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Reilly, James

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Departmental Budgets

Was asked: the way he will achieve €780 million in savings in the health budget in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the region of €500 million of these savings will be achieved through cost efficiencies and separately through reorganisation under the public service agreement. The majority of savings will hav...More Button

The following is a summary of measures to be taken by the health group of Votes in order to adhere to the 2013 expenditure ceiling. There will be a reduction in the cost of drugs and other presc...More Button

The Department of Health's own Vote is being reduced by €90 million, with €30 million transferring to the HSE and €60 million in savings. Even allowing for additional expenditure related to the ...More Button

The Deputy knows the service plan will be produced and it must come to me within 21 days of the Estimates. That means it will come to me on St. Stephen's Day, or de facto the end of th...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. For far too long there were too many people who were quite happy to describe the problem but failed to do anything about it. Earlier this year people indicated there woul...More Button

With regard to labour arrangements, there have been major changes in how consultants operate. That is being bedded in at the moment. That will give a lead to the other care professionals and th...More Button

Home Help Service Provision

Was asked: if the approximately 950,000 home help hours cut in 2012 will be fully restored; if all individual recipients of home help support who had hours cut in 2012 will have them restored immediately or e...More Button

The Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, is currently in the Seanad dealing with equality legislation so I will take this question. The Government policy is to support older people to live in...More Button

Was asked: if he will set out in precise terms how he will honour the commitment given (details supplied) in the wake of the budget to restore the core community services of home help hours and home care pack...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to restore the home help hours and homecare packages which he has cut since he came to office from citizens in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if home help hours will be restored in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if he will expedite a response. More Button

Home Help Service Provision (Continued)

These services meet the preferred wishes of many vulnerable older people and reduce pressures elsewhere in the wider care system. Demand for them will increase as the demographics and complex need...More Button

The Health Service Executive has developed various operational initiatives to improve nationally its approach to all relevant aspects of its home support services. These include new guidelines f...More Button

I will provide some figures on the outturn for the 2012 target for mainstream home help. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of home help hours provided by the State increased from 8 million to 11...More Button

I restate for the information of the House that the budget for 2012 will be restored for 2013. Given that the circumstances in individual cases change as needs change, it would be inappropriate to...More Button

It is our intention to restore the budget and while I am pleased this will be the case, it does not mean I will not seek greater efficiencies from or look long and hard at the budget. I have ask...More Button

I am aware of the value of home help and home care services and the need to support people at home. I do not know anybody who wants to go into long-term care before it is necessary to do so. I am...More Button

I have issued an instruction to the Health Service Executive that people must be assessed before their hours change. If hours are to change, the assessment should not be such that it results in ...More Button

Maternal Mortality

Was asked: his views on the confidential maternal death inquiry in Ireland report for the triennium 2009-2011, which shows that the maternal mortality rate here is double the official figure from the Central ...More Button

Statistics on the causes of death are based on civil registration and compiled internationally by the World Health Organisation, WHO. In the WHO's most recent world health statistics annual report...More Button

Maternal Mortality (Continued)

This is particularly so in percentage terms. For example, an increase in deaths from two to four in a given year would lead to an apparent 100% increase in the maternal mortality rate. As such, r...More Button

Clearly those statistics on how many births were to women of non-Irish descent must be examined further. If there was a disparity, it would be concerning.More Button

I must agree with the Deputy, in that communication is essential. It is the cornerstone of clinical practice. If one cannot hear what the patient is trying to tell one, the chances of making a ...More Button

Language barriers and cultural differences make a significant difference. Even those who speak English as their normal language use expressions that have entirely different meanings for other cu...More Button

Without being categorical, my understanding is that there is an inquiry whenever there is a maternal death. Earlier this year, there were two such inquiries two days in a row at the same maternity...More Button

To my knowledge, there is an inquiry whenever there is a maternal death. The MDE system has requested that the coroner's courts always report to it if any of their inquests involve a woman who h...More Button

Medical Card Eligibility

Was asked: if he will help cancer patients in severe distress to acquire medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason he narrowed eligibility for the over 70 years medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the postion regarding the supply of medical cards to cancer patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons with medical card entitlements and the projected increase for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the proposed changes to eligibility for the medical card that he plans to make in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Medicinal Products Licensing

Was asked: when he will introduce legislation for the provision of cannabis-derived products for the relief of pain, spasticity and other effects of ailments such as multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and so on; an...More Button

Was asked: the actions taken to date and his future plans to tackle counterfeit medicine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the actions taken to date and the future plans the Gardaí have developed to tackle counterfeit medicine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Obesity Levels

Was asked: if he will provide an update on proposals to reduce the €1.6 billion costs related to obesity to the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The prevalence of overweight and obesity has risen steadily in recent times, with 61% of Irish adults now overweight or obese. The World Health Organization refers to the alarming speed with which...More Button

Obesity Levels (Continued)

  The UCC study shows that almost 10% or 37,341 years of life lost are due to overweight and obesity. The burden of disease from overweight and obesity combined account for an estimated ...More Button

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle is correct. There is major interest in this because, as Deputy Kelleher correctly points out and as I have mentioned in the past and we all believe it now to be true, our...More Button

The issue is multi-factorial, so it does not just involve the Department of Health. It involves the Department of Justice and Equality, in terms of having safe places to exercise at night, the D...More Button

This issue requires a cross-departmental approach. This is the first Government to appoint somebody at the level of principal officer across health, education and children to promote this issue an...More Button

On Deputy Ó Caoláin's question, we are monitoring the situation. There is an appetite among many of the businesses to become engaged in this. Part of the problem earlier was that they, even the...More Button

One would be too tired to eat the chips.More Button

That is because the issue ranges far and wide. I will examine the idea proposed by Deputy Patrick O'Donovan. Having a focussed individual such as that has merit. I have made this point about pub...More Button

I agree with Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan that there is a great amount of money to be saved in prevention. There is a major educational job to be undertaken and there are many vested interests. ...More Button

The Minister of State, Deputy Alex White, is particularly interested in alcohol and is progressing a policy on it. I would like to see not only the unit of alcohol on the side of the container b...More Button

Symphysiotomy Report

Was asked: when he expects to receive the Walsh Report in relation to the practice of symphysiotomy here; the reasons for the delay in its publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reasons for the delay in the completion of the final Walsh report into the practice of symphysiotomy and related procedures at a number of hospitals; when he expects the report to be presented;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 and 12 together. Professor Oonagh Walsh, an independent researcher, was commissioned by the chief medical officer in my Department to draft a report on the pract...More Button

The second stage in the research process involved a consultation process on the draft report involving patient groups, health professionals and, in particular, the women who have undergone symphy...More Button

The Deputy has made some statements. The idea that content is not necessary for procedure is nonsense. Whether we are comparing the practices of today and the practices of 50 and 60 years ago is ...More Button

Symphysiotomy Report (Continued)

Deputies on all sides of the House are agreed that this issue must be resolved. The Deputy alluded to removing the Statute of Limitations, but the Attorney General's view on that is clear. It wou...More Button

We need to resolve this matter. I hope the report will help in that regard. I agree that it should be published on its completion and when we have had time to digest it. I do not intend to del...More Button

I assure the Deputies and the ladies concerned that there are difficulties, as I have outlined, but that where there is a will there is a way. I am determined to find that way.More Button

Medicinal Products Expenditure

Was asked: the steps he is taking to secure reductions in the current cost of generic equivalents, which are high by international comparisons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the amount that was spent in 2011 on dispensing fees on medicines that are available over the counter without prescription but which may be prescribed at a level more than is available as an over t...More Button

Was asked: his policy on dispensing fees being charged for medicines that are available over the counter but which may be prescribed at a level more than is available as an OTC purchase; the way the various d...More Button

Ambulance Service Provision

Was asked: if enhanced ambulance and paramedic services will be made available in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Emergency ambulances from all stations across Donegal are used in a dynamic manner, to maintain emergency cover and respond to calls as required. Ambulance stations across the county and adjacent ...More Button

The National Ambulance Service has enhanced the delivery of ambulance services in the north west through the recent introduction of a new intermediate care service in Sligo and Letterkenny. The ...More Button

The ambulance service is also progressing training of additional advanced paramedics and a number of staff from the north west, including Donegal, are included in this programme.More Button

In addition to the above, a paramedic upskilling programme is currently being progressed across the country, which will enhance the delivery of care to patients.More Button

This is a serious matter and I intend to have it investigated. It makes no sense to me that an ambulance driver would go out on his or her own and the paramedic would therefore be unavailable. Gi...More Button

That is not quite what the Deputy is talking about but what I am trying to say is we have a wonderful resource here and we should allow paramedics to give of the knowledge they have in a complete...More Button

Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Was asked: if he will rule out call-out charges for ambulance services in view of the imposition of a call-out charge for the fire service by Dublin city Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

 Dublin Fire Brigade provides an ambulance service on behalf of the HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS).   There is no charge for 999 ambulance call outs. However, it is unders...More Button

  Question No. 46 answered with Question No. 21.More Button

Was asked: the number of ambulance calls responded to by the Health Service Executive National Ambulance Service in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012; the average time it takes to successfully delive...More Button

The HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS) provides emergency pre-hospital care and emergency patient transport. When a 999 ambulance call is received, the caller is connected with the ambulance comm...More Button

Health Services Reform

Was asked: the key priorities in his new health framework document; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 15 November last, I, together with my colleagues Minister Kathleen Lynch and Minister Alex White launched Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015. More Button

HSE Expenditure

Was asked: the degree to which he is satisfied that frontline and or essential services can be retained within the context of the budget for his Department for the year ending 31 December 2013, with particula...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the adequacy of the budget for his Department to meet in full the projected requirements in the coming year; the extent, if any, to which any unforeseen expenditure can...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has put in place procedures to monitor day to day costs in the health service with a view to prevention of budgetary overruns at year's end; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 15, 192 and 196 together.More Button

As we are all aware, the country still faces serious challenges in respect of the public finances, and the need to meet the targets agreed with the Troika, as part of the Memorandum of Understand...More Button

In respect of next year, Gross Expenditure under the Health Group of Votes will be €14,024 million in 2013. This will consist of €13,627 million in current expenditure and €397 million in capital...More Button

As I have outlined in this House on previous occasions, I have instructed the HSE that efficiencies must be achieved in the first instance before patient services are affected, and in this regard...More Button

As regards regular monitoring of expenditure, there is intensive engagement between officials from my Department and the HSE each month. My Department provides detailed analysis each month on exp...More Button

My Department and the HSE is working collaboratively with PA Consulting on a Financial Improvement Programme with a view to strengthening the Executive's financial and performance management and ...More Button

Was asked: the interest rate that will be applied to the overdraft extended to Tallaght Hospital Dublin to cover its budget overrun; the fund that will cover the cost of the interest payments; if it is envisa...More Button

Tallaght, like every other hospital is facing significant financial challenges. The HSE has had regular ongoing engagement with the hospital with a view to ensuring that the hospital continues to...More Button

Tallaght hospital has achieved significant operational savings in 2012 and has reduced its year-on-year spending by 6%, despite a 5% increase in in-patient numbers, a 6% increase in Emergency Dep...More Button

The use of overdraft facilities in the latter half of the year is part of the normal financing arrangements with voluntary hospitals. This has always been the case.More Button

The specific query raised by the Deputy regarding the overdraft extended to Tallaght Hospital, has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.More Button

General Practitioner Services

Was asked: when he will reduce general practitioner remuneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when legislation to provide for free general practitioner care will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report progress on the roll-out of free general practitioner care; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure equal access to general practitioner services in all Health Service Executive regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: if he will set out the level of cuts to supports for disability services in 2013; if he will address the funding crisis which is affecting disability services, including day care, residential care,...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether a school (details supplied) in County Wexford should be reimbursed due to the failure of the Health Service Executive to apply for a special needs assistant for a child in thei...More Button

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.More Button

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.More Button

National Children's Hospital Status

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the development of the National Children’s Hospital and on the enhanced support, if any, he will provide to the existing children’s hospitals pending the completion ...More Button

Following the refusal by An Bord Pleanála of planning permission for the new children's hospital on the Mater site, I established a Review Group chaired by Dr Frank Dolphin (the Dolphin Group) to a...More Button

This decision has been made in the best interests of children, with clinical considerations being of paramount importance. Co-location, and ultimately tri-location with a maternity hospital, on t...More Button

The new children’s hospital is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and the largest project within the current Capital Plan. This Government regards the building of the hospital as a...More Button

In parallel, I am moving to put in place the necessary structures and governance arrangements to enable the delivery of the capital project as quickly as possible and to the highest quality. I ...More Button

Health Insurance Prices

Was asked: his plans to reduce the price of private healthcare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the action that has been taken to ensure that health insurance costs here are brought into line with the most competitive in Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20 and 188 together.More Button

The Government is committed to keeping down the cost of health insurance so that it is affordable for as many people as possible and remains committed to protecting community rating, whereby ever...More Button

I was pleased, therefore, to recently publish the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2012, to give effect to a new Risk Equalisation Scheme (RES) to be applied from 1 January 2013. An effective ...More Button

I recently announced the rates of risk equalisation credits to apply in 2013 at the Committee Stage debate in the Dáil on this Bill. The rates are funded by a stamp duty payable by all insurers ...More Button

The Government remains committed to keeping down both the cost of health insurance, so that it is affordable for as many people as possible, and the general cost of healthcare delivery, as part o...More Button

In this regard, VHI has commissioned consultants to carry out an external review of their claims. The review is nearing completion and will look at the opportunities and costs involved in possib...More Button

I would also strongly advise consumers to shop around for the health insurance plan that best suits their needs. Consumers have a legal right to switch between or within insurers to get better va...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the cuts he intends to make to reach the target of €780 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the cuts he intends to make to reach the target of €780 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will detail the way in which the projected €781 million reduction in the health budget in 2013 will be achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 21, 46 and 71 together.

  The following table outlines the summary of measures to be taken by the Department in order to adhere to the 2013 Expen...More Button

Ambulance Service Response Times

Was asked: the progress which has been made in the Health Service Executive West region since the introduction of standardised ambulance response times; the steps being taken to improve ambulance response tim...More Button

The Health Information and Quality Authority has developed a suite of key performance indicators (KPIs) within which 999 emergency calls have been classified by clinical status.

 &n...More Button

Health Care Inflation

Was asked: the reason healthcare inflation here is the second highest in Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

 Ireland recorded the third lowest rate of inflation in the Health Category in the EU 15. Greece and Portugal were the countries which were lower. The type of prices included in the health ca...More Button

Prescription Charges

Was asked: the estimated sum to be raised by the trebling of prescription charges for medical card patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason, in view of earlier statements he made, he has tripled rather than abolished prescription chargesMore Button

Cancer Screening Programmes

Was asked: when the BreastCheck programme will be provided to women aged 65-69 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The BreastCheck Programme provides free mammograms to all women aged 50-64. The Programme for Government includes the extension of BreastCheck to women in the 65-69 age group, in keeping with EU G...More Button

The main priority for the HSE's National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) at present is to maximise national uptake in the 50-64 year age cohort.The extension of the BreastCheck programme has been...More Button

In the meantime women of any age who have concerns about breast cancer should seek the advice of their GP who will, if appropriate, refer them to the symptomatic breast services in one of the eight...More Button

Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: in view of the age profile and growing stress of the women involved, the reason for the delay in delivering on the commitment for redress of the victims of Dr. Michael Neary, and when the promised ...More Button

This Government has given a commitment in the Programme for Government to seek a mechanism to compensate those women who were excluded on age grounds alone from the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme....More Button

Universal Health Insurance Provision

Was asked: if, in relation to the Government's plan ‘future health’ and its statement that social care services will not be covered by universal health insurance, this will mean people having to pay for care ...More Button

Was asked: if the timescale for the introduction of Universal Health Insurance in 2016 is feasible; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if rights based legislation will be introduced to ensure patients’ rights to care across our health and personal social services, especially given the his intention to introduce universal health in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 62 together.

  The Government is embarking on a major reform programme for the health system, the aim of which is to deliver a single-tier...More Button

Home Care Packages

Was asked: the number of persons that lost home help hours following the cuts announced in September; the savings that accrued as a result of these cuts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Drugs Payment Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: the consideration he has given to the proposal to benchmark the ex-factory price of medicines at the lowest rather than the average of comparable European states; if he accepts that this is the pra...More Button

Was asked: the reason drug prices remain high here relative to other countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the annual State spend on high-tech drugs for 2009, 2010, 2011 and that estimated for 2012; the savings delivered in respect of the cost of these medicines over each of the years outlined; and if h...More Button

Hospital Staff Issues

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 530 of 11 December 2012, if he is satisfied that he has no obligation to ensure detailed consultation and full engagement between the Health Service Executive,...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 530 of 11 December 2012, if he is satisfied that he has no obligation to ensure detailed consultation and full engagement between the Health Service Executive,...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 48 together.More Button

The issues raised by the Deputies are matters in relation to which the HSE has specific statutory obligations. The HSE is obliged under the Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) ...More Button

Was asked: the latest figures for the employment of agency staff in acute hospitals in 2012; the other alternatives to agency staff that are being used; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government has decided that the numbers employed across the public service must be reduced in order to meet its fiscal and budgetary targets. The health sector must make its contribution to tha...More Button

Agency staff may be used only in the most exceptional of circumstances and when all alternative avenues have been exhausted. Such staff may only be engaged when signed off by identified senior m...More Button

The Health Service Executive will shortly be introducing an Employment Initiative/Placement Scheme for Graduate Nurses and Midwives. Under the scheme graduate nurses and midwives will be offere...More Button

With regard to the latest figures for the employment of agency staff in acute hospitals in 2012, this is a matter for the Health Service Executive, and as such, the Deputy's enquiry has been refe...More Button

Was asked: his views on the study commissioned by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation showing that significant understaffing in our public hospitals adversely affects patient care; and if he will make ...More Button

The information available from the study referred to by the Deputy, which was undertaken on behalf of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, is quite limited. Other studies have cited figures ...More Button

At present, some 1650 nurses/midwives graduate per annum from our Universities and other colleges. The Department of Health has recently completed a review of undergraduate nursing and midwifery ...More Button

The Government has determined that, in line with its commitment to reduce the size of the public service, health sector employment numbers must be reduced substantially in 2013 and 2014. Spendin...More Button

Directors of Nursing/Midwifery will continue to examine closely improvements in flexible working arrangements, changes to rosters, changes to the role of staff and other approaches to address any...More Button

The Croke Park Agreement has been crucial to the health service’s ability to manage through the very difficult circumstances of recent years. The flexibility and adaptability shown by staff has ...More Button

The continued reduction in staffing increases the need for reform and the HSE is committed to fast-tracking new, innovative and more efficient ways of using reduced resources under the Croke Park...More Button

In this regard, I have recently approved recruitment of up to 1,000 graduate nurses on two-year contracts under a Placement Scheme for Graduate Nurses and Midwives that will support the retention...More Button

The HSE will be proceeding to put this scheme into effect and will be inviting applications early in 2013. Under the scheme, graduate nurses/midwives will be able to gain valuable work experience...More Button

The scheme will facilitate a reduction the use of agency staffing and overtime and support service delivery.More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the availability of an adequate supply of junior hospital doctors in 2013, 2014 and thereafter; the extent to which this supply will relate to the number of doctors qua...More Button

Under the provisions of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 it is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive, in co-operation with the medical training bodies and after consultation with the...More Button

In 2006 the Government agreed a programme of reform of medical education and training which resulted in a significant increase in the intake of Irish and EU medical students with the objective of...More Button

In July 2012 there were 572 medical intern posts available in Ireland, an increase of almost 70 posts since 2007. The intern year is recognized as the first year of postgraduate training. It is...More Button

I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in regard to their assessment of the number of junior hospital doctors required in the future.More Button

Hospital Services

Was asked: the position regarding the reconfiguration of hospital services in the south east; his plans regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the date on which he or his Department will receive the report on hospital groups (details supplied); the date on which he will publish the report and his plans to progress the implementation of ho...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 33 and 61 together.More Button

A key stepping stone towards the introduction of Universal Health Insurance will be to develop independent not-for-profit hospital trusts in which all hospitals will function as part of integrated ...More Button

The work on hospital groups is not about downgrading hospitals. It is about the bringing together groups of hospitals to form single cohesive entities to allow maximum flexibility in management, ...More Button

With specific regard to the South East, I have stated on numerous occasions recently that Waterford Regional Hospital will remain as one of the 8 existing national cancer care programme centres, ...More Button

Last June I appointed Professor John Higgins to chair a Strategic Board on the Establishment of Hospital Groups. The Strategic Board is composed of representatives with both national and internat...More Button

The Project Team is currently finalising a Report on the recommendations outlined above, taking account of the observations and comments made by the Strategic Board and of issues which have been ...More Button

  Question No. 34 answered with Question No. 30.More Button

Was asked: if he will require the Health Service Executive to deliver on its agreed commitment to extend the capacity of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis facility to 34 beds; and if he will make a s...More Button

St Vincent's University Hospital (SVUH) is the designated National Adult Referral Centre for patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). The new Nutley Wing at the hospital, built at a cost of just under ...More Button

Under a protocol for the treatment of CF patients at SVUH, signed off in July 2012 with the hospital, the HSE, Department of Health and CFA, up to 34 isolation beds will be available in the new w...More Button

The position with regard to the facilities in St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin for patients with Cystic Fibrosis is being continuously monitored and the hospital, the HSE and the Cystic F...More Button

Was asked: if members of the public have ready and easy access to all preliminary procedures preparatory to surgical or medical interventions with particular reference to obtaining the necessary appointments ...More Button

Immediately following my appointment, I established the Special Delivery Unit, as set out in the Programme for Government. The aim of the SDU is to unblock access to acute services by improving the...More Button

The initial focus for the SDU's Scheduled Care Team has been on waiting times for in-patient and daycase elective surgery. For adults, the target waiting time is that no-one should be waiting mo...More Button

Improving access to outpatient services is the next priority for the Government and for the SDU Scheduled Care Team. Building on work already undertaken by the HSE, the NTPF has now taken over t...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which patient numbers in public and private hospitals continue to be monitored with a view to ensuring that the public hospital system is not used as a means of direct or indirect sup...More Button

With regard to patient numbers in public hospitals, data is collected on each in-patient and daycase discharge from the public hospital system. With regard to patient numbers in the private system,...More Button

With regard to the issue of direct or indirect support from public hospitals to private hospitals, if the Deputy wishes to raise a particular issue in this regard I will be happy to address it.More Button

  Question No. 188 answered with Question No. 20.More Button

Was asked: the number and nature of surgical and or medical procedures carried out in the public hospital sector in each of the past five years and to date in 2012; the extent of any trends emerging; and if h...More Button

In relation to the specific query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.More Button

Hospital Bed Data

Was asked: the number of bed closures in acute hospitals to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, I have asked the Health Service to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.More Button

Health Services Provision

Was asked: if he will reconsider his rejection of the call by a person (details supplied) for a full public inquiry into the tragic death of their spouse at Galway Regional Hospital on 28 October 2012; and if...More Button

I am most anxious that all the facts are established in this sad case. The crucial thing now is that we must, in the interests of all the women of Ireland, uncover the facts of what happened as qu...More Button

At a Press Conference on 19th November the Health Service Executive (HSE) gave details of the Investigation Team which is being chaired by an international expert in obstetrics and gynaecology, P...More Button

On 23rd November the Board of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), following a request from the HSE and in accordance with Section 9(1) of the Health Act 2007, announced that it wil...More Button

In conducting investigations such as these, it is preferable to have the input of the next of kin. Both Investigation Teams would welcome the input of Mr. Halappanavar to their inquiries and the...More Button

In addition, in the case of a maternal death, a number of standard procedures are followed including a risk review of the case and the completion of a maternal death notification form, through Ma...More Button

Was asked: when the ambulatory urgent care centre will be opened in Tallaght Dublin More Button

The Dolphin report concluded that the existing plan for the Ambulatory and Urgent Care Centre in Tallaght must be revisited, in light of a decision made about the location of the National Children’...More Button

Was asked: the occupational therapy services for children living in the Ballinasloe area of County Galway; the number of children on waiting lists for same; the longest and shortest waiting period; if there a...More Button

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.More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will receive an occupational therapy appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the relevant authorities within his Department or within the Health Service Executive have examined the need for the upgrading of health centres throughout the country in the co...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the need to upgrade the health centres in north west Kildare with particular reference to the growing centres of population; the extent to which the current healt...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 and 197 together.More Button

The upgrade and refurbishment of health centres including those located in north west Kildare are considered by the Health Service Executive in the context of its roll-out of primary care infrast...More Button

  Question No. 196 answered with Question No. 15.More Button

  Question No. 197 answered with Question No. 195.More Button

Was asked: the full details of the service level agreement entered into by the Health Service Executive Dublin North East with a company (details supplied); if he will confirm his assent for this agreement; i...More Button

I have referred this matter to the Health Service Executive for direct reply. Service Level Agreements are formal arrangements between the HSE and a provider for the provision of services to servic...More Button

Hospital Waiting Lists

Was asked: the steps that will be taken to address the excessive waiting list for paediatric services in Letterkenny Hospital County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Unblocking access to acute hospitals is a key aim of this Government, and of the Special Delivery Unit established by the Minister for Health. The SDU was set up immediately following the Minister...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which waiting periods for various surgical or medical procedures have fluctuated over the past five years to date with particular reference to cardiovascular surgery, hip replacements...More Button

The management of in-patient and daycase waiting lists for patients awaiting public health care is based on the principle that after urgent and cancer patients are treated, then clinically assessed...More Button

Was asked: if he will instruct all hospitals to abolish catchment areas, publish the waiting time for all consultants and publish the efficiency measurements of all hospitals in view of the fact that this wil...More Button

The Deputy has raised a number of issues with regard to hospitals. More Button

In relation to the collection of waiting time data, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) collects information on (a) hospital in-patients and day case waiting times and (b) outpatient wait...More Button

In 2013, HealthStat will be replaced by CompStat, which is a performance management and reporting system which will operate on a monthly cycle. It is built around a balanced accountability frame...More Button

The Programme for Government commits to introducing a prospective-based "Money Follows the Patient" (MFTP) funding system to replace the current block grant allocation system. Under MFTP, hospit...More Button

With regard to catchment areas, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.More Button

Mental Health Services Funding

Was asked: the way the additional €35 million allocated for mental health services in 2012 was spent; if any of this amount has been carried over into 2013 and the way in which this €35 million allocated for ...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: his plans to progress the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Nursing Home Accommodation

Was asked: if any of the 1,201 public nursing home beds closed from January 2011 to August 2012 will be reopened in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the ability of St Brigid’s Nursing Home, Crooksling, County Dublin to accommodate up to 120 patients; that such numbers have been accommodated there in the past a...More Button

Primary Care Centres Provision

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the current position regarding the development of new primary care centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Progress is being made in the delivery of primary care centres. Primary care infrastructure is being delivered using three initiatives which are - direct build, the leasing initiative, and the PPP...More Button

The Capital Plan 2012-2016 - year 2012 has been approved and contains provision for the delivery of eight primary care centres. The HSE has begun the procurement of design teams for Cork City (S...More Button

Using the leasing initiative the HSE has delivered primary care infrastructure at 29 locations. The HSE is continuing its collaboration with the private sector to progress suitable locations. ...More Button

The current position with regard to the PPP initiative for primary care infrastructure, the current position is that the HSE is engaging with the NDFA as required to progress the programme. The H...More Button

Work is underway on the Executive's multi-annual Capital Plan 2013-2017. The draft Plan will be submitted to my Department in due course. My Department will then review the proposals and follow...More Button

Professional Qualifications

Was asked: the progress that has been made on introducing regulations for psychotherapists and counsellors; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Health and Social Care Professionals Council (the Council) and the 12 registration boards to be established under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (the Act) are responsible for...More Button

Nursing Home Services

Was asked: the Health Service Executive funding or other resources allocated to or paid for services to a nursing home (details supplied) in County Wicklow in each of the past five years; and if he will make ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has carried out an evaluation of the various public nursing homes throughout the country with a view to ensuring the retention of the maximum number of such facilities to mee...More Button

Medicinal Products Prices

Was asked: his estimate of the savings to be made in 2013 from the agreement with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Health Services Staff Issues

Was asked: if he will provide details of the Health Service Executive recruitment of 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives to the public health services in early 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding Health Service Executive recruitment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 184 together.More Button

The Health Service Executive will shortly be introducing an Employment Initiative/Placement Scheme for Graduate Nurses and Midwives. Under the scheme graduate nurses and midwives will be offered ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 236 of 12 December 2012 if any of the reductions in staffing hours due to cuts in agency and overtime hours have been filled by the employment of full time con...More Button

The employment of staff is a matter for the Health Service Executive, and as such, the Deputy's enquiry has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.More Button

Community Care Provision

Was asked: the way he will honour his Programme for Government commitments to older people in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which community care facilities are likely to be made available to older persons in the future with particular reference to those with a higher degree of mobility; and if he will make...More Button

Care of the Elderly

Was asked: the number of designated community-based social workers who are employed full-time to protect the elderly in the Dublin Mid-West Constituency of Lucan, Clondalkin, Rathcoole, Saggart, Newcastle and...More Button

Children and Family Services

Was asked: the way he intends to maintain services in children and family services in 2013 following cuts introduced in Budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have agreed with my colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs that she will provide an answer directly to the Deputy.More Button

Alcohol Pricing

Was asked: his proposals in relation to the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill; his views on whether the Bill should contain measures on the labelling of alcohol, a minimum price of alcohol, and a dedicated traini...More Button

Real and tangible proposals are being finalised on foot of the recommendations in the National Substance Misuse Strategy report. I intend to submit these proposals to the Government for considerat...More Button

Was asked: the reason for a delay in commissioning the health impact assessment for minimum pricing; the current status of the tender process; and the proposed timescale for the completion of this assessment.More Button

My Department is in the final stages of agreeing the tender documentation for commissioning a health impact assessment of a minimum unit pricing regime; this is being done in conjunction with North...More Button

The Deputy is already aware that Scotland commissioned the same sort of assessment before it drafted its legislation on minimum unit pricing. The health impact assessment will study the impact of...More Button

Tuberculosis Incidence

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a group of GPs in Dublin recently raised money and brought a mobile TB monitoring unit to the city and carried out random research and to their shoc...More Button

In November 2012, a pilot mobile TB screening programme was carried out among vulnerable groups by the London Find and Treat programme in collaboration with Safetynet Primary Care Network for Homel...More Button

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Oversight

Was asked: the changes made to the fair deal scheme in Budget 2013; if he will advise if the review of the scheme is completed and if and when it will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Abortion Services

Was asked: the further action he will now take in response to the Report of the Expert Group on the Judgment in A,B & C vs Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government today approved the implementation of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v. Ireland case by way of legislation with regulations, within the pa...More Button

  Question No. 69 answered with Question No. 64.More Button

Primary Care Services Provision

Was asked: the number of additional primary care posts that will be in place in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

National Treatment Purchase Fund

Was asked: the reason the National Purchase Treatment Fund scheme to remove faulty PIP implants has not been implemented; the reason the Harley Medical Group has not fulfilled their obligations to provide an ...More Button

Discussions and planning between the Department of Health, Health Service Executive (HSE) and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) are ongoing concerning PIP breast implants and in particula...More Button

In relation to the reference to an increased threat of cancer and serious health problems for those recipients of PIP implants, the scientific evidence from Europe and internationally has consist...More Button

Hospital Mortality Rates

Was asked: when he will publish his Departments report on mortality rates at acute hospitals; if he will accept that his failure to acknowledge the inaccuracy of the figures at Roscommon County Hospital has d...More Button

The Chief Medical Officer of my Department is finalising a report examining the potential of hospital discharge data in measuring the quality of health care. This includes the measure of recorded 3...More Button

  Question No. 76 answered with Question No. 37.More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if he has read the pastoral letter The Right to Life that was read at all Catholic masses on 9 December 2012 that states the State is not obliged to legislate for abortion; and if he will make a st...More Button

I have read this pastoral letter and share many of the principles outlined therein. However, I am obliged to point out that its interpretation of the State's obligation in relation to the implemen...More Button

Drug Treatment Programmes Funding

Was asked: if he will allocate €100,000 to the mother and child facility at Coolmine Therapeutic Community, Dublin, in order that 20 young women, who have overcome their addiction and urgently need therapeuti...More Button

National Lottery Funding Applications

Was asked: the position regarding funding in respect of a community centre (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has received an application for funding from the 2012 National Lottery allocation from the organisation in question. This is one of a large number currently being assessed by my Depar...More Button

Medical Card Reviews

Was asked: the number of under 70 years medical cards he expects to remove in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Medical Card Applications

Was asked: the position regarding a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare.More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite the review of a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite a claim for a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare.More Button

HSE Regional Service Plans

Was asked: when he expects the Health Service Executive's service plan for 2013 to be made publicMore Button

The HSE is required by law to submit a Service Plan within 21 days of publication of the Estimates and the Minister has a further 21 days within which to approve the Plan or seek to have it amended...More Button

Was asked: when he expects the Health Service Executive service for the HSE North east region will be published More Button

The HSE is required by law to submit a National Service Plan within 21 days of publication of the Estimates and the Minister has a further 21 days within which to approve the Plan or seek to have i...More Button

Orthodontic Services Provision

Was asked: if he will confirm whether or not the Health Service Executive are carrying out orthodontic treatment for children who are attending secondary school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Newborn Screening Cards

Was asked: when he received the Health Service Executive review group report on newborn screening cards; when this report was published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In late 2009, the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) received a complaint from a member of the public in relation to the retention of Newborn Screening Cards (NSCs). The basis of the complaint (wh...More Button

HSE Funding

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form, the total amount of capital funding his Department has allocated to Waterford for the years 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While my Department has not allocated capital funding to Waterford it has provided capital funding to a number of directly funded agencies that provide a national service. The following table show...More Button

Hospital Acquired Infections

Was asked: the extent to which steps are taken to prevent the spread of various hospital bugs including MRSA, all air borne and other infections; if the major cause or causes of such infections have been iden...More Button

I would like to assure you that the management of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HCAIs) is a key patient safety issue for my Department and a number of significant initiatives have been developed ...More Button

Health Screening Programmes

Was asked: the number of referrals for further psychological or medical attention following school medical examinations in each of the past five years and to date in 2012; the full extent to which the procedu...More Button

The policy on school health examinations forms part of the Best for Health for Children guidelines, produced in 1999 and revised in 2006. These guidelines were produced after rigorous evaluation ...More Button

New governance structures are also being put in place in relation to child health screening and surveillance in the HSE which will further improve the quality assurance of the process. The World...More Button

As the number of referrals for further psychological or medical attention following school medical examinations is a service matter the question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.More Button

Registration of Nurses

Was asked: the steps being taken by the Health Service Executive to ensure that nurses have access to six weeks adaptation placement courses available in a recognised paediatric hospital to allow nurses to up...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that paediatric nurses who wish to come back to nursing cannot get An Bord Altranais registration because there are no adaptation placement courses avail...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 200 and 201 together.

  The information regarding adaptation placement courses for paediatric nurses who wish to return to general nursing is a s...More Button

HSE Investigations

Was asked: the timeframe involved for the National Incident Management Team to complete its review of the circumstances surrounding the death of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; the names of th...More Button

It would not be customary for my Department to be routinely advised of deaths which have occurred in hospitals, nor to be informed of inquiries being carried out by the Health Service Executive (HS...More Button