times arising from current and future demand for the scheme.  A report is awaited from the HSE on the measures it proposes to take to address the delays in reimbursement. Applications are received and processed by the HSE in chronological order and there are no plans to make changes to this arrangement.

As I mentioned above the management of the CBD office is an operational matter for the HSE and I have referred the Deputies question to the HSE for direct reply as to the current position regarding waiting times for reimbursement and the steps the HSE has taken to address the backlog.

Speech and Language Therapy Staff

Ceisteanna (120)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

120. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 667 of 5 November 2019, when the post will be released from the national office; the reason the national office is delaying the release of the post; if there is an expected start date for the speech therapist; and if not, the reason therefor. [46923/19]

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.

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (121, 122, 123)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

121. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of home help hours provided in 2018; and the overall cost for the hours, in tabular form. [46924/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

122. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of home help hours provided in 2018 provided by private home help providers; and the overall cost for the hours, in tabular form. [46925/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

123. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of home help hours provided in 2018 provided by the HSE; and the overall cost for the hours, in tabular form. [46926/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 121 to 123, inclusive, together.

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

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (124)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

124. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of home help hours provided in 2018 provided by the not-for-profit sector; and the overall cost for the hours, in tabular form. [46927/19]

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 Beds Data

Ceisteanna (125)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

125. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health the number of long-stay beds provided by the HSE for the elderly in Nenagh, County Tipperary; his plans for future numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46933/19]

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.

Respite Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (126)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

126. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a fully accessible accommodation operated by an organisation (details supplied) is set to close due to funding and refurbishment issues; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that there will be approximately 40 job losses; if he will intervene to reverse the decision of the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46939/19]

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.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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.

Genetic Data

Ceisteanna (127)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

127. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons resident here that have availed of genetic testing in other EU states under the cross-border directive in each year since 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46957/19]

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.

HSE Funding

Ceisteanna (128)

James Browne

Ceist:

128. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 198 of 17 October 2019, the breakdown detailing the remaining amount of funding allocation (details supplied) expended in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46963/19]

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

Ceisteanna (129)

John Brassil

Ceist:

129. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of the sodium valproate response report which was recently presented to him; the actions or outcomes anticipated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46966/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am due to receive a briefing on the HSE's Valproate Response Project from officials in my Department in the coming days. I will consider the report in full at that time.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (130)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

130. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of sexual health clinics including a clinic (details supplied) are still using the gardasil 4 HPV vaccines instead of the gardasil 9 HPV vaccine; if recipients of the gardasil 4 HPV vaccine will be invited to receive the gardasil 9 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46967/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Since 2017 the National Immunisation Office has provided vaccine stock to the sexual health programme based on forecasted quantities. All vaccine purchases must be forecasted 6-9 months in advance.

The NIO purchased HPV4 vaccine on behalf of the sexual health programme prior to HPV9 being available. Only sufficient stock of HPV9 for the national universal first year of second level schools programme was available for order in 2019 due to global manufacturing issues. Future procurement of HPV vaccine will be of the HPV9 vaccine.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee Guidelines for Ireland do not routinely recommend revaccination with HPV9 for those who have completed a series with another HPV vaccine and note that only a small percentage of HPV-associated cancers in males is due to the five additional types prevented by HPV9 (versus HPV4).

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (131)

John Brassil

Ceist:

131. Deputy John Brassil 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. [46983/19]

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 (132)

John Brassil

Ceist:

132. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a MRI for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46987/19]

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.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (133)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

133. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the status of the positions in CHO 2 that were offered to successful applicants in quarter 2 of 2019 but are yet to be filled; the location of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47000/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

HSE Correspondence

Ceisteanna (134)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

134. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the large amount of official business carried out with general practitioners by post rather than by email; the estimated saving that would be made in the system if all of this was done electronically; the steps being taken to replace a paper approach by an electronic approach; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47001/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A significant feature of the recent Agreement on GP contractual reform is the implementation of a number of eHealth measures over the lifetime of the Agreement that aim to improve population well-being, health service efficiencies and economic opportunities through the use of technology-enabled solutions. 

Under the agreement, the State will work with GPs to improve the utilisation of eHealth measures, including measures which provide for the secure electronic sharing of patient information, lab results, diagnostic imaging reports, and prescription orders between medical providers. The use of these systems will enable more streamlined and efficient communication between hospitals and general practice, and an improved and more secure service for patients. 

In relation to official correspondence with general practitioners by post, as the majority of such correspondence would issue from the HSE, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to this matter.

Disability Services Data

Ceisteanna (135)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

135. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that have been assisted to leave congregated settings in each year since 2016; and the number of persons in congregated settings at the end of 2016 to 2018 and the latest date available in 2019. [47003/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Report “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion” proposes a new model of support in the community moving people from Congregated settings to the community in line with Government policy. The Report identified around 4,000 people (based on 2008 census) with disabilities in Ireland living in congregated settings, defined as a residential setting where people live with ten or more people.

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out of congregated settings, to enable them to live independently and to be included in the community.  The objective is to reduce this figure by one-third by 2021 and ultimately, to eliminate all congregated settings.

By the end of this year, we will have exceeded this target and under 2,100 people with a disability will remain living in congregated settings. I want to emphasise that the appropriate supports and resources are being put in place to ensure that people are supported as they move out of residential centres. The model of care for individuals will be based on a person centred plan (PCP). The PCP may change over time in line with an individual’s needs and circumstances and the model of service delivery applicable at a particular time.

Any opportunity for residents to live in smaller settings in the community will come after considerable planning and discussion with those residents and their families. It will be on the basis that it will enhance their life, and anyone who moves will continue to access the services they require.

The HSE has prioritised the transition of a further 160 people from congregated settings in 2019 under its Service Plan, and I am informed that 78 people have moved into their homes in the community at the end of September this year.  

As the HSE is responsible for leading out on the recommendations of "Time to Move on from Congregated Settings - A Strategy for Community Inclusion", I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to the questions posed.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Ceisteanna (136)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

136. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health the number of suppliers of medicinal cannabis approved to supply the compassionate access programme; if the approved suppliers have the EU good manufacturing process standard; and if conditional licences have been granted subject to the supplier achieving this standard. [47004/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Legislation was signed in June which will allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) on a pilot basis for five years.

Commercial medical cannabis suppliers whose cannabis products meet the specified requirements set out in the legislation, and which have been listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations, will be able to supply these products into Ireland.

Cannabis products will only be listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations 2019 once they have been accepted as being suitable for medical use by patients under the Medical Cannabis Access Programme.

As yet no medical cannabis products are available for use under the MCAP but a number of suppliers have expressed an interest in supplying the Irish market. These products are currently being assessed.

The Department of Health will make this information available on their website.

Pending full operation of the MCAP and for medical indications not included in the MCAP, doctors may continue to utilise the Ministerial licencing route to prescribe medical cannabis for their patients, should they wish to do so. In line with the Chief Medical Officer's advice, the granting of a licence for cannabis for medical purposes must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to the Department of Health, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time. 

Full information on how to apply for a Ministerial Licence is available on the Department's website.

National Treatment Purchase Fund Eligibility

Ceisteanna (137)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

137. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) can be referred for attention under the treatment purchase scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47023/19]

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.  

The NTPF works with public hospitals, as opposed to with patients directly, to offer and provide the funding for treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic.  

The key criteria of the NTPF is the prioritisation of the longest waiting patients first. While the NTPF identifies patients eligible for NTPF treatment, it is solely on the basis of their time spent on the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List. The clinical suitability of the patient to avail of NTPF funded treatment is determined by the public hospital.  

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

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (138)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

138. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health when a centre (details supplied) will be operational; the reason for the delay; if it is planned to open in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47031/19]

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 access supports which are tailored 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.