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Thursday, 25 Nov 2021

Written Answers Nos. 322-342

Hospital Staff

Ceisteanna (322)

Duncan Smith

Ceist:

322. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Health the number of neurology nurse specialists working in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital; the difference in number between this number and the national and internationally recognised neurology standards; his plans to increase the neurology nurse workforce in the hospital; and when this will take place. [58058/21]

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 Staff

Ceisteanna (323)

Duncan Smith

Ceist:

323. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Health the specific workforce planning that has taken place for the establishment of the new national trauma centre in the Mater Hospital; the additional recruitment that will take place; the grades for which recruitment will take place; and when this will take place. [58059/21]

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 Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (324)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

324. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment in University Hospital Kerry. [58065/21]

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.

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.

Abortion Services

Ceisteanna (325)

Michael Collins

Ceist:

325. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Health the way, and the place in which, all information reported to his Department related to the operation of abortion, including incidents of adverse events, is being collated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58066/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy may be aware, under section 20 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, a notification of each termination of pregnancy carried out under the legislation must be sent, in a prescribed form, to the Minister for Health within 28 days of it being carried out. Section 20, subsections (3) and (4), require the Minister to prepare a report on the notifications received in a given year not later than 30 June the following year and thereafter to lay it before the Houses of the Oireachtas. This report may then be published.

In line with section 20 of the Act, therefore, the Annual Report on Notifications 2021 will be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on or before 30 June 2022. No information on notifications received under the Act will be released until after that report has been laid.

The State Claims Agency hosts the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which is the principal source of national data on incident activity for the Irish public health service. Under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000 State authorities are obliged to report adverse incidents promptly to the State Claims Agency (SCA). This allows the SCA, in conjunction with State authorities, to identify and analyse developing trends and patterns and to work with the State authorities concerned to develop and implement risk mitigation strategies. It is also important in the investigation of any subsequent claim.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (326)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

326. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of persons over 18 years of age who are awaiting first-time intervention for occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and psychotherapy in CHO 8, by individual area, in tabular form; and the length of time they are awaiting intervention. [58070/21]

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.

Health Services

Question No. 328 answered with Question No. 327.

Ceisteanna (327, 328)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

327. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of children aged zero to 18 in each CHO, by individual area, awaiting first-time intervention in all areas of early intervention; the number on the public list; the number on the CDNT list in each CHO, in tabular form; and the length of time they are awaiting intervention by age. [58071/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

328. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of children who have completed assessment, intervention and completed therapies, by age, in each CHO, in tabular form. [58072/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 328 together.

As these are service matters, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Question No. 328 answered with Question No. 327.

Ambulance Service

Ceisteanna (329)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

329. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of ambulance call-outs in 2021 to date; and the average time these ambulances took to the Great Island of Cobh, in tabular form. [58073/21]

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 (330)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

330. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the number of ambulances that left the county bounds of Cork in 2021; the distance travelled on those calls; the reasons for the calls taking the ambulance outside the county; and the number of paramedics who have to take additional leave due to such calls, in tabular form [58074/21]

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.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (331)

Gerald Nash

Ceist:

331. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Health the date on which his officials last met formally with members of an association (details supplied); the actions agreed at the meeting; if he will provide an update on plans by his Department to agree a framework within which a potential revised dental treatment services scheme may be agreed with dental service providers; his views on whether an independent chair should be appointed to facilitate discussions between the relevant parties; if he will establish a timeframe for progress on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58078/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A new National Oral Health Policy, Smile agus Sláinte, was launched in April 2019. That Policy set out the roadmap for the future provision of oral healthcare to the eligible population. It has two key goals; first, to provide the supports to enable every individual to achieve their best oral health, and second, to reduce oral health inequalities across the population, by enabling vulnerable groups to access oral healthcare and improve their oral health.

The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS), which dates from the 1990s is available to medical card holders aged 16 and over. The dental care is provided by independent dental practitioners who have a contract with the HSE. There is a need to align the DTSS with best international evidence and practice, and legislation, as outlined in Smile agus Sláinte. Regretfully, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the roll-out of the Policy to be delayed and the proposed review of the DTSS contract to be deferred.

Nevertheless, there has been continued engagement between my officials, the HSE and the dental community throughout the pandemic on infection control measures, guidelines for safe dental practice, and ensuring that dental professionals were included in the high-risk group for early vaccination. This sustained engagement was with a view to ensuring that a safe satisfactory service could be continued for the eligible population.

I have acknowledged that there is a need for a substantive review of the DTSS and have given a commitment that the review would be undertaken. I have also acknowledged the immediate issues of concern with current arrangements under the Scheme.

I instructed my officials to hold talks with the Irish Dental Association (IDA) to address both issues. I am aware that preliminary talks were held in June this year and that it is proposed to hold further talks in the coming weeks, at which all of the issues raised by the Deputy will be up for discussion.

I would also wish to point out that I secured additional funding of €10 million in Budget 2022 to address immediate issues with the DTSS, which is on top of the annual allocation of €56 million for 2022.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (332)

Emer Higgins

Ceist:

332. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a group (details supplied); his plans to meet with the group; the current actions being taken to lessen the waiting times for children awaiting surgery for spina bifida; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58079/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I sincerely regret that children can experience a long waiting time for hospital appointments and treatment, and I remain conscious of the burden that this places on them and their families. My priority as Minister for Health, and that of this Government, is to improve waiting times for all patients accessing hospital treatment. Reducing the paediatric orthopaedic waiting list remains a priority within that.

This Government remains committed to improving access to hospital appointments and procedures. For 2022 an additional allocation of €250 million, comprised of €200 million to the HSE and €50 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund has been provided in respect of work to reduce hospital and community waiting lists. The €250 million will be used to fund additional activity in both the public and private sectors. The €50 million additional funding provided to the NTPF brings its total allocation for 2022 to €150 million, and as a consequence there will be a budget of €350 million available to support vital initiatives to improve access to acute hospitals and community health services.

In addition, my Department, the HSE and the National Treatment Purchase Fund are also working on a Multi Annual Waiting List Plan to reduce waiting lists. This process will be overseen by a Ministerial Taskforce, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department and includes representatives from the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund. The plan will be informed by the lessons learned from the successful Vaccine Taskforce.

Departmental Data

Ceisteanna (333)

John Brady

Ceist:

333. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the number of applications for births, deaths and marriages that are currently waiting to be processed in County Wicklow; the average waiting time for applications to be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58081/21]

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 Services

Ceisteanna (334)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

334. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of days per week a radiology service is available at Donegal Community Hospital; if there are plans to increase capacity in this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58083/21]

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 Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (335)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

335. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for surgery will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58094/21]

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.

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.

Emergency Departments

Ceisteanna (336)

John Lahart

Ceist:

336. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the number of instances of spiking, including either physical spiking of a person, perhaps through syringe into a part of the body, or of spiking of a drink, that have resulted in presentations at emergency departments in hospitals, by hospital, in tabular form; and the presenting symptoms of the patients to emergency departments in this regard. [58096/21]

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.

Disability Services

Ceisteanna (337)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

337. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health when there will be a full return of adult disability day services in an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58104/21]

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.

Dental Services

Ceisteanna (338)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

338. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if funding will be approved under the dental treatment scheme for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58112/21]

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 (339)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

339. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health the meaning of the words "requires attention at the boarding gate", highlighted with an asterisk on a passenger locator form; his views on whether the passenger is entitled to know the meaning of these words; if he will clarify this issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58119/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Travellers who arrive into Ireland from overseas are asked to show valid proof of vaccination, valid proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days, or present evidence of a negative RT-PCR result from a test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country. Travellers must declare on their Passenger Locator Form which documentation they hold prior to travel. The passenger must carry the PLF receipt with them and present this to airline staff or handling agents responsible for boarding aircraft or ferries. Those who do not present the PLF receipt may be denied boarding by the travel carrier. The phrase ‘Requires attention at the boarding gate’ is included on the PLF receipt to remind travellers that they will be asked to present this document at departure.

Home Help Service

Ceisteanna (340)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

340. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the policy and practice in respect of home help and home care workers who are not vaccinated; if clients who do not wish to have unvaccinated workers in their home and providing personal care are facilitated with alternative staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58124/21]

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.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (341)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

341. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the arrangements for the provision of Covid-19 booster vaccinations to those who have received a vaccination (details supplied) in respect of the advice for these to be provided after three months of their original vaccine; the location in which these vaccinations will take place; if persons will need to register or if they will be contacted directly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58125/21]

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.

Vaccination Programme

Ceisteanna (342)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

342. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if he will provide the latest data in respect of persons who do not show up for appointments for Covid-19 boosters, by cohort; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58126/21]

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.

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