Medicinal Products

Ceisteanna (136)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

136. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 154 of 13 November 2019, if he will expedite his considerations and publish the report without further delay in view of the valproate response project of the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48352/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department has considered the report and I am due to receive a briefing on the HSE's Valproate Response Project from officials in the coming days. I expect the report to be published shortly.

Medicinal Products Availability

Ceisteanna (137)

John Curran

Ceist:

137. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health his plans to make naloxone nasal spray available for use by personnel such as members of An Garda Síochána, the Fire Service and prison officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48356/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Naloxone is a prescription-only medicine that, ordinarily, can only be supplied on foot of a prescription. It is use administered for the treatment of known or suspected narcotic overdose.

However, under the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations 2003, as amended (S.I. No. 540 of 2003), trained, non-medical persons, employed or engaged by a listed organisation, are enabled to administer certain prescription–only medicines to a person, without a prescription, for the purpose of saving their life or reducing severe distress in an emergency situation. The specific emergency medicines are listed in the Tenth Schedule to the Regulations and include intra-muscular and intranasal naloxone preparations following amendments introduced in 2018.

Listed organisations can include An Garda Síochána, the Fire Service, prisons, schools, sports clubs and community groups. In order for an organisation to avail of an emergency medicine without the need for a prescription, members of that organisation must complete an approved course of training regarding the administration of such medicines and the management of any adverse reaction. The Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) has established a framework for the education and training of persons to safely and competently administer these medicines to those urgently requiring care.

While PHECC approve these training courses, the decision to undertake the training lies solely with the organisation that wishes to gain approval under the Regulations to administer one of the scheduled medicines.

It is important to note however that notwithstanding the above, there is an existing and long-standing practice whereby any person may administer or assist in the administration of a person’s personally prescribed medicine for the purpose of saving their life or reducing severe distress in an emergency situation. If a person has been prescribed a medicine, but is unable to administer it to themselves, such as in the case of an overdose, there is no legal impediment to another person administering that medicine to the patient.

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (138)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

138. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the policy of his Department in relation to his plans to assist in the funding of the proposed transfer of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital to Blanchardstown, Dublin 15; if he has met with the board of management of the hospital regarding such a move; if his Department has conducted a population analysis of the Dublin 15 area and examined the expected future need for maternity services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48357/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In line with best international practice, it is Government policy that standalone maternity hospitals should be co-located with acute adult hospitals. The National Maternity Strategy, published in January 2016, reaffirms this commitment. In this context, the Rotunda Hospital will be relocated to the Connolly Hospital campus. Co-location will facilitate the provision of an appropriate environment within all our maternity hospitals and units to enable the delivery of a modern, safe, quality service where the woman’s need for privacy and dignity is respected.

As the Deputy will be aware, the new children's hospital was originally planned for the Mater site and it was proposed, as recommended in the KPMG report (Independent Review of Maternity and Gynaecology Services in the Greater Dublin Area) 2008, to redevelop the Rotunda Hospital on the Mater site. However, following the Government decision in 2012 to locate the new children’s hospital at the St James’s campus, it was necessary to revisit the earlier decisions regarding the relocation of both the Rotunda and the Coombe Women and Infants University hospitals.

A detailed review was undertaken by my Department, which considered a number of potential host sites for both hospitals, examining demographics, a range of clinical criteria as well as planning risks and site capacity. The Department engaged with a number of divisions within the HSE and with the Masters of both the Rotunda and the Coombe as part of the review process. In June 2015 Government decided that the Coombe would be relocated to the St James's Hospital campus, while the Rotunda would be redeveloped on the Connolly Hospital campus.

More recently I have also engaged with the Master of the Rotunda, the RCSI Hospital Group and the HSE in relation to the relocation of the Rotunda to Connolly, including meeting with these parties in July of this year.

Project Ireland 2040 provides €10.9 billion for health capital developments across the country, including funding to support implementation of the National Maternity Strategy. The relocation of the Rotunda Hospital to the Connolly campus is one of the key infrastructure projects which will be funded under Project Ireland 2040. It is important that we carefully plan all projects to meet population health needs and achieve value for money. This work is ongoing. While I am not in position to outline the year on year provisions for any individual maternity hospital project at this stage, this will be considered through the process of the determination of service priorities and in the context of Health capital planning.

The Deputy will appreciate that the Rotunda relocation project is at an early stage and will be required to progress through appraisal, planning, design and tender before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established. However, the Project Briefs for the relocation of the three stand alone maternity hospitals, namely the Rotunda, the Coombe and University Maternity Hospital Limerick, to acute hospital campuses, in line with the National Maternity Review will be progressed in 2020.

Maternity Services

Ceisteanna (139)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

139. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if he has examined a report by a person (detail supplied) that warned that if overcrowding continues it is only a matter of time before more infectious outbreaks occur; his plans to address the issues raised in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48358/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Minister and his Department are aware of the concerns that have been raised by Prof Malone, Master of the Rotunda Hospital. The Minister met with Prof Malone and other representatives from the Rotunda Hospital, the RCSI Hospital Group, as well as the HSE in July 2019 to discuss potential interim works at the hospital.

The Minister asked that further consideration be given to the scope of the works necessary to address the infrastructural challenges, having regard to the plan to relocate the Rotunda to the Connolly Hospital campus. It was agreed that further engagement on a proposal was required across the HSE, and with the Rotunda. A revised and evaluated proposal is awaited from the HSE.

While the Minister recognises that some infrastructural development will be necessary at the Rotunda Hospital in the interim period, as Deputies will be aware, in line with Government policy to co-locate maternity services with acute adult services, the Rotunda Hospital will be relocated to Connolly Hospital. Co-location is considered international best practice and will best facilitate the provision of an appropriate environment within all our maternity hospitals and units.

Project Ireland 2040 provides €10.9 billion for health capital developments across the country. The relocation of the Rotunda Hospital to the Connolly campus is one of the key infrastructure projects which will be funded under Project Ireland 2040. In addition, the recently published HSE Capital Plan 2019 provides that the project brief for the redevelopment of the Rotunda will be progressed.

In a letter from mid-May 2019 relating to the infrastructural challenges at the Rotunda Hospital, Prof. Malone notified the Minister of an infectious outbreak involving ESBL-producing Klebsiella (a type of bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics) and the risk to infants at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Upon being notified of this outbreak, the Department of Health’s immediate priority was for the welfare of the infants affected by the outbreak and the safe care of all infants at the Rotunda NICU. Consequently, the Department immediately sought assurances from the Hospital that safe and appropriate care was being provided to infants cared for at the NICU. In addition, the Department sought information regarding the immediate and medium-term actions being taken by the Hospital and Hospital Group to address the outbreak.

The hospital assured the Department that international best practice for managing infectious outbreaks has been followed by the hospital. The hospital also stated that an extensive action plan including both clinical and operational measures has been implemented to address the outbreak situation.

Antimicrobial resistance and the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections continue to be a significant priority for the Government of Ireland. Indeed, significant progress has already been made in implementing Ireland's National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020 (known as iNAP) and this work continues.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (140)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

140. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health the status of a surgery appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48359/19]

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 (141)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

141. 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. [48364/19]

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 Consultant Recruitment

Ceisteanna (142)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

142. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48366/19]

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 Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (143)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

143. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [48367/19]

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 (144)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

144. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [48368/19]

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 (145)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

145. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [48369/19]

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.

Disabilities Assessments

Ceisteanna (146)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

146. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if the case of persons (detail supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48376/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter it has been forwarded to the HSE for direct reply.

Paediatric Services

Ceisteanna (147)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

147. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if he will address concerns that Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin may lose its only consultant paediatric pain specialist that is also the only specialist here; if contingency plans have been put in place in the event that the consultant leaves in order that patients do not suffer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48389/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Children's Health Ireland to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Charitable and Voluntary Organisations

Ceisteanna (148, 149)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

148. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if additional funding for the provision of health services will be provided to charity (details supplied). [48390/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

149. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health his plans to agree a service level agreement for the provision of health services with a charity (details supplied). [48391/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.

As these are service matters they have been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

General Practitioner Services

Ceisteanna (150)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

150. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take regarding the situation in Milltown, County Kerry in which there is no general practitioner service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48392/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I would like to assure the Deputy that the Government is committed to the continued development of GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country continue to have access to GP services and that general practice is sustainable in all areas into the future.

The Government is aware of workforce issues facing general practice in Ireland, including the increased demand for GP and Out of Hours services, and has undertaken a number of measures in recent years to make general practice more sustainable.

The conclusion of the Agreement on GP Contractual Reform and Service Development between the Department of Health, the HSE, and the IMO in May 2019 demonstrates the Government's determination to invest in general practice to ensure that it retains its place at the heart of the health service, and that it remains an attractive option for medical graduates. The Agreement will see an increase in expenditure of €210 million annually by 2023 on GP services, with specific increases in supports for rural practices and practices in urban areas of deprivation. The Government is also committed to increasing he number of medical graduates undertaking GP training; the number has increased from 120 in 2009 to 192 filled places in 2019, with further increases anticipated over the coming years.

As of 1st November 2019, a total of 2,360 (94%) GMS GPs have signed up to the contract agreement.

Currently there are almost 2,500 GPs contracted to provide services under the GMS Scheme and as at 1 November 2019, 22 panels, or less than 1%, are vacant.

In relation to the vacant panel in Milltown Co Kerry, as this is an operational issue, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to this issue.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Ceisteanna (151)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

151. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 368 of 16 April 2019, the additional funding his Department will provide towards the delayed digitalised registration system in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland in addition to the contribution already made of €44,480; if the NMBI will be funding the remainder of the total project cost of €2,089,500 from nurses and midwives annual retention fees; the status of the expected new go-live date of the registration system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48409/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department recognises the importance of the digitisation programme currently being undertaken by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

As I advised previously primary responsibility for funding the digitisation project rests with the NMBI. My Department will consider any requests for additional funding should the NMBI be unable to meet the full costs of the project from within its operational budget.

I have asked to NMBI to update you directly on the go live date for the project.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Ceisteanna (152)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

152. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health if he will take steps to ensure that a person (details supplied) is admitted for an appointment with the consultant rheumatologist at the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48412/19]

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 Consultant Recruitment

Ceisteanna (153)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

153. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to address the severe shortage of hospital consultants by which there are over 500 current vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48423/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to moving to a consultant delivered service. Notwithstanding the fact that consultant numbers in Ireland are low by international standards they continue to increase each year. At the end of September 2019 there were 3,190 whole time equivalent consultants working in the public health services. The number has increased by 125 in the 12 months to the end of September and by over 550 in the past 5 years. While it is not ideal, the majority of consultant posts not filled on a permanent basis are filled by locums or temporary staff to support the delivery of essential services.

The Government is aware that there are difficulties in filling certain consultant posts, particularly in smaller hospitals and in certain specialties, as identified by the Public Sector Pay Commission. The Commission in its Report published in September 2018 identified difficulties in attracting consultant applications for many posts at present and acknowledged that the pay rates for new entrants had been highlighted as a factor in this. The Commission proposed that the Parties to the Public Service Stability Agreement jointly consider what further measures could be taken, over time, to address the pay differential.

More recently, I published the Report of the De Buitléir Group in August. The Group was established to examine how to give effect to the Sláintecare recommendation on the removal of private practice from the public hospital system. My Department, together with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the HSE, recently met with both the IMO and the IHCA regarding Sláintecare, the De Buitléir Report and health sector reform and will be seeking to continue to engage with both bodies.

Cross-Border Health Initiatives

Ceisteanna (154)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

154. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the total expenditure on the cross-Border directive since its inception; the organisations which are participating in the operation of the directive; the role of the HSE in operating this directive; the companies with which it is operating in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48424/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (155)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Ceist:

155. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for hip surgery at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Navan, County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48430/19]

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.