Question No. 347 answered with Question No. 305.

Respite Care Services Availability

Ceisteanna (348)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

348. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the reason a nursing unit (details supplied) is not taking respite admissions at present; when it will be accepting same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51264/19]

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 Consultant Recruitment

Ceisteanna (349)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

349. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure the ongoing provision of a position (details supplied) at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin in view of the fact that the current specialist is due to leave by year end without a replacement provided for; if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of families whose children are attending Crumlin for pain management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51265/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (350)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

350. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on gynaecological waiting lists by month from 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, for the three Dublin maternity hospitals (details supplied);the numbers waiting less than three, three to six, six to nine, nine to 12, 12 to 8 and more than 18 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51266/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) have advised my Department that the Dublin Maternity Hospitals (Holles Street, the Coombe, and the Rotunda) do not submit full waiting list data to the NTPF. The Coombe and the Rotunda only submit Outpatient data, while Holles Street does not submit any data as yet.

The National Maternity Hospital Holles Street have engaged in a series of meetings with the NTPF to progress steps to allow data to be submitted to the NTPF. This includes the resolution of data protection and technical issues. As a result, it is envisaged that the NMH will shortly be submitting waiting list data to the NTPF in the required format.

My Department continues to closely monitor the progress of this project through established Governance structures, including through fortnightly meetings where issues including operational challenges and future planning can be addressed.

The outpatient waiting list data for The Coombe and the Rotunda Hospitals is publically available on the NTPF website at https://www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm. Waiting list information is published by the NTPF each month and covers the period December 2014 to date.

Hospitals Data

Ceisteanna (351)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

351. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of persons being referred to gynaecological services for the three Dublin maternity hospitals (details supplied) for each month in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51267/19]

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.

Cosmetic Surgery

Ceisteanna (352)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

352. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 376 of 9 April 2019, the status of the patient safety (licensing) Bill in view of the continuing and ongoing lack of regulation with regard to non-medics being allowed to administer lip fillers here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51272/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The General Scheme of the Patient Safety (Licensing) Bill was approved by Government in December 2017, and underwent pre legislative scrutiny at the Oireachtas Health Committee in July 2018. It is currently with the Attorney General’s Office in order for drafting to be undertaken. I hope to be in a position to publish this Bill in 2020.

It should be noted that the primary focus of this Bill will be on the introduction of a regulatory framework for public and private hospitals, as well as enabling for certain high risk activities that take place outside a hospital setting to be designated as also requiring a licence.

With regard to the particular cases which the Deputy refers to, I would firstly note that I am not familiar with the individual circumstances but I of course share with him the utmost concern with regard to such matters. In addition to the Patient Safety (Licensing) Bill, I have previously instructed my Department to undertake work examining whether further regulations are required in order to ensure that appropriate protections are in place for the supply and administration of dermatological fillers. This work, including consultations with relevant state agencies, seeks to identify risks in this area and any tools that may be available to alleviate issues identified.

It should be noted that there are already a number of legal frameworks in place that provide regulation in this area, including with regard to the work of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). The HPRA have a role in protecting public health by regulating medicines, medical devices and other health products. This includes a national reporting system for medical devices where users of devices are encouraged to report incidents or problems associated with their use to the HPRA. Where a significant safety or quality concern is identified with the actual device, there are a range of regulatory actions the HPRA can take to protect public health. These include changes to labelling, information and safety notices to users and recalling the product from the market. They can also request changes or modifications to the device itself.

Aesthetic’ procedures are currently regulated through a combination of professional regulation (I.e. regulation of doctors and dentists who engage in ‘aesthetic’ procedures) and product regulation. Product regulation covers products placed on the market as cosmetic products, products which are authorised medicines or would be classified as such and are thereby possibly restricted to prescription-control e.g. medicines containing botulinum toxin (such products are also restricted to administration by physicians only), and medical devices.

From 2020 certain products used for aesthetic purposes that currently do not fall within the definition of a cosmetic product or a medicine, which includes dermal fillers, may be classified as medical devices under the new EU Medical Devices legislation - Regulation (EU) 2017/745. The Regulation, which becomes fully applicable in May 2020, specifically includes dermal fillers within the remit of the regulatory framework for medical devices.

The medical device regulations do not specifically address the administration of dermal fillers, however, under the new Regulations Member States may make provision for certain devices to be eligible for prescription control. This may represent an opportunity to introduce national legislation restricting the supply or use of dermal fillers. The Department of Health is working with the HPRA to identify the correct use of this provision and how it may be applied to the administration of dermal fillers in Ireland. Work on developing this requirement is ongoing.

Ahead of possible further regulatory changes, my Department continues to recommend that anyone seeking to have a cosmetic surgery procedure , seek advice from their General Practitioner (GP) to ensure that they are a suitable candidate for the procedure in question. GP’s can then recommend a reputable specialist practitioner in this area.

The Department further recommends a consultation with an appropriately registered plastic surgeon. In Ireland, such surgeons can be found by examining the online register of medical practitioners found at the website of the Medical Council. A patient can also establish if a surgeon is a full member of the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons at the website of that organisation; all of its members have had full specialist training and are on the Specialist Register in Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery of the Medical Council. Specific advice, which has been prepared by the Chief Medical Officer and the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons, is also available on the website of my Department.

Hospitals Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (353)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

353. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided in 2020 to start the design phase for the new emergency department for Mayo University Hospital. [51279/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, including detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.

Disability Services Data

Ceisteanna (354)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

354. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of children in County Mayo waiting for an occupational therapy, physiotherapy and-or speech and language appointment in tabular form; and the length of time they have been waiting [51280/19]

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.

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (355)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

355. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of paediatric occupational therapists working in County Mayo; the number of vacancies of same; the length of time the posts have been vacant; and the date for the commencement and conclusion of the recruitment process to fill the vacancies. [51281/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (356)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

356. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of paediatric physiotherapists working in County Mayo; the number of vacancies of same; the length of time the posts have been vacant; and the date for the commencement and conclusion of the recruitment process to fill the vacancies. [51282/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Staff Data

Ceisteanna (357)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

357. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of paediatric speech and language therapists working in County Mayo; the number of vacancies of same; the length of time the posts have been vacant; and the date for the commencement and conclusion of the recruitment process to fill the vacancies. [51283/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (358)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

358. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for an outpatient appointment at Mayo University Hospital; and the length of time they been waiting [51284/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the NTPF increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020.

My Department is working with the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. The National Service Plan 2020 will set out HSE planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to improve access to inpatient/daycase treatment and with a particular focus on hospital outpatient services.

In this regard, I would encourage all hospital groups and individual hospitals to engage with the NTPF to identify waiting list proposals for the remainder of this year and for 2020.

The data requested by the Deputy is outlined in the document attached. The requested data is also publically available on the NTPF website at https://www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm

Mayo University Hospital Outpatient Waiting List

 0-3Months

 3-6Months

 6-9Months

 9-12Months

12-15Months

15-18Months

2761

929

829

679

568

542

18-21Months

21-24Months

24-36Months

36-48Months

48+Months

Grand Total

432

246

823

528

292

8629

Hospital Consultant Data

Ceisteanna (359)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

359. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of vacant consultant posts at Mayo University Hospital; and the areas in which the vacancies are located. [51285/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Emergency Departments Data

Ceisteanna (360)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

360. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that presented to the emergency department at Mayo University Hospital in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [51286/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I acknowledge the challenges facing the emergency departments in our hospitals.

According to HSE, there was a 2.7% increase in ED attendances nationally this year up to the end of October 2019 compared to the same period last year. The number of attendances for patients in the over 75 age group also increased by 3.3% nationally.

My Department has engaged extensively with the HSE this year to identify mitigating actions to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in the ED in the face of growing demand.

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

Emergency Departments Data

Ceisteanna (361)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

361. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health when the emergency department at Mayo University Hospital was built; the number of patients it was planned to cater for; and the intended capacity of the unit. [51287/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Ambulance Service Provision

Ceisteanna (362)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

362. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans to open a full-time ambulance base in Ballinrobe, County Mayo, in view of the inability of the ambulance bases in the county to meet HIQA response times for parts of south County Mayo due to geography and distance. [51288/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (363)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

363. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the progress being made on supplying a hospital bed to the home of a person (details supplied). [51289/19]

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.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (364)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

364. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the reason a student (details supplied) who did not receive the HPV vaccine in 2018 due to an illness cannot be administered Gardasil 9 in 2019 and is being asked to take Gardasil 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51293/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter concerning an individual, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Patient Transport

Ceisteanna (365)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

365. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a new transport support scheme to replace the discontinuation of the mobility allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51294/19]

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 the 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 Support Payment 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.

Ambulance Service Data

Ceisteanna (366)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

366. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the ambulance turnaround time performance target in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if the 2019 target (details supplied) represents a change from the previous years. [51297/19]

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.