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. 756-777
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Medicinal Products Supply
 Header Item Nursing Home Services
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Staff
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme
 Header Item National Cervical Screening Programme
 Header Item Medicinal Products Supply
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Home Care Packages Provision
 Header Item Nursing Staff Provision
 Header Item Legislative Programme
 Header Item Debt Collection

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 970 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 756-777

Hospital Appointments Status

 756. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment for a brain scan at Cork University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25007/18]

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 Supply

 757. 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 when a FreeStyle Libre device will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25009/18]

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.

Nursing Home Services

 758. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the review regarding the level of nursing home support payable in the case of a person (details supplied) is likely to be concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25012/18]

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.

Medical Card Appeals

 759. Deputy James Lawless Information on James Lawless Zoom on James Lawless asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a medical card application appeal by a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25015/18]

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 to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

 760. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 164 of 9 May 2018; the reason a response has yet to issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25016/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE have advised that a response was issued to the Deputy on 22nd May 2018.

Hospital Appointments Status

 761. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 171 of 10 May 2018, the reason a response has yet to issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25017/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I am advised by the HSE that a response has been issued to the deputy. 

Mental Health Services Provision

 762. 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 if his attention has been drawn to the waiting time for appointments to access the adult mental health services via Balbriggan primary care centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25033/18]

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.

Health Services Staff

 763. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if first responders are reimbursed for expenses incurred specifically in terms of motor expenses and motor insurance costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25036/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

 764. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of changes proposed to the fair deal scheme to facilitate changes for farmers and small business owners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25038/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly A review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS) was published in July 2015. Arising out of the review, a recommendation was made to examine the treatment of business and farm assets for the purposes of the financial assessment element of the scheme. The Programme for a Partnership Government also committed to reviewing the NHSS to remove any discrimination against small businesses and family farms.

At present, the capital value of an individual's principal private residence is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in care. This is known as the three year cap. This cap does not apply to productive assets such as farms and businesses, except in cases of sudden illness or disability where specific conditions are met.

It is proposed to amend the scheme to treat farm and business assets in the same manner as the principal private residence where a family successor commits to working the farm or business, i.e. to cap contributions at three years.

The Department of Health has been examining the potential for changes to the treatment of business and farm assets under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme. Any changes to the scheme, if approved by Government, will require amendment of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009.  

A Memorandum for Government setting out the details of the proposed policy change and seeking Government approval to draft the General Scheme of a bill to amend the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 has been circulated to other Government Departments for observations.

Question No. 765 answered with Question No. 597.

National Cervical Screening Programme

 766. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to move the cervical screening process to a HPV test; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many clinicians internationally (details supplied) recommend co-testing pap plus HPV; if consideration has been given to same; the costs and so on of co-testing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25049/18]

 767. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the scientific evidence and the bodies from which evidence has been gathered that has assisted him to arrive at the decision to opt for a HPV only based test in the future. [25050/18]

 768. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he or the HSE has costed the replacement of the national screening program with a HPV based test; and if co-testing of HPV and pap has also been costed. [25051/18]

 769. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if HPV testing will be carried out by laboratories here and under a tendering process similar to the current regime. [25052/18]

 770. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if new HPV testing will be standardised across all laboratories in order to ensure that variation in detection rates does not reoccur between laboratories. [25053/18]

 771. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if public laboratories based here will be able to conduct the new HPV testing; the provisions being made to increase the capacity and infrastructure of laboratories based here to deal with the work; and if he has examined the need for future graduate programs in universities and the need for on-site facilities and training in hospitals. [25054/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 766 to 771, inclusive, together.

The outcome of a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) for the National Screening Service was that the HPV test is a more accurate testing mechanism than the current liquid-based cytology, that the use of the HPV test would result in fewer false negative results, and that the use of the HPV test would result in more cancers being prevented.

As part of the HTA, HIQA considered 32 different screening strategies, including different primary screening tests (HPV or Liquid-Based Cytology), triage tests, screening intervals, and screening exit ages in both unvaccinated and vaccinated cohorts. This included economic modelling to project the financial cost of each of the strategies.

Currently cervical screening samples undergo cytology screening as the primary screening test and following the move to HPV testing, cervical screening samples will undergo a HPV test as the primary screening test and women whose samples show HPV infection will be triaged using cytology to determine if there are any abnormal cell changes.

The HTA did not recommend co-testing as both tests (liquid-based cytology and HPV) have been shown to be effective as a primary screening test.

I approved the switch to HPV testing as the primary screening mechanism for the CervicalCheck programme in February. The introduction of the test was intended for October of this year and I have asked the HSE to implement the move to HPV testing as the primary screening method as soon as possible.

While the extent to which the HPV testing can be done in Ireland is being assessed, it is likely that a tendering process will be needed to meet at least some of the HPV testing requirement.

Medicinal Products Supply

 772. Deputy Joe Carey Information on Joe Carey Zoom on Joe Carey asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the way in which his Department has engaged with industry to explore ways in which new medicines can be more easily introduced here; his plans to update statutory provisions in place regarding the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25060/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the 2013 Act. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.

  The 2013 Act does not give the Minister for Health any powers in this regard.  The HSE does not require approval or consent from the Minister or Government when making a reimbursement decision.

  HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE).

  The NCPE conducts health technology assessments (HTAs) for the HSE, and makes recommendations on reimbursement to assist HSE decisions. The NCPE uses a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention.

  The HSE works with the objective of within 180 days of receiving the application (or a longer period if further information is sought from the company), either:

  adding the medicine to the reimbursement list or agreeing to reimburse it as a hospital medicine,

  refusing to reimburse the medicine.

  The HSE strives to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible and within the 180 days. However, because of the significant monies involved, it must ensure that the best price is achieved, as these commitments are often multi-million euro investments on an on-going basis. This can lead to a protracted deliberation process, especially when the price sought by a manufacturer poses very significant affordability challenges.

  My Department is undertaking initial scoping work as a precursor to engagement with stakeholders.

Hospital Appointments Status

 773. Deputy Michael Harty Information on Michael Harty Zoom on Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive an appointment for knee surgery in Croom Hospital, Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25065/18]

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.

Home Care Packages Provision

 774. Deputy Frank O'Rourke Information on Frank O'Rourke Zoom on Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the home care package funding available to CHO area 7 will be reviewed with a view to increasing it (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25070/18]

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.

Nursing Staff Provision

 775. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if funding is in place for one full-time multiple sclerosis specialist nurse position in University Hospital Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25093/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Legislative Programme

 776. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to introduce legislation to comply with recommendation 2.2 of the ESRI’s Delivery of Pharmaceuticals in Ireland (details supplied).  [25097/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Recommendation 2.2 of the ESRI’s Delivery of Pharmaceuticals in Ireland is under consideration by officials in my Department.

Debt Collection

 777. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the HSE uses debt collection agencies and or appointed persons to collect outstanding fees or bills of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25101/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Issues around income collection and the use of debt collection agencies are operational matters for which the HSE are responsible. Therefore I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.


Last Updated: 03/03/2020 16:36:41 First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page