Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (327)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

327. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the HSE and service providers offering home sharing to persons with intellectual disabilities, physical and sensory disability and-or autism do so in the absence of legislation protecting the service; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that in the absence of legislation and regulations professionals are also vulnerable in the monitoring and safeguarding of persons in such arrangements; his plans to address the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51183/19]

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.

Departmental Agencies Data

Ceisteanna (328)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

328. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the dates on which governance and operational meetings were held with agencies (details supplied) in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the reason for the meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51191/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As part of the relationship and engagement process with bodies under the aegis of my Department, officials meet on a regular basis with the aegis bodies.

However, in line with the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies, we require a minimum number of governance meetings to be held each year. The dates when these meetings were held are below:

Aegis bodies

Date of meeting

Dental Council

28/05/2019

12/02/2018

22/06/2017

25/07/2016

Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU)

26/11/2019

03/10/2019

13/08/2019

30/07/2019

11/06/2019

08/05/2019

26/03/2019

25/02/2019

18/10/2018

11/07/2018

07/09/2017

30/05/2017

14/04/2016

08/03/2016

Medical Council

13/05/2019

19/11/2018

27/03/2018

12/10/2017

14/02/2017

17/10/2016

01/02/2016

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

30/10/2019

30/07/2019

25/04/2019

26/02/2019

25/10/2018

29/08/2018

26/04/2018

25/01/2018

31/10/2017

26/07/2017

28/04/2017

31/01/2017

25/10/2016

26/07/2016

27/04/2016

12/01/2016

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland Council

27/11/2019

11/09/2019

06/06/2019

05/12/2018

15/08/2018

15/03/2018

21/11/2017

18/07/2017

09/03/2017

22/11/2016

12/07/2016

04/04/2016

Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council

04/12/2019

14/08/2019

28/06/2019

29/03/2019

19/12/2018

20/09/2018

29/05/2018

28/03/2018

05/12/2017

05/09/2017

13/06/2017

10/03/2017

09/12/2016

24/08/2016

23/03/2016

Medical Card Eligibility

Ceisteanna (329)

Seamus Healy

Ceist:

329. Deputy Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Health the position regarding medical card applicants in receipt of disability allowance and who also have earnings from employment; if the requirement to provide a letter that states the employment is of a rehabilitative nature will be removed as is the case with the disability allowance section; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51193/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The removal of the requirement for work to be of a "rehabilitative nature" in respect of the assessment of persons with a disability for a medical card was one of the key recommendations of the Make Work Pay for Persons with Disabilities Report. The HSE implemented this recommendation in May 2017.

Home Care Packages Data

Ceisteanna (330)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

330. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for home care packages in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51198/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Home Care Packages Provision

Ceisteanna (331)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

331. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if delays being experienced in the delivery of home care packages in the CHO 7 area in counties Kildare and Wicklow will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51199/19]

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.

Drugs Payment Scheme

Ceisteanna (332)

John Brassil

Ceist:

332. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 423 of 2 July 2019, the status of the review; when the results will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51207/19]

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.

Home Help Service Provision

Ceisteanna (333)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

333. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the expected number of hours to be provided for home help in 2020 in each CHO; the estimated level of funding for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51211/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (334)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

334. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of home help hours provided by external agencies by county in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the amount spent on external agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51212/19]

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.

Thalidomide Victims Compensation

Ceisteanna (335)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

335. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the position regarding support for those who suffered thalidomide-related frailties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51219/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Following an Irish Government decision in 1975, the Government granted an ex-gratia sum equivalent to 4 times the German lump-sum and an ex-gratia monthly allowance for life equal to the German monthly allowance to each of the Irish children found to have thalidomide related injuries. The German monthly payments are made by the Contergan Foundation, which is established under German legislation. From 1st August 2013, the Contergan Foundation substantially increased its monthly payments to thalidomide survivors, including Irish survivors. There are currently 29 Irish people in receipt of ex-gratia monthly payments from my Department.

Both the German payments and the Irish ex-gratia payments made to the survivors are exempt from tax, including DIRT and are not reckonable as means for the purpose of Social Welfare payments.

In addition to the initial lump sum and monthly payments for life, the supports provided to each Irish survivor include a medical card on an administrative basis regardless of means, provision of appliances, artificial limbs, equipment, housing adaptations and access to a full range of primary care, hospital and personal social services.

There is a designated senior manager in the Health Service Executive to act as a liaison with regard to the ongoing health and personal social service needs of Irish survivors.

It is important to note that it is open to any Irish person to apply to the Contergan Foundation for assessment of their disability as being attributable to thalidomide. Any Irish person who establishes that their injury is attributable to thalidomide will be offered appropriate supports by the Irish Government, commensurate with those currently provided to Irish thalidomide survivors, as outlined above.

Home Care Packages Provision

Ceisteanna (336)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

336. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if a home care package will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [51223/19]

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 Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (337)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

337. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health the number and specific posts the University Limerick hospital group is hiring in terms of the recruitment of a specialist dietician for adults with type 1 diabetes; if a funded diabetes dietetic is included in the 2020 estimates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51224/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (338)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Ceist:

338. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a medical appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51226/19]

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.

Mobility Allowance

Ceisteanna (339)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

339. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of the mobility allowance scheme for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; when a replacement scheme will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51230/19]

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.

The issue in relation to hospital transport has been referred to the HSE for a direct reply to you.

Disability Support Services Provision

Question No. 341 answered with Question No. 305.

Ceisteanna (340)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

340. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 285 of 26 November 2019, if a place will be secured for a person (details supplied) [51234/19]

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.

Question No. 341 answered with Question No. 305.

Pharmacy Services

Questions Nos. 343 and 344 answered with Question No. 305.

Ceisteanna (342)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

342. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the actions he has taken to follow up on a report (details supplied) commissioned by the HSE on pharmacy fees; the findings of the report; and if it will be published immediately [51245/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the HSE has responsibility for this matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this issue.

Questions Nos. 343 and 344 answered with Question No. 305.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Ceisteanna (345)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

345. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health if a replacement has been appointed for a position (details supplied) at Our Lady's Children’s Hospital, Crumlin in view of the fact that the post holder is leaving the post prior to the end of 2019; if so, when the appointee will be in situ to ensure continuity of service and essential appointments and that prescriptions do not lapse; if he will consider making funding available for the provision of a multidisciplinary team for pain management clinics in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and Temple Street Children's University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51242/19]

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.

Medical Card Eligibility

Ceisteanna (346)

Seamus Healy

Ceist:

346. Deputy Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Health the position regarding medical card applicants who are in receipt of disability allowance and also have earnings from employment (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51256/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The removal of the requirement for work to be of a "rehabilitative nature" in respect of the assessment of persons with a disability for a medical card was one of the key recommendations of the Make Work Pay for Persons with Disabilities Report. The HSE implemented this recommendation in May 2017.