Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 420-439
 Header Item Voluntary Sector Remuneration
 Header Item Medicinal Products Prices
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Provision
 Header Item Departmental Contracts Data
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Data
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Data
 Header Item Medical Card Administration
 Header Item Health Services Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists
 Header Item Respite Care Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Accommodation Provision
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Medicinal Products Licensing
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Drugs Payment Scheme Coverage

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 964 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 420-439

Voluntary Sector Remuneration

 420. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of discussions on section 39 organisations. [4242/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Whilst it is understood that pay cuts were implemented in many section 39 organisations, it is not clear if these cuts were applied in a universally consistent manner across all section 39 agencies. So while staff may have been subject to cuts, it is not known if the cuts were to the same extent as those applied to public servants. There are significant cost implications to be considered. Also, staff in these organisations are not public servants and, as such, are not entitled to the pay restoration provided for in the Public Service Agreements. Indeed, the issue of public servant status for the employees of such organisations is an issue which goes beyond the health sector with far reaching implications across the public sector as a whole.

Arrangements are being finalised for a process to establish the factual position regarding pay reductions and pay restoration in the Section 39 organisations. It is anticipated that this process will bring about the necessary clarity and transparency as well as an agreed way forward for all parties involved.

Medicinal Products Prices

 421. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the cost per treatment to a person who suffers from Crohn's disease for regular iron infusions on an outpatient basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4244/18]

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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Primary Care Centres Provision

 422. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 390 of 26 September 2017, the status of the completion of the pre-planning survey of the proposed primary care centre for the west of Galway city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4249/18]

 423. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the range of ultrasound services available at the primary care centre in Doughiska, Galway; the number of persons over 65 years of age referred by general practitioners to the service for each month since May 2017 and to date in 2018; the waiting time from the date of referral to the ultrasound; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4250/18]

 424. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of persons over 65 years of age who have received ultrasound services at the primary care centre in Doughiska, Galway, since the service began to date, by month, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4251/18]

 426. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the details of the arrangement or contract between the HSE and a company (details supplied) in respect of the delivery of the ultrasound service in Galway city and county; the duration and value of the contract and the amount of moneys received by the company to date; the number of persons seen by the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4253/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 422 to 424, inclusive, and 426 together.

  As the HSE has responsibility for Primary Care Centres and ultrasound services in Primary Care, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Executive for direct reply.

Departmental Contracts Data

 425. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the initial contract was signed with a company (details supplied); the nature, duration and value of the contract; the moneys received by the company to date; the number of persons seen by the company; the business case in respect of the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4252/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have had enquiries made in my Department and my Department did not enter into a contract with the named company. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is the statutory provider of health and personal social services and I have asked the HSE to reply to the Deputy directly in relation to any contract they may have entered into with the named company.

  Question No. 426 answered with Question No. 422.

Primary Care Centres Data

 427. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the details of the adult psychology service at the primary care centre in Doughiska, Galway; the number and age of persons seen; the number of staff and the agency providing the service; the origin of referrals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4254/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Primary Care Centres Data

 428. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the details of the counselling in primary care service at the primary care centre in Doughiska, Galway; the number and age of persons seen; the number of staff and the agency providing the service; the origin of referrals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4255/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Medical Card Administration

 429. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the considerations which are provided to persons who suffer from Crohn's disease in applying for a medical card (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4256/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Medical card provision is solely based on financial assessment. In accordance with the provisions of the Health Act 1970 (as amended), eligibility for a medical card is determined by the HSE. The Act obliges the HSE to assess whether a person is unable, without due hardship, to arrange general practitioner services for himself or herself and his or her family, having regard to his or her overall financial position and reasonable expenditure and every application must be assessed on that basis. Under the legislation, having a particular illness, in itself, does not establish eligibility for a medical card and therefore, the medical conditions of applicants for this scheme are not monitored on that basis. Where the applicant's income is within the income guidelines, a medical card or GP visit card will be awarded.

Every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of the difficult circumstances in the case of applicants who may be in excess of the income guidelines. It should be noted, in certain circumstances, the HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card, even though an applicant exceeds his or her income threshold, where he or she faces difficult financial circumstances, such as extra costs arising from an illness. Social and medical issues are considered when determining whether undue hardship exists for an individual accessing general practitioner or other medical services. The HSE affords applicants the opportunity to furnish supporting information documentation to fully take account of all the relevant circumstances that may benefit them in the assessment, including medical evidence of cost and necessary expenses.

There are other arrangements which protect people from excessive medicine costs. Under the Drug Payment Scheme, since 1 January 2018, no individual or family pays more than €134 a month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals with ongoing expenditure on medicines. People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. People who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of GP consultations.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

 430. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will address the fact that the post of consultant orthodontist has been vacant within CHO 8 for some time; the length of time this post has been vacant; and the increased efforts being made to fill the post. [4257/18]

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.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

 431. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the waiting times as a result of a vacancy for the post of consultant orthodontist in CHO 8 in comparison with all other areas of the health service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4258/18]

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.

Respite Care Services Provision

 432. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a person (details supplied) who is booked in for respite care will be facilitated. [4276/18]

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 Accommodation Provision

 433. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to address the immediate shortfall in isolation beds across the South/South West hospital group, in particular University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4290/18]

 434. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to address the immediate shortfall in critical care beds across the South/South West hospital group, in particular University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4291/18]

 435. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to address the shortfall of 40 beds in University Hospital Kerry in view of the fact that the difficulties experienced due to this shortfall were evident during the recent influenza epidemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4293/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 433 to 435, inclusive, together.

  The Capacity Review was published on the 23rd of January this year. In light of the inter-dependent nature of health service delivery across care sectors, the Review had a wider scope than previous exercises and included key elements of primary and community care infrastructure, in addition to hospital facilities. It is expected that the findings of the Review will feed into the National Development Plan process.

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

Hospital Appointments Status

 436. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied). [4359/18]

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.

Medicinal Products Licensing

 437. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the hormone-based treatment drug Primodos was ever licensed or dispensed here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4360/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the competent authority for the regulation of medicines in Ireland. The HPRA has advised that Primodos, which was also known by the brand name Duogynon, was never authorised (i.e. licensed for use) in Ireland, although it is understood that Duogynon was available in Ireland during the 1970s, with distribution discontinued in 1978.

Duogynon was not an authorised medicinal product; however, the 1975 annual report of the National Drugs Advisory Board (NDAB, a predecessor of the HPRA) outlined the consideration given by the NDAB to the use of hormonal testing for pregnancy. In April 1975, the NDAB issued a warning letter to practitioners regarding the use of hormonal pregnancy testing preparations. This letter reminded practitioners that these preparations had not been assessed by the NDAB and that their use as a means of pregnancy testing had not been accepted by the NDAB. The letter also highlighted that these preparations should be avoided as a firm statement of safety could not be given and other, more efficient methods of pregnancy testing were available.

Hospital Appointments Status

 438. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4367/18]

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.

Drugs Payment Scheme Coverage

 439. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony Information on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony Zoom on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to include the FreeStyle Libre device under the current drugs payment scheme in circumstances in which it is more convenient for diabetics in view of the fact that it is more cost-effective; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [4374/18]

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.


Last Updated: 24/02/2020 12:19:22 First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page