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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 282-305
 Header Item Health Services Funding
 Header Item Diabetes Strategy
 Header Item Medicinal Products Reimbursement
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Applications
 Header Item Minor Ailments Scheme
 Header Item Community Pharmacy Services
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Hospital Consultant Recruitment
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration
 Header Item HSE Funding
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Home Help Service
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item General Practitioner Services
 Header Item Medicinal Products Reimbursement
 Header Item Home Care Packages Data
 Header Item Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Services

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 95 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 282-305

Health Services Funding

 282. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if funding for a further podiatrist in County Meath will be made available in Budget 2018.  [42485/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Diabetes Strategy

 283. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on findings in recent data showing that County Meath had the largest year-on-year increase in the number of persons with diabetes hospitalised for foot ulceration treatment.  [42486/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

 284. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status for funding in respect of a drug (details supplied) used in the treatment of phenylketonuria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42487/17]

 295. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason Kuvan, the only drug available to those diagnosed with PKU, was refused by the HSE in view of the fact that it radically improves the quality of life for those with the condition; if he has given consideration to providing funding in order that the drug can be offered to persons here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42510/17]

 322. Deputy Seán Barrett Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the drug Kuvan will be made available for sufferers of the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42620/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 284, 295 and 322 together.

  The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

  In reaching its decision, the HSE examines all the evidence which may be relevant in its view for the decision and will take into account such expert opinions and recommendations which may have been sought by the HSE, including, for example, advice from the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, NCPE.

  Sapropterin (Kuvan) was previously considered under the national pricing and reimbursement processes in 2009. At that time, insufficient evidence was available to support the pricing and reimbursement application submitted by Merck Serono for Kuvan.

  In December 2015, Merck Serono advised the HSE that the market authorisation for Kuvan was transferring to Biomarin in 2016. The HSE met with the new market authorisation holder Biomarin in May 2016 and was advised that it would be submitting a health technology assessment dossier in relation to Kuvan.

  The NCPE assessment of the Biomarin dossier was completed on 15 September 2017, and the NCPE did not recommend Kuvan for reimbursement as it was not deemed cost-effective.

  The HSE assessment process is ongoing, and the HSE will take into account any relevant expert advice when making its decision, in line with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 285. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment at Sligo University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42488/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, 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 been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

 286. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) in County Meath will receive a hospital appointment. [42490/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, 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 been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

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

Hospital Appointments Status

 287. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42491/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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 scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she should take the matter up with the consultant and the hospital involved. In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly..

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications

 288. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of prosthetics for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42493/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Minor Ailments Scheme

 289. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will provide a report on the introduction of a minor ailment scheme in community pharmacies. [42496/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Programme for Partnership Government is committed to the expansion of the community pharmacy role in managing the health of patients.

  A feasibility trial into a minor ailments service was conducted in 2016.

  The conditions included in the trial were dry eye, dry skin, scabies, threadworms and vaginal thrush. Further extensive trials will be required in order to progress this area.

  The expansion of pharmacy services will be considered. However, any expansion of services should address unmet public health needs, improve access to existing public health services delivered elsewhere or provide better value for money or patient outcomes if delivered through pharmacy.

Community Pharmacy Services

 290. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will provide a report on the implementation of e-prescribing in the community. [42497/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospitals Data

 291. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the hospitals and specialties that benefited from the recent allocation of 120 advanced nurse practitioners, in tabular form. [42498/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The selection process in relation to the allocation of the advanced nurses practitioner places is ongoing. The outcome of the selection process will be known on 23 October 2017, and I will write to you shortly after that date advising you of the outcome in this regard..

Hospitals Data

 292. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of planned cases by doctor in general surgery at Letterkenny University Hospital in each of the years 2007 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of cases operated on; and the numbers of cases cancelled. [42499/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Cancellation of elective procedures can occur for a variety of exceptional reasons, including cancellations because a bed or the clinical team are not available, cancellations by the patient, or because the patient may not be fit for surgery at the time.

  Maintaining scheduled care access for all patients and managing emergency demand at times is challenging, however all efforts are made to limit cancellations particularly for clinically urgent procedures.

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

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

 293. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if funding will be provided for a third paediatric rheumatologist to combat the waiting list for persons with juvenile arthritis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42502/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In relation to the query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly regarding the actions being taken to address waiting times for children who require rheumatology services across the three children's hospitals. .

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

 294. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the arrangements in place for collecting moneys under the nursing home support scheme; the amounts received in each of the years 2011 to 2016 and to date in 2017 under this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42509/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly These figures are not available to my Department. This matter falls under the remit of the Department of Finance. I understand that my colleague, Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance, will provide the Deputy with an answer to the question raised.

Question No. 295 answered with Question No. 284.

HSE Funding

 296. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason an application for HSE national lottery grants submitted by a service (details supplied) was unsuccessful; if this decision may be appealed by the service; the other suitable sources of funding for which the service may apply in this circumstance in view of the fact that this service has now been placed in jeopardy as a result of this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42515/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Appointments Status

 297. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an audio test for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42520/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Home Help Service

 298. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason full-time staff employed by the HSE for home help are excluded from the general staffing numbers in the HSE; his views on whether this is appropriate and respects the dignity of the HSE employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42521/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris  Directly employed HSE home help workers are regarded as employees and are recorded on HSE payrolls. While the HSE records data for home help workers, they are not currently included in the general staffing numbers for historical reasons.

Home help workers were not always classified as employees. Following a Labour Court ruling in 1997, home help workers established employment status. This led to 4,000 WTE (12,000 headcount) home help numbers being collected as part of health service personnel statistics. It was decided to report them separately to avoid a sudden 4,000 increase in overall WTE numbers. In addition, in some counties, home help services are provided exclusively by Section 39 agencies and consequently, home help workers are not employed by the HSE in those locations. As a result, for these counties, the WTE value would be zero, leading to a potential impression of staffing shortages in these counties.

Accepting the desirability for consistent reporting of both pay and numbers, and acknowledging the need to allow for comparison across years, my Department, the HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are engaging on this issue in relation to future reporting.

It should be noted that home help workers have, for some time, acquired all the same terms and conditions of employment, including pension entitlements, as any other cohort of staff and are not differentiated on that basis.

Hospital Appointments Status

 299. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42525/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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 scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she should take the matter up with the consultant and the hospital involved. In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly..

General Practitioner Services

 300. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the position regarding the Shannondoc service in the Shannon region, County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42527/17]

 301. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the position regarding the Shannondoc service in the Shannon region, County Clare, being provided during weekends; if the service has been downgraded; if a decision has been made to downgrade it in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42528/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 300 and 301 together.

  As these questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

 302. Deputy Josepha Madigan Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to expand the licence for pembrolizumab to cover rare cancers (details supplied).  [42530/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Home Care Packages Data

 303. Deputy Declan Breathnach Information on Declan Breathnach Zoom on Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the funding available for home care packages of approximately €149 million and the additional €9 million supported by HSE and an organisation (details supplied) available for intensive home care packages, by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42545/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

 304. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason there is a delay in providing an appointment for orthodontic treatment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42546/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Services

 305. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the HSE plans to put a permanent ward in the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, for COPD patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42547/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In response to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.


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