Covid-19 Tests

Ceisteanna (871)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

871. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the way in which persons in County Clare who do not drive are expected to attend a drive in Covid-19 testing centre in Limerick city while being advised not to use public transport and asked to self-isolate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26748/20]

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.

Medicinal Products

Ceisteanna (872)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

872. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the reason the only treatment for persons with dry age-related macular degeneration disease, MacuShield, is not covered by the medical card reimbursement scheme in view of the fact that this mainly effects older persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26749/20]

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.

Long-Term Illness Scheme

Ceisteanna (873)

Martin Browne

Ceist:

873. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Health his plans to make the FreeStyle Libre device available for type 1 through the long-term illness scheme (details supplied). [26755/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug scheme under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (874)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

874. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if there are funding streams available for persons who contract Covid-19 abroad and incur medical expenses in their treatment. [26767/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Patients who contract Covid-19 while on a temporary visit to another EU Member State may access public healthcare for their illness in the Member State they are visiting under the terms of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme.

This scheme provides persons travelling within the UK with access to necessary public healthcare on the same basis as a resident of the Member State they are visiting. Necessary healthcare is healthcare which is deemed clinically necessary to allow the patient continue their visit or be well enough to travel home. Patients who do not have their EHIC with them while on a temporary visit and if charged for the public healthcare they receive may apply to the HSE on their return for reimbursement of the charge applied less any co-payment which a resident of the Member State visit is liable for.

HSE National Service Plan

Ceisteanna (875)

Alan Farrell

Ceist:

875. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the status of the establishment of the national psychology placement office within the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26780/20]

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (876)

Johnny Guirke

Ceist:

876. Deputy Johnny Guirke asked the Minister for Health if it is possible to see if a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 has not observed the isolation period, potentially infecting others by using the track and tracing system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26781/20]

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (877)

Johnny Guirke

Ceist:

877. Deputy Johnny Guirke asked the Minister for Health the percentage of positive Covid-19 transmissions that have been linked to retail outlets using the track and tracing system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26782/20]

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.

Mental Health Services

Ceisteanna (878)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

878. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when urgent local psychology services will be made available to the population of Maynooth, County Kildare in view of the urgent need to provide such services and ensure fast and efficient access to services when required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26785/20]

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.

Medical Cards

Ceisteanna (879)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

879. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the status of a medical card application by a person (details supplied). [26816/20]

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.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Ceisteanna (880)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

880. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if calls for an increase in core funding for the drug and alcohol task forces (details supplied) will be supported with regard to budget 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26817/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem in local communities. They ensure that a coordinated approach is taken across all sectors to address substance misuse based on the identified needs and priorities in their areas.

The Department of Health and the HSE provide total annual funding of €28 million to task forces for local initiatives to tackle drug and alcohol use and misuse, in line with the National Drugs Strategy. Task forces use this funding to support over 280 community projects throughout the country.

In 2019, the Department provided additional funding of €1 million to support the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy. This funding is divided between core funding and funding for 14 strategic initiatives for three years.

The strategic initiatives reflect priorities agreed between the community health organisations and the task forces to ensure that resources are targeted at groups most in need.

Measuring the overall effectiveness of the response to the drug problem is an important objective of drug policy. Resources should be directed towards interventions and strategies which are most likely to lead to a reduction in problem substance use and an improvement in public health, safety and well-being.

The allocation of resources for task forces is decided on an annual basis as part of the Estimates process.

In line with the Programme for Government, I am examining how the Department of Health can continue to support task forces in identifying local need in communities and supporting targeting initiatives addressing drug and alcohol misuse.

Health Services

Ceisteanna (881)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

881. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health when the day care services in counties Laois and Offaly will reopen, in particular the day care centre in Mountmellick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26818/20]

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

Medical Research and Training

Ceisteanna (882)

James O'Connor

Ceist:

882. Deputy James O'Connor asked the Minister for Health if provisions are in place for medical students studying abroad who are returning home due to Covid-19 to complete their practical training within the medical system here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26819/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Medical students studying abroad who meet the criteria are eligible to apply for internship in Ireland following completion of their medical training. Stage 1 of the Application process for the July 2021 Intern Intake will open on Friday 23 October 2020.

Medical Research and Training

Ceisteanna (883)

James O'Connor

Ceist:

883. Deputy James O'Connor asked the Minister for Health if there will be an increase in medical school places here to encourage those studying abroad (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26820/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Universities are autonomous institutions under the Universities Act 1997, and the management of their academic affairs, including in relation to admissions, is a matter for each individual institution. Therefore, admission to medicine programmes is a matter for the Schools of Medicine in the relevant universities.

The Department of Health has no role in relation to determining admission to these programmes. However, the Deputy may wish to note that in 2020 the Government funded an extra 2,225 higher education places on high-demand courses in areas such as medicine, nursing, law and business, on a once-off basis in order to help mitigate the impact of the changes to the Leaving Certificate brought about as a result of the global pandemic. An additional 16 places were provided in medicine.

The Programme for Government Our Shared Future commits to establishing a Workforce Planning Expert Unit to work with the education sectors, regulators, and professional bodies to improve the availability of health professionals and reform their training to support integrated care across the entire health service. This is particularly relevant in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic.

A new Strategic Workforce Planning Unit has recently been established within the Department of Health. The initial work of the Unit will focus on measures to address staffing shortages in critical healthcare areas and looking at the impact the COVID 19 pandemic is having on staffing resources across the entire health system. Effective short, medium, and long-term workforce planning will be vital to ensure that the introduction of new models of care envisaged in Sláintecare are planned and managed effectively from a health workforce perspective.

Health Services

Ceisteanna (884)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

884. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the medical assessment units, urgent care centres and minor injuries clinics that have extended hours of opening to weekends since 2017, in tabular form. [26826/20]

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.

Hospital Facilities

Ceisteanna (885)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

885. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided for the expansion and upgrade of the intensive care unit at Tallaght University Hospital; when works will commence; and the estimated time frame for completion. [26830/20]

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.

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (886)

Neale Richmond

Ceist:

886. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health when early intervention services, including consultations, and the intake of new clients will resume in view of the fact the waiting list is over a year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26838/20]

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.

Hospital Facilities

Question No. 888 answered with Question No. 764.

Ceisteanna (887)

Patrick Costello

Ceist:

887. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of doubling the number of beds in the national burns unit at St. James's Hospital. [26847/20]

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. 888 answered with Question No. 764.

Hospital Staff

Ceisteanna (889)

Patrick Costello

Ceist:

889. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided for the recruitment of a full-time craniofacial surgeon for paediatrics at Children’s Health Ireland, Temple Street. [26849/20]

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.

Ambulance Service

Ceisteanna (890)

Patrick Costello

Ceist:

890. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of purchasing, equipping and staffing 18 additional ambulances. [26850/20]

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.