Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Ceisteanna (352)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

352. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the estimated wear time for persons wearing orthotic shoes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47227/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Pharmacy Services

Ceisteanna (353, 382)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

353. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied) in relation to further cuts to pharmacists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47244/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

382. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter raised by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47323/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 353 and 382 together.

As the Minster for Health I recognise the significant role community pharmacists play in the delivery of patient care and the potential for this role to be developed further in the context of health service reform and modernisation.

The regulations governing the current pharmacy fee structure were made under section 9 of the FEMPI Act 2009 and are set to expire at the end of 2019. Under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, these regulations must be replaced on 1 January 2020 to maintain a statutory basis for contractor payments and to prescribe the fees payable from that date. The fees to be set are determined by the Minister for Health, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

In keeping with my obligations under Section 43 of the 2017 Act, Department of Health officials have begun a process of consultation with the IPU, as the representative body, prior to the introduction of new fee regulations. My officials have met with an IPU delegation on two occasions and a detailed submission was received from the IPU on 8 November.

That submission is currently being considered by my Department in the context of the statutory fee-setting process as referred to.

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (354)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

354. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health when the necessary resources will be made available to carry out work to accommodate the MRI scanner for Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar (detail supplied). [47247/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of health care infrastructure projects, my Department has asked the Executive to reply directly to you with regard to the provision of an MRI scanner at Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar.

Alcohol Pricing

Ceisteanna (355)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

355. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health when he will introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol sales; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47255/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The 2013 Government Decision which approved a minimum pricing regime envisaged its introduction in Northern Ireland and in this jurisdiction simultaneously. It is my intention to seek a revised Government Decision so that minimum unit pricing can be implemented as soon as possible in order to address the very significant health harms and financial costs of the way alcohol is currently consumed here.

Nursing Home Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (356)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

356. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the amount allocated to the creation and construction of nursing home facilities under the national development plan; the number of nursing home spaces that will be created; the amount allocated to the creation and construction of dementia specific nursing home facilities; the number of spaces that will be created from the allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47256/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare services and infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Nursing Home Beds Data

Ceisteanna (357)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

357. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the number of dementia specific spaces in nursing home facilities here by county, by public and private nursing homes, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47257/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Information and Quality Authority has advised the Department that it does not hold data on the number of dementia-specific beds in public or private nursing homes. The Department of Health also does not hold such data.

I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible on the number of dementia-specific beds in public nursing homes.

Motorised Transport Grant

Ceisteanna (358)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

358. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health when a replacement scheme for the motorised transport grant and mobility allowance will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47262/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in 2013.

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 Cabinet consideration, the Memorandum was withdrawn at that time. I 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 Scheme.

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 Deputy may wish to note that in July last, my colleague the Minister for Rural and Community Development, 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.

The Deputy might be interested to know that the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D., has commissioned research into the cost of disability. The cost of disability can be defined as the amount it costs a person with a disability to achieve the same standard of living as those persons without a disability. This includes extra living costs such as heating; disability aids and equipment; medical and drug costs; care costs and transport costs. Following a procurement process, Indecon International Consultants have been commissioned by that Department to carry out this research. It is hoped that the research, when complete, will inform policy direction in relation to the provision of adequate supports to meet the needs of people with disabilities, from a whole-of-Government perspective.

There are improvements in access to a range of transport supports 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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (359)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

359. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the reason a centre (details supplied) is being closed; the alternatives in place for its current service users; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47264/19]

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (360)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

360. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the timeframe for an operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47269/19]

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.

Respite Care Services

Ceisteanna (361)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

361. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in re-opening a respite facility (details supplied) in County Donegal; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the prolonged closure of the facility is inconveniencing service users and their families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47273/19]

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

Paediatric Services

Ceisteanna (362)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

362. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) will receive a date for procedures at Temple Street Children's University Hospital, Dublin; if the child is on urgent waiting lists with respect to the procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47274/19]

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.

Medical Conditions

Ceisteanna (363)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

363. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 284 of 28 May 2019, the version of the WHO international classification of diseases used by the HSE with respect to the disputed condition referred to; if a cross-departmental committee, including the relevant Departments, the HSE and other agencies, will be established to monitor potential developments on the classification and status of the condition and the treatment options for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47275/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In May this year, the World Health Organisation adopted the eleventh revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), which is to come into effect on 1 January 2022.

Parental alienation has been included as a new classification in ICD-11. However, it is not currently recognised by the American Academy of Psychiatry, which is a leader in the field of psychiatry. The issues involved will require further clinical consideration by the HSE.

My department has no plans to establish a cross-departmental committee to monitor potential developments on the classification and status of the condition.

Disability Services Funding

Ceisteanna (364)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

364. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the funding which will be supplied for day services for a child (details supplied) in Dublin 11; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47276/19]

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.

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (365)

Pat Buckley

Ceist:

365. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health the status of the Linn Dara campus in Cherry Orchard Hospital; the number of residential beds operational; the services offered by the day hospital; the staffing levels; the number of staff vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47287/19]

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.

Pharmacy Services

Ceisteanna (366)

James Browne

Ceist:

366. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding proposals by an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47288/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I value the role pharmacists play in the Irish health service. As you are aware, the Programme for a Partnership Government and the Sláintecare implementation strategy contain commitments to expanding the role of community pharmacy in managing patient health in the community.

Work has been done in recent years on wider healthcare roles for pharmacies, including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland’s Future Pharmacy report, on the expansion of professional pharmacy practice. It is clear from this and other work that there is potential to increase the range of both private and publicly funded health services delivered through community pharmacy. Important new services, such as influenza vaccination and emergency contraception, have already been introduced.

To be funded by the taxpayer, new public health services in community pharmacy, as elsewhere, should improve health outcomes and provide value for money and benefits for patients. Any new or transferred services should be based on sound evidence, with matching improvements in governance and administration.

I have discussed these and other issues with the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU). My officials will be engaging with the IPU and the intention is to broaden the discussions to contractual and service arrangements during 2020.

Nursing Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (367)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

367. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views in relation to lifting the embargo to employ community staff nurses in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47289/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am advised by the HSE that while there is no national 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 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, however 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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (368)

Dessie Ellis

Ceist:

368. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a hip operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47291/19]

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 (369)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

369. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the length of time a person (details supplied) must wait for an appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47292/19]

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.

Public Sector Staff Retirements

Ceisteanna (370)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

370. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health when former employees that retired on a reduced salary in 2012 will have their pensions increased (details supplied). [47301/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to review the situation and to respond to you directly.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (371)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

371. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 418 of 9 July 2019, when funding will be made available to enable a facility (details supplied) to reopen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47302/19]

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.