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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 405-414
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme
 Header Item Home Help Service Provision
 Header Item Emergency Services Personnel
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Reports
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Medical Card Delays
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 802 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 405-414

Hospital Waiting Lists

 405. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if an operation will be arranged without delay in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny [21502/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2013, 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 recently been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

   In relation to this particular query raised by the Deputy, I have asked the Health Service Executive to investigate the situation and respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

 406. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the Fair deal scheme will be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny and if he will expedite the matter. [21503/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service mater it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Home Help Service Provision

 407. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if home help services will be reinstated in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny, if he will expedite the matter. [21504/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Emergency Services Personnel

 408. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will outline the details of an incident at Dunsany, County Meath, that led to a member of an Garda Siochána transporting a patient from the scene of a car crash to hospital by ambulance; if he will detail the pre-emergency care staffing levels in the Health Service Executive Dublin North East region for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; if he will detail the rostering arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21505/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly Members of An Garda Síochána are authorised to drive any vehicle deemed necessary in the performance of their duties. On rare occasions, two or more paramedics or advanced paramedics may be required to treat a patient in an emergency ambulance. In these circumstances, members of the emergency services on scene, including gardai, where capable of doing so are authorised by the HSE to drive National Ambulance Service vehicles. Such collaborative arrangements occur where all agencies at the scene of an incident are focussed on a common goal and mission - to preserve life. In relation to the query on staffing levels and rostering arrangements, I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

 409. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason a person (details supplied) in County Dublin is no longer eligible to provide chiropody services to public patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21521/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White While there is no statutory obligation to provide a chiropody/podiatry service, such services are provided by the HSE to medical card patients with the greatest needs. In several regions the service is provided by private chiropodists by arrangement with the HSE. Chiropodists/Podiatrists wishing to be added to the list of providers apply to the HSE and are added to the list once it has been established that they are qualified to provide the service. The HSE has been asked to examine the specific query raised by the Deputy and to reply to her as soon as possible.

Health Reports

 410. Deputy Nicky McFadden Information on Nicky McFadden Zoom on Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he has considered the recent position paper by the Fit for Work Coalition; the recommendations for a cross departmental group to engage the expertise and insights of the coalition members in order to develop an intervention programme designed to improve the lives of persons living with musculoskeletal disorders and to reduce workplace absenteeism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21530/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The work of the Fit for Work Coalition will be informative in the development of an implementation plan for Healthy Ireland: A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing. It reflects the ethos and principles articulated in Healthy Ireland as to how the determinants of health and wellbeing will be addressed across the life course.

The Healthy Ireland Framework will provide a leadership role in building and supporting a whole-of-government and intersectoral approach to identify practical ways to strengthen working between sectors to promote and protect the health and wellbeing of all in our society.

The Cabinet Committee on Social Policy, chaired by An Taoiseach, will oversee the implementation of Healthy Ireland. This high level of leadership will actively promote the engagement of Government departments and will oversee, monitor and address common Government policy, agenda, targets and action plans to improve health and wellbeing.

Health Services Provision

 411. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will make an intervention into the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will seek a place in a full-time care facility for them and ensure that they receive the care that they need for recovery.  [21537/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service issue this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Medical Card Delays

 412. Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite an application for a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; if further correspondence will be considered; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21539/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has recently reissued to Oireachtas members.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

 413. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding fees in respect of a nursing home (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21542/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch Financial support for long-term nursing home care is provided under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme. The Scheme provides support to individuals, not to nursing homes. In order to be an approved nursing home for the purposes of the Scheme all private nursing homes, and voluntary nursing homes which previously received funding for long-term residential care under section 39 of the Health Act 2004, must negotiate and agree a price for the cost of long-term nursing home care with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). This is necessary due to the commitment by the State to meet the full balance of the cost of care over and above individuals’ contributions.

  The NTPF is independent in the performance of this function and, in carrying it out, it must ensure value for money for both the individual and the State. The NTPF negotiates with each nursing home individually and may examine the records and accounts of nursing homes as part of the process.

  The NTPF assesses nursing home process under four criteria:

- costs reasonably and prudently incurred by the nursing home and evidence of value for money;

- price(s) previously charged;

- local market price, and

- Budgetary constraints and the obligation on the State to use available resources in the most beneficial, effective and efficient manner to improve, promote and protect the health and welfare of the public. An NTPF pricing agreement is in place with the nursing home referred to by the Deputy. It is scheduled for renewal on 1st July 2013 and NTPF are currently in contact with the proprietors concerning that renewal.

Services for People with Disabilities

 414. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the funding provided generally for disability services in each of the past four years to disability agencies generally; to St. Michael's House and, in relation to St. Michael's House, the services that have been curtailed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [21547/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch This Government currently provides funding of over €1.5 billion to the Disability Services Programme through the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2013, and is committed to protecting frontline services for people with disabilities to the greatest possible extent.

  The Minister for Health is working to ensure that protection is afforded to the disability sector, and the Social Care area as a whole.   In 2013 the HSE is seeking to maximise the provision of services within available resources and to maintaining a consistent level to that provided in 2012, by providing the following specialist disability services:

- residential services to over 9,000 people with a disability;

- day services to over 22,000 people with intellectual and physical disabilities;

- respite residential support for over 7,500 people with intellectual and physical disabilities;

- 1.68m hours of Personal Assistant / Home Support Hours.

  In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.


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