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 Header Item Medical Card Delays (Continued)
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Hospital Staff Issues
 Header Item Hospital Bed Data
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Bed Data
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Hospital Staff Issues
 Header Item Hospital Charges
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

  Question No. 1813 answered with Question No. 1752.

Medical Card Applications

 1814. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if and when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38972/12]

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

Health Services Provision

 1815. Deputy Joan Collins Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the long-term plan for Brú Choimhín; the reason the day care centre is not open on Fridays; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39052/12]

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.

Hospital Services

 1816. Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plans to cut funding for Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin, over the next 12 months; the cuts that he envisages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39053/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The funding pressures now being experienced in the health services mean that the acute sector must reduce its costs in order to deliver the agreed level of activity within the resources available to it. This means that we must concentrate on maximising efficiency and getting the best possible services for patients from the budgets available to us. However, this on its own is not sufficient. Activity levels in our acute hospitals have been running ahead of the levels set in the approved HSE Service Plan and therefore it is inevitable that activity levels must also be reduced. This will be a significant challenge, and in meeting it we must be flexible and responsive to service needs, in order to ensure that essential services are protected and that patient safety and quality remain paramount. 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.

Medical Card Appeals

 1817. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if an urgent review will be carried out on a decision to refuse a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39054/12]

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

Hospital Services

 1818. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will outline the hospital groups programme that was outlined by his Department on 11 June 2012, specifically the plans that have been made to further this project; the hospitals that are to be grouped together; the expected efficiencies that this programme will realise; the timetable for when these changes will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39055/12]

 1819. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the progress made by a person (details supplied) and the special delivery unit in introducing the hospital group's project plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39056/12]

 1820. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when he envisages that the establishment of hospital groups will commence; the timescale he is working towards for the establishment of full independent hospital trusts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39057/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1818 to 1820, inclusive, together.

The creation of hospital groups and trusts is at the heart of the Government’s reforms of the acute hospital sector. It is an important stepping stone towards the introduction of universal health insurance which is the ultimate destination of the Government's reform programme. As a first step on that journey, hospitals will be aligned within groups on an administrative basis. Each Group will have a single consolidated management team with responsibility for performance and outcomes, within a clearly defined budget and employment ceiling.

In June 2012, the Minister announced the appointment of Professor John R Higgins to work with the Special Delivery Unit (SDU) in the role of Chair of a Strategic Board to assist the Department of Health in the design and establishment of Hospital Groups. As Chair, he will have a key role in progressing the creation of Hospital Groups initially and, ultimately, Independent Hospital Trusts. The Project Group led by Professor John Higgins has carried out a comprehensive consultation process with all acute hospitals and other key advocacy groups which have requested an opportunity to be consulted. In addition, a significant number of submissions have been received by the Project Group. The consultation process has continued through the summer and will conclude later this month.

Criteria for the formation of Hospital Groups and proposed groups arising from these criteria will be identified by the Project Group. A Strategic Board is being established to consider the findings and proposals of the Project Group prior to their submission to the Minister and, subsequently, to Government. The submission to Government is planned to take place before the end of the year. The Board will also have an ongoing role in overseeing the implementation of proposals in relation to Hospital Groups approved by Government. It is scheduled to have its first meeting in early October.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 1821. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a hospital appointment in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5.  [39059/12]

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

Medical Card Applications

 1822. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their medical card application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39060/12]

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

  Question No. 1823 answered with Question No. 1511.

Hospital Staff Issues

 1824. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the actions that have been taken in relation to the consultants who have been identified as being outside the public private ratio specified in their contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39119/12]

 1825. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of consultants that are still in breach of the public private ratio specified in their contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39120/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1824 and 1825 together.

Consultant Contract 2008 limits private practice for newly-appointed consultants on a Type B or C contract to 20% of activity. The upper limit for consultants who held a contract prior to 2008 is 30%. The HSE has put in place arrangements to measure consultants' private practice and to pursue issues of compliance where necessary. The Contract provides for a series of steps to be taken where a consultant exceeds the level of private practice permitted in his or her contract. As of April 2012, a total of 49 Consultants had been identified as being in breach of their permitted public/private practice ratio after the period for this to be addressed, as provided for in the Contract, had elapsed.

In the light of the information emerging from the measurement of public/private practice activity, the HSE engaged with the medical representative bodies and individual consultants to pursue the issue of compliance, with a particular focus on consultants who are significantly in breach of their permitted ratio. There has been a significant improvement in the level of compliance with the private practice rules. In addition, the proposals agreed between health service management and the consultant representative organisations on 17 September include provisions regarding compliance with the contractual requirements regarding private practice These include commitment by consultants to measures that ensure that public patients waiting for elective care of any type are seen within clinically appropriate timeframes and that the entirety of the Consultant’s clinical activity, including in-patient, day-patient and out-patient activity, is within contractual limits.

Hospital Bed Data

 1826. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of geriatric beds that have been lost in Nenagh and Roscrea, County Tipperary, in the years 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012; if he will provide a breakdown by facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39121/12]

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.

Health Services Provision

 1827. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the actions he will take to combat the increasing waiting list for respite in Thurles, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39122/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Bed Data

 1828. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he intends to meet the commitment he made in relation to the Community Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles, County Tipperary, to reinstate the respite beds under budget 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39123/12]

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.

Hospital Services

 1829. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding development of the Galway Rehabilitation Centre, Merlin Park, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39124/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I have arranged for the Deputy's question to be referred to the Health Service Executive Estates Directorate for investigation and a direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Staff Issues

 1830. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide, in tabular form, a breakdown of consultants' hours in the public sector by specialty for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39125/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Charges

 1831. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his views on whether it is fair that patients who receive stitches in an accident and emergency unit and who have paid their €100 have to pay a further fee to their GP to have them removed; his views on whether this should be regarded as the completion of the service started in the accident and emergency unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39126/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The A&E charge which is currently €100, is provided for by the Health (Out-Patient Charges) Regulations 1994 (as amended). The charge applies for the first visit of any episode of care at a designated accident and emergency or casualty department. The €100 A&E charge does not cover services provided by a GP. Where an individual qualifies for a medical card, GP services are provided without charge.

Appointments to State Boards

 1832. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when he will fill the place on the board of the Health Information and Quality Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39127/12]

 1833. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if new procedures and requirements to enter expressions with publicjobs.ie was followed in appointing new members to the Health Information and Quality Authority board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39128/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1832 and 1833 together.

The term of the outgoing Chairperson of the Board of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) was due to expire on 14th May 2012. I decided to reappoint the outgoing Chairperson for a further year commencing on 15th May, 2012 to ensure the stability and continuity of the Board in light of the number of vacancies that were arising on the Board in 2012. The position of Chairperson of HIQA was not advertised via the Public Appointments Service.

Six vacancies on the HIQA Board were advertised on the Department's website and on the Public Appointments Service website, publicjobs.ie, in March 2012. A further vacancy on the Board arose subsequently which means that there are now 7 vacant positions on the Board. I am currently in the process of making appointments to the HIQA Board to fill these vacant positions.


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