Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (198)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

198. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the progress to date in the determination of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23255/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The person concerned was granted a Certificate of Naturalisation at a citizenship ceremony held in Killarney on 9 December 2019.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (199)

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

199. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Health the meat processing plants which have had Covid-19 outbreaks; and the dates of detection in tabular form. [23142/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (200)

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

200. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Health the number of cases of Covid-19 that have tested positive among workers in meat processing plants; and if contact tracing has been carried in all cases in tabular form. [23143/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Medical Cards

Ceisteanna (201, 216)

Seán Canney

Ceist:

201. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Health if legislation necessary to implement changes to the medical card weekly income limit for persons over 70 years of age announced in budget 2020 has been enacted and commenced in view of the fact the situation means that couples with a combined weekly income of between €900 and €1,050 are losing out on their entitlement to a medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23030/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

216. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health his plans to enact the increased threshold limits for medical cards which the has been committed to by Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23097/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 216 together.

The Health (General Practitioner Service and Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Bill 2020 was enacted on 2nd August 2020. This Act provides, amongst other things, for the necessary legislative amendments to the Health Act 1970 (as amended) to increase the weekly gross medical card income limits for those aged 70 and over to €550 per week for a single person (currently €500 per week) and to €1,050 per week for a couple (currently €900 per week). The Government is finalising decisions on the associated funding for this measure and the implementation date for the commencement of this provision.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (202)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

202. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23035/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

It is recognised that the impact of COVID-19 on society in general and especially those living in long term residential care (LTRC) settings has been considerable. Residential settings are people’s homes as well as places where health and social care are provided. The introduction of physical distancing, isolation and restricted contact with family and loved ones has changed the usual dynamic of social interaction. I am very much aware of how difficult the restrictions on visits to LTRCs are for residents and their families.

However, NPHET has advised that LTRC settings gradually reintroduce usual activities while taking public health precautions. Families are encouraged to talk to the support staff at the person’s residence, to make arrangements for visits and other activities that can be facilitated within the current public health guidance. This guidance will continue to be reviewed in line with the disease progression and guidelines will be updated. The most recent guidance is available here: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/infectionpreventionandcontrolguidance/residentialcarefacilities/

It is important to recall that people living in LTRC facilities are particularly vulnerable populations in the context of Covid-19 and have been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be at a higher risk of being susceptible to infection from this disease and for subsequent adverse outcomes. Nevertheless, it is important that the rights of residents to have visitors is balanced with the need to ensure that visitations do not compromise overall resident care or adherence to requisite infection control procedures. The guidance above is clear that LTRC service providers and / or the Person in Charge should facilitate visits as part of the return to the normal activity of the setting.

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (203)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

203. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if an early appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied) in view of the circumstances. [23040/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the HSE had to take measures to pause most elective scheduled care activity with effect from the end March 2020. This was to ensure patient safety and that all appropriate resources were made available for Covid-19 related activity and time-critical essential work. This decision was in line with the advice issued by National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines, and the National Action Plan.

To ensure services are re-introduced in a safe, clinically aligned and prioritised way, the HSE launched its Strategic Framework for ‘Service Continuity in a Covid Environment’ on 24 June. Its implementation will ensure service resumption is done in an integrated way. This will involve a phased approach to ensure community services are strengthened. The Framework will also consolidate new ways of working and build on international knowledge. Further detail regarding the phases of service resumption are contained in the HSE’s ‘A Safe Return to Health Services’ document, published on their website on 22 July.

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 is a standardised approach used by the HSE to manage scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures. It sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists and was developed in 2014 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.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (204)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

204. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the reason exemptions have been made for certain occupations to avoid having to self-isolate when returning from a non-green list country since Covid-19 reached here by categories (details supplied) in tabular form. [23043/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Passengers arriving to Ireland from locations that are not on the Government Green List are advised in the interest of public health to restrict their movements form 14 days.

This advisory does not apply to essential supply chain workers. This provision is made to ensure that our supply chains are protected and is in keeping with European Commission communication C(2020) 1897 on the implementation of Green Lanes.

Further, advice for those travelling for essential work or business is provided on www.gov.ie as follows:

"You may need to travel here for essential work, if this expertise is not available locally. You are still asked to follow public health advice and restrict your movements when you're not working.

You may need to travel overseas from Ireland for essential work. If you do, you are asked to restrict your movements when you return."

Neuro-Rehabilitation Services

Ceisteanna (205, 206)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

205. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 458 of 23 October 2018, the input provided for neurorehabilitation and allied neuroclinical services in County Meath; the budget allocation for such services for 2021 in line with the documents (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23045/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

206. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 332 of 2 October 2018, the number of persons with disabilities (details supplied) in County Meath; and the number of persons with neurodisability in County Meath waiting for neuro-rehabilitation services [23046/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 206 together.

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. As the Deputy's questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disability Services Data

Ceisteanna (207)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

207. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 336 of 2 October 2018, if the funding has been provided year on year since 2018; if so, the services that have been provided as a result of the funds in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23047/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Programme for Government includes a commitment for advancing neuro-rehabilitation services in the community. The Health Service Executive is leading on the implementation framework in respect of the recommendations of the National Policy and Strategy for the provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011-2015.

The focus of the Neuro-Rehabilitation Strategy is on achieving best outcomes for people, by providing safe, high quality, person-centred care at the lowest appropriate level of complexity. This must be integrated across the care pathway and provided as close to home as possible or in specialist centres, where necessary. The framework will guide the reconfiguration and development of neuro-rehabilitation structures and services at national and local level, through a 10-step Framework. It proposes the formation of Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Networks (MCRNs), with the set-up of one demonstration MCRN suggested as the first step. The ultimate goal of this approach is to put in place a national framework of acute, inpatient and specialist community services.

The Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Network (MCRN) model acknowledges that different service users need different input and different levels of expertise and specialisation at different stages in their rehabilitation journey.

The critical point of this model is that, although service users may need to access different services as they progress, the transition between services should be facilitated by appropriate communication and sharing of information between services so that they progress in a seamless continuum of care through the different stages:

- Acute hospital;

- Complex specialist rehabilitation services;

- Post-acute specialist inpatient rehabilitation services;

- Community based specialist rehabilitation services;

- Primary care; and

- Voluntary organisations.

This National Implementation Framework is evidence-based and informed by population needs. It addresses the continuum of care for those in need of neurological rehabilitation services. It describes the requirement for a whole system approach and provides the blueprint for how we should deliver care and services for those who suffer from neurological conditions who require individualised, goal focused rehabilitation

The implementation framework covers an initial period from 2019 into 2021. However, it is recognised that continued investment in and development of neuro-rehabilitation services will need to be prioritised beyond the three-year implementation period of this Implementation Framework.

As the particular issue raised is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive (HSE) to reply directly to the Deputy.

Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (208)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

208. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if it will be ensured that the HSE provides backup services for clinical staff such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, speech and language therapists in cases in which a clinician is absent for most of their tenure and are allocated but not available and staff are on leave, for example, if a staff member takes paternal leave for a year and persons with a disability are deprived of a service and no provision is made for cover during the period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23048/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

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

Neuro-Rehabilitation Services

Ceisteanna (209)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

209. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is no neuropsychology service for persons with acquired brain injury (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23049/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Programme for Government includes a commitment for advancing neuro-rehabilitation services in the community. The Health Service Executive is leading on the implementation framework in respect of the recommendations of the National Policy and Strategy for the provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011-2015.

The focus of the Neuro-Rehabilitation Strategy is on achieving best outcomes for people, by providing safe, high quality, person-centred care at the lowest appropriate level of complexity. This must be integrated across the care pathway and provided as close to home as possible or in specialist centres, where necessary. The framework will guide the reconfiguration and development of neuro-rehabilitation structures and services at national and local level, through a 10-step Framework. It proposes the formation of Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Networks (MCRNs), with the set-up of one demonstration MCRN suggested as the first step. The ultimate goal of this approach is to put in place a national framework of acute, inpatient and specialist community services.

The Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Network (MCRN) model acknowledges that different service users need different input and different levels of expertise and specialisation at different stages in their rehabilitation journey.

The critical point of this model is that, although service users may need to access different services as they progress, the transition between services should be facilitated by appropriate communication and sharing of information between services so that they progress in a seamless continuum of care through the different stages:

- Acute hospital;

- Complex specialist rehabilitation services;

- Post-acute specialist inpatient rehabilitation services;

- Community based specialist rehabilitation services;

- Primary care; and

- Voluntary organisations.

This National Implementation Framework is evidence-based and informed by population needs. It addresses the continuum of care for those in need of neurological rehabilitation services. It describes the requirement for a whole system approach and provides the blueprint for how we should deliver care and services for those who suffer from neurological conditions who require individualised, goal focused rehabilitation

The implementation framework covers an initial period from 2019 into 2021. However, it is recognised that continued investment in and development of neuro-rehabilitation services will need to be prioritised beyond the three-year implementation period of this Implementation Framework.

As the particular issue raised is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive (HSE) to reply directly to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (210)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

210. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health when a day service for persons with acquired brain injury will be established in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23050/20]

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. 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

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (211)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

211. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health when staff will be returned to their regular positions providing services to persons with disabilities in the community teams in which clinicians that normally provide services have been redeployed due to Covid-19 related work; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the situation has had a detrimental impact on the well-being and health of vulnerable persons requiring more hospital and accident and emergency visits than would normally be the case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23051/20]

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. As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (212)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

212. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health when the enabling works at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe will commence; when tenders will be sought for the construction of the 50-bed ward block; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23060/20]

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 the deputy directly in relation to this matter.

Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (213)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

213. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) in County Clare can be considered for incremental credits. [23073/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (214)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

214. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 948 of 5 March 2020, if the issue at the health centre has been rectified; his plans to reopen the centre once Covid-19 restrictions are eased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23078/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Nursing Staff

Question No. 216 answered with Question No. 201.

Ceisteanna (215)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

215. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason there is no public health nurse at location (details supplied); if a nurse will be put in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23087/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Question No. 216 answered with Question No. 201.

Drugs Payment Scheme

Ceisteanna (217, 218)

Neasa Hourigan

Ceist:

217. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health when the monthly drugs payment scheme threshold will be reduced to €114 as provided for in budget 2020; when a commencement order will come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23098/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

218. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health his plans to reduce the monthly threshold for the drug payment scheme by €10 per month as announced in budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23104/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 and 218 together.

As part of Budget 2020, the previous Government announced two measures intended to reduce the cost of medicines:

- GMS prescription charges would be reduced by €0.50c for all medical card holders. The charge would be reduced by €0.50c to €1 per item for the over 70s and by €0.50c to €1.50 for persons under70. The maximum monthly charge would also be reduced to €10 and €15 espectively.

- The monthly threshold of €124 for the Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) would be reduced by €10 to €114 per household.

The funding of these measures was predicated on the achievement of corresponding savings in the health budget in 2020. It has not been possible to achieve these savings to date and therefore I am not in a position at present to progress the changes to prescription charges. I will keep this matter under review in the light of the funding available to the health service in 2020 and 2021.