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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 351-370
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Delays
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item National Drugs Strategy Budget
 Header Item Drug Treatment Programmes
 Header Item Health Insurance
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Delays
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Delays
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item HIV Incidence
 Header Item Medicinal Products Prices
 Header Item Motorised Transport Grant Closure
 Header Item Orthodontic Services Data

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 351-370

Mental Health Services Funding

 351. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the additional €15 million for mental health projects in 2017 will have a full year value of €35 million in 2018. [43722/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly I can confirm the €15 million in budget 2017 combined with the continuing funding of €20 million in budget 2018 will have a full year value of €35 million in 2018. I can also confirm that a further €15 million has been included in budget 2018, and further spending of €55 million in 2019. This will bring spending on new developments in mental health to a total of €105 million over the three-year period, 2017-2019.

Mental Health Services Funding

 352. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris with regard to the additional €35 million announced for mental health in budget 2018 the amount of this that is related to the full year value of the €15 million increase announced in 2017. [43723/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly Budget 2017 made allowance for an additional €35 million for services to be initiated in 2017 and continued in 2018. €15 million was provided as part of the overall 2017 Budget. This recognised the time-frame required to initiate new developments, the time lag of new staff taking up posts and the completion of preparations for the introduction and enhancement of key priorities as specified in the HSE's 2017 Service Plan. These include youth mental health, further improvement to child and adolescent (CAMHS) and adult services, older people's Mental Health services and further enhanced out of hours response for those in need of urgent services.

Budget 2018 made allowance for an additional €59 million for Mental Health Services for 2018. €35 million is made up of the €20 million continuing cost in 2018 of developments initiated in 2017, combined with a further €15 million for further new developments. €24 million will fund pay-related costs. In addition, the Minister for Health has committed to a further €55 million to be made available for mental health services in 2019.

Mental Health Services Funding

 353. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the way in which the mental health budget of €885 million in 2018 announced in his Department’s budget press release reflects an increase of €35 million on 2017 in view of the fact that the HSE’s 2017 mental health operational plan projected a budget of €853.7 million in 2018 [43724/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly Budget 2018 made allowance for an additional €59 million for Mental Health Services for 2018. €35 million is made up of the €20 million continuing cost in 2018 of developments initiated in 2017, combined with a further €15 million for further new developments. €24 million will fund pay-related costs. In addition, the Minister for Health has committed to a further €55 million to be made available for mental health services in 2019.

This increase will result in a Mental Health Budget of €912.1 million, an increase of €200 million, or 28%, since 2012. In addition, the Minister for Health has committed to a further €55 million to be made available for mental health services in 2019.

Question No. 354 answered with Question No. 280.

Hospital Appointments Delays

 355. 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 a person (details supplied) in County Donegal had an appointment cancelled at Our Lady’s Children's Hospital, Crumlin; when another appointment will be issued to this person; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43747/17]

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.

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Mental Health Services Funding

 356. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the amount of additional funding as part of budget 2018 which will be made available for dementia care; the additional number of home care packages which will be provided in 2018; the number of additional dementia advisers and dementia care co-ordinators that will be recruited in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43762/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The Department of Health is working with the HSE to prepare the 2018 National Service Plan. Pending agreement of the National Service Plan, I am not in a position to comment either on the funding that will be made available for dementia care or the specific services that will be provided.

An evaluation of the Dementia Advisers employed by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland has commenced. It would be appropriate to await the outcome of this evaluation before considering the appointment of additional advisers. The National Dementia Office is examining the role of Key Worker for people with dementia, a commitment outlined in the National Dementia Strategy. There are a number of potential models and approaches and the NDO is currently identifying these with a view to determining a suitable approach to this action under the Strategy.

The Department of Health and the HSE are working on a mid-term review of the National Dementia Strategy which will identify the achievements so far and set out the further work that is required to implement the Strategy in 2018 and beyond.

National Drugs Strategy Budget

 357. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the funding being provided in 2018 for the national drugs strategy; the amount of funding for each task force, project and programme to be funded in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43763/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne The Government’s response to addressing substance misuse in Ireland is set out in Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery -A health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2020.  The strategy emphasises a health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland, based on providing person-centred services that promote rehabilitation and recovery. It identifies a set of key actions to be delivered between 2017 and 2020, and provides an opportunity for the development of further actions from 2021 to 2025 to address needs that may emerge later on in the lifetime of the strategy.

  The key health-related priorities for 2018 under Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery  and the associated resource requirements will be determined in the context of the development of the HSE National Service Plan. The amount of funding available to each Task Force, Project and Programme in 2018 will also be determined by the Department of Health, in conjunction with the HSE.

Drug Treatment Programmes

 358. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will provide capital funding through the HSE in 2018 and 2019 for a residential treatment centre (details supplied) in Dublin 8. [43764/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne The Health Service Executive (HSE) has an agreed process in place for the agreement and prioritisation of projects that are proposed for inclusion in the Capital Plan for 2018. Any proposals must be considered in the context of the capital funding available to the Department of Health. Priority for funding must be based on verified service needs. The HSE will continue to apply the available funding for capital developments in the most effective way possible to meet current and future needs, having regard to the level of commitments and the costs to completion already in place.

Health Insurance

 359. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding health insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43779/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Periods of cover on health insurance plans held outside the State are not taken into account for the purposes of waiting periods, as such plans do not comply with health insurance legislation or the key principles of community rating, open enrolment, lifetime cover and minimum benefit on which the Irish private health insurance regulatory system is based.

  Community rating is a fundamental cornerstone of the Irish health insurance system and means that people who are old or sick do not have to pay more than the young and healthy. In other health insurance systems the level of risk that an individual presents directly affects the premium paid. Thus, different health insurance systems are not directly comparable or related, so periods of cover or time served as an insured person elsewhere are not interchangeable with the Irish regulatory system.

  Any individual who takes out health insurance as a new entrant, whether resident here or returning from abroad, may have to serve waiting periods before they are fully covered (detailed in the following table). The application of waiting periods helps support community rating and is an important tool for insurers to combat practices where someone could potentially take out a health insurance policy to avail of a particular treatment and then cancel the policy once treatment had been received, without either penalty or sustained contribution to the community-rated system.

  New Customer Maximum Waiting Periods

Accident and Injuries Illnesses that commence after you join Illnesses that commence before you join Maternity related claims
None 26 weeks 5 years 52 weeks

Hospital Appointments Status

 360. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive a surgery appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43794/17]

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.

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Hospital Services

 361. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the planned national narcolepsy service centre at St. James's Hospital, Dublin; if funding has been set aside for the infrastructure for the project, staffing and recruitment for this centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43801/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Work is under way on the setting up a Centre of Excellence for Narcolepsy based in St. James’s Hospital for patients with all forms of narcolepsy in adults and in children transitioning from the paediatric services. Funding for the infrastructure, staffing and recruitment for this centre will be considered as part of the overall service plan process 2018 and with regard to competing priorities for resources available in 2018.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 362. Deputy James Lawless Information on James Lawless Zoom on James Lawless asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the delivery of a suitable buggy for a person (details supplied); the expected delivery date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43807/17]

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 Waiting Lists

 363. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive a date for surgery. [43814/17]

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 you directly.

Hospital Appointments Delays

 364. 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) will be called for specialised treatment without delay in view of the fact that they have now been waiting 18 months for an appointment. [43815/17]

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 Appointments Delays

 365. 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 an admission date will be put in place for a person (details supplied) who is now waiting over three years for a medical procedure. [43818/17]

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 you directly.

Hospital Services

 366. 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 the position regarding the laundry department in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; his short to medium-term plans for the department; if a commitment can be given to the laundry staff regarding their job security in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43842/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Health Services Executive have advised that Phase 2 of the development in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda is currently in the final stages of construction. This consists of an extension on the ground floor, three wards and a theatre suite comprising of five operating rooms. Any plans regarding the laundry services cannot fully be considered until this construction project is complete and brought on line.

In the context of last week’s Budget announcements, the development of Our Lady of Lourdes Hopsital, Drogheda has been identified as a project for funding in 2018. The Department will be engaging with the HSE and the RCSI Hospital Group regarding the development of a plan in the coming weeks.

In response to the particular queries raised, relating to service matters, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

HIV Incidence

 367. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of HIV infections detected per year since 2011; the number of new HIV infections detected to date in 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43844/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the Deputy may be aware, the HSE - Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is Ireland's specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases. The HPSC published the 2016 HIV report on 3 October and can be found on their website: www.hpsc.ie/a-z/hivstis/hivandaids/hivdataandreports/.

  I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply directly to the Deputy providing figures for the number of HIV infections detected from 2011 to date.

Medicinal Products Prices

 368. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to the HSE decision to contract a consultancy firm to review pharmacy schemes, the HSE's plans to include pharmacists and pharmacy owners in this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43855/17]

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.

Motorised Transport Grant Closure

 369. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when provisions will be made in order to finalise and introduce a replacement for the motorised transport grant and mobility allowance scheme which were scrapped over four years ago under the premise of a new replacement scheme to be announced shortly thereafter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43875/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the proposed Health (Transport Support) Bill with the Joint Committee on Public Petitions on Wednesday 11th October. The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. Since the closure of the Mobility Allowance, the Government has directed that the Health Service Executive should continue to pay an equivalent monthly payment of up to €208.50 per month to the 4,700 people in receipt of the Mobility Allowance, on an interim basis, pending the establishment of a new Transport Support Scheme.

  The Government decided that the detailed preparatory work required for a new Transport Support Scheme and associated statutory provisions should be progressed by the Minister for Health. The Programme for a Partnership Government acknowledges the ongoing drafting of primary legislation for a new Transport Support Scheme to assist those with a disability to meet their mobility costs. The Government's legislative programme for 2017 includes the Health (Transport Support) Bill. I can confirm that work on the policy proposals for the new Scheme is at an advanced stage. The proposals seek to ensure that:

  - There is a firm statutory basis to the Scheme's operation;

  - There is transparency and equity in the eligibility criteria attaching to the Scheme;

  - Resources are targeted at those with greatest needs; and

  - The Scheme is capable of being costed and is affordable on its introduction and on an ongoing basis.

  The draft General Scheme and Heads of Bill were circulated to other government Departments and have been the subject of consultation between the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. When the consultation with other relevant Departments has been completed, the next step will be to seek Government approval to the drafting of a Bill for the new Scheme.

  It is important to note that the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme operated by the Revenue Commissioners, remains in place. This scheme provides VRT and VAT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with a disability, who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in governing regulations made by the Minister for Finance.

  Specifically adapted vehicles driven by disabled persons are also exempt from payment of tolls on national toll roads and toll bridges. Transport Infrastructure Ireland has responsibility for this particular Scheme.

Orthodontic Services Data

 370. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of persons awaiting orthodontic treatment at a hospital (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43876/17]

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 you directly.


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