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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1183 - 1199
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Nursing Home Subventions
 Header Item Orthodontic Service Waiting Lists
 Header Item General Medical Services Scheme Administration
 Header Item Medical Card Reviews
 Header Item Hospital Accommodation Provision
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Ambulance Service Provision
 Header Item Hospital Trusts
 Header Item Treatment Abroad Scheme
 Header Item Ambulance Service Provision
 Header Item Accident and Emergency Department Closures
 Header Item Health Services Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Universal Health Insurance White Paper

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1183 - 1199

Medical Card Appeals

 1183. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite a medical card appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13986/14]

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 issued to Oireachtas members.

Nursing Home Subventions

 1184. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when an application for a fair deal scheme will be put in place in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14034/14]

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.

Orthodontic Service Waiting Lists

 1185. Deputy Andrew Doyle Information on Andrew Doyle Zoom on Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the length of time a child (details supplied) in County Wexford will have to wait to get braces fitted to their teeth having been assessed by a consultant orthodontist in January 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14035/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to patients based on their level of clinical need. An individual's access to orthodontic treatment is determined against a set of clinical guidelines and priority is given to patients with greatest needs. The HSE has been asked to examine the specific query raised by the Deputy and to reply to him as soon as possible.

General Medical Services Scheme Administration

 1186. 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 it is a contractual obligation for a GMS GP contract holder to be a registered medical practitioner; if the employment of a locum by a registered medical practitioner would obviate such an obligation; if it is possible for a locum to be a GMS GP contract holder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14039/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White It is a contractual obligation for a GMS GP contract holder to be a registered medical practitioner. The employment of a locum by a registered medical practitioner does not obviate such an obligation. A locum, who is a registered medical practitioner as set out in Section 1 of the Health (Provision of General Practitioner Services) Act 2012, may apply to the HSE for a GMS contract.

Medical Card Reviews

 1187. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite a medical card review in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14040/14]

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 issued to Oireachtas members.

Hospital Accommodation Provision

 1188. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding mixed gender wards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14049/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The HSE has confirmed that it is not its practice to mix male and female patients in in-patient wards. However, while the situation is avoided where possible, all hospitals must optimise the availability and occupancy of all bed spaces. As a result, there are extenuating circumstances where mixed wards can occur in Emergency Departments, Acute Medical Assessment Units, Intensive Care Units and Coronary Care Units. In these situations best practices are in place to protect the privacy and dignity of patients. The ongoing improvements in ward accommodation and increase in single room accommodation aims to provide appropriate accommodation for all patients.

The HSE intends that all newly built acute hospital in-patient accommodation at new hospital builds, major additions to existing hospitals or major renovations to existing hospital in-patient accommodation areas should be made up entirely of single patient rooms and that all newly built non-acute hospital in-patient accommodation, when included within an acute hospital setting, should be made up of a minimum of 50% single patient rooms.

Health Services

 1189. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his views on a matter in relation to a person's living support arrangements (details supplied)  [14050/14]

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 Services

 1190. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the details of each of the stroke rehabilitation programmes provided by St. Joseph's Hospital, Ennis, County Clare and St. Camillus' Hospital, County Limerick and the difference between each of the programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14058/14]

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 direct reply to the Deputy.

Ambulance Service Provision

 1191. 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 ambulance coverage that is currently being provided for Millstreet, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14061/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Trusts

 1192. 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 a report (details supplied) regarding the establishment of hospital groups as a transition to independent hospitals trusts, presented to him in February 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14062/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The establishment of Hospital Groups was committed to in Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015 and is a key building block in delivering on the Programme for Government commitment to fundamentally reform our health services. Following Government approval, the Minister published two reports in May 2013: the Report on The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a transition to Independent Hospital Trusts, and Securing the Future of Smaller Hospitals: a Framework for Development. The establishment of acute hospitals into a small number of groups, each with its own governance and management, will provide an optimum configuration for hospital services to deliver high quality, safe patient care in a cost effective manner.

  Seven Hospital Groups have been established on a non-statutory administrative basis as follows: (i) Dublin North East; (ii) Dublin Midlands; (iii) Dublin East; (iv) South/South West; (v) West/North West; (vi) UL Hospitals Group and (vii) Children’s Hospital Group. Chairpersons for all seven Hospital Groups and Boards for three have already been appointed. The appointment of board members to the four outstanding Hospital Groups, including the South/South West Hospital Group, will be completed shortly.    

  Group CEOs are in place in five Hospital Groups as follows: West/North West, UL Hospitals Group, Children’s Hospital Group, Dublin North East Hospital Group and on an interim basis in the South/South West Hospital Group. The HSE is putting arrangements in place to ensure the appointment of Group CEOs to the two remaining Hospital Groups and the appointment of Group CEOs will be followed by appointments to group management teams.

  Each hospital group will be required to develop a strategic plan within one year of establishment. The plans will describe how they will provide more efficient and effective patient services; reorganise these services to provide optimal care to the populations they serve; and how they will achieve maximum integration and synergy with other groups and all other health services, particularly primary care and community care services. The strategic plan for the South/South West Hospital Group will build on the significant work already under way in reconfiguring services in the South.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

 1193. 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 reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is not allowed to qualify for the treatment abroad scheme even though there is no specialist here to provide treatment; if he will have the application reconsidered favourably; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14063/14]

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 to the Deputy.

Ambulance Service Provision

 1194. 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 distribution of the number of ambulance services between Cork University Hospital and the Mercy University Hospital, Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14064/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Accident and Emergency Department Closures

 1195. 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 the accident and emergency department at the Mercy University Hospital, Cork has been closed at any stage in the past 12 weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14065/14]

 1196. 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 criteria that resulted in the accident and emergency department at the Mercy University Hospital, Cork, being closed; the person charged with making this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14066/14]

 1197. 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 in the event of the Mercy University Hospital accident and emergency department being closed, if he will confirm if members of the public are directed to the accident and emergency at Cork University Hospital; the person charged with responsibility for redirecting the members of the public to the accident and emergency department at Cork University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14067/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1195 to 1197, inclusive, together.

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

Health Services Staff Recruitment

 1198. 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 the combination of interview panels for jobs pertaining to the Health Service Executive, in particular hospital consultant posts, and the equity of stakeholders and in particular the over-presence of university representation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14068/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As the HSE is the holder of a recruitment licence under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004, I have forwarded the question to the Executive which will respond directly to the Deputy.

Universal Health Insurance White Paper

 1199. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plans to engage with general practitioners in relation to his plans for universal health insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14074/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The White Paper on Universal Health Insurance, currently at an advanced stage of drafting, will provide detailed information on the UHI model for Ireland, the process for determining the future basket of health services, including the services that will covered under UHI, and the funding of UHI. Following a recent initial discussion at Cabinet on the White Paper, the issue will return to Cabinet in the near future with a view to publication very quickly thereafter. This will be followed by consultation on the general approach set out in the White Paper and a separate consultation on the future health basket. The consultation process will involve engagement with the public and key stakeholders on the plans for UHI. Given the important role that general practitioners have in the delivery of primary care, I am keen to hear their views and, accordingly, would urge their full participation in the consultation process.


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