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. 157-176
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Administration
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Disability Support Services Provision
 Header Item Child Care Services
 Header Item Respite Care Services
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration
 Header Item Departmental Agencies Funding
 Header Item Health Services Staff Remuneration
 Header Item Medicinal Products Reimbursement
 Header Item Medicinal Products Supply
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Emergency Departments Services
 Header Item Nursing Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Hospitals Funding
 Header Item Hospital Consultant Contracts
 Header Item Nursing Home Services
 Header Item GLAS Payments

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 962 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 59 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 157-176

Hospital Appointments Administration

 157. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied) will be scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51284/17]

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 particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 158. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when an operation for a person (details supplied) in St. James's Hospital will be scheduled.  [51286/17]

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 particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 159. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a surgical appointment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51288/17]

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.

Disability Support Services Provision

 160. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason for the delay in opening a care association (details supplied); the timeframe for its occupancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51289/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Child Care Services

 161. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a policy position has now been agreed in respect of the status of the loco parentis policy on the current HSE review of care services and supports for children with life limiting conditions and complex healthcare needs; if service users and their families have been updated accordingly; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [51328/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Respite Care Services

 162. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the operational appraisal into the Ballyshannon campus site in County Donegal to examine respite service provision options within the community healthcare organisation or CHO 1, as requested by HSE corporate management, is now complete; if he will provide the details of the report's findings; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [51330/17]

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 Provision

 163. 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 the number of chiropodist appointments an elderly person is entitled to (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [51337/17]

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.

Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration

 164. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the cost of restoring section 39 grants to pre-2008 levels in order to account for pay restoration in section 39 health organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51358/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.

Departmental Agencies Funding

 165. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the savings from cutting the grants to section 39 organisations since 2008; the amount by which these grants have been restored; the estimated cost of restoring them; the cost of fully restoring them to pre-2008 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51359/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have arranged for this question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Health Services Staff Remuneration

 166. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the estimated cost of restoring nursing and midwifery allowances by July 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51361/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

 167. 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 the HSE recently met the company that manufactures the drug Respreeza; if arrangements have now been put in place with the company and the HSE to administer Respreeza to the 21 persons who had been receiving it as part of a clinical trial; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [51369/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Medicinal Products Supply

 168. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the HSE quota of dispensary medical stockings can be raised from two to four in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [51372/17]

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.

Health Services

 169. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a person (details supplied) is entitled to free glasses from an optician. [51376/17]

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.

Emergency Departments Services

 170. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans for trauma care in the emergency departments of hospitals in the Dublin region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51379/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Traumatic injuries may be low, moderate or severe. Major trauma involves injuries which have the potential to cause prolonged disability or death. Based on available data, it is estimated that Ireland has approximately 1,600 major trauma patients each year. Trauma care is a subset of overall Emergency Department activity. Emergency Departments provide 24/7 access for emergency and urgent presentations across the spectrum of medical and surgical conditions with 1,157,074 new Emergency Department attendances in 2016.

In 2015, my predecessor established a Trauma Policy Steering Group, chaired by Professor Eilis McGovern, to make recommendations in relation to the development of a trauma system for Ireland. Patients who have used trauma services and clinicians were at the heart of the development of the plan. The Group has now completed its report and I intend to bring it to Cabinet before the end of the year.

Following on from recent media reports, it is important to say that the report is not about closing Emergency Departments or diminishing services. This is about delivering best outcomes for the small number of patients each year who suffer major trauma, that is, injuries which have the potential to cause prolonged disability or death, and ensuring they get the right care in the right place at the right time.

Nursing Staff Recruitment

 171. 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 the position regarding the filling of a vacancy in a community hospital (detailed supplied) in view of the difficulties being experienced by those who avail of this facility.  [51384/17]

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.

Departmental Properties

 172. Deputy Paul Kehoe Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of domestic properties purchased by his Department in County Wexford: the amount paid for the properties; the current usage of each; the purpose for which each one was purchased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51385/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Deputy's question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply as the management of the healthcare property estate is a service matter.

Hospitals Funding

 173. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 971 of 17 January 2017, the status of the provision of promised funding for the narcolepsy service at St. James's Hospital; when funding will be provided for the clinic; his views on the situation whereby Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe without a dedicated sleep clinic; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [51389/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department, the HSE and the Department of Education and Skills continue to work together to provide a wide range of services and supports for those affected by narcolepsy following pandemic influenza. These include discretionary medical cards, reimbursement of expenses associated with diagnosis and treatment, home tuition and learning supports. The HSE’s Advocacy Unit acts as liaison with service and support providers and other Government Departments to facilitate access to required services. It is in regular contact with individuals affected and regularly meets with representatives of the SOUND (sufferers of unique narcolepsy disorder). Regional co-ordinators have been appointed to assist individuals by providing advice, information and access to local services.

  The ex-gratia health supports include clinical care pathways to ensure access to diagnosis and treatment, multi-disciplinary assessments led by clinical experts, counselling services for both the individuals and their families, discretionary medical cards for those who have been diagnosed have been provided to allow unlimited access to GP care and any prescribed medication, ex-gratia reimbursement of vouched expenses incurred in the process of diagnosis and treatment, including travel expenses for attending medical appointments; physiotherapy, occupational therapy assessments, dental assessments and dietary services all on a needs basis.   

  The development of a national service for patients with all forms of narcolepsy in adults, and in children transitioning from pediatric services, in St. James's Hospital is being prioritised. The HSE is currently in the process of preparing its 2018 National Service Plan and discussions are continuing with my Department. The timeframes for submission of the HSE Service Plan for approval are set down in legislation and on receipt of the letter of determination, the HSE has 21 days to prepare and submit its Service Plan for 2018 for my approval. Following this, the National Service Plan will be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas and then published at the earliest possible time.

   In the interim, the HSE will continue to pay for access to services, such as dietician and psychology services, that would have been provided in the Centre of Excellence from private providers to so that none of the affected individuals miss out on receiving these supports.

Hospital Consultant Contracts

 174. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to a recent media programme (details supplied) which reported on a number of consultants that were found not to be in compliance with their contacts, his views on whether this issue does not solely relate to these specific consultants that were highlighted in the programme but rather there are significant numbers of consultants in certain hospitals that fail to meet their contract obligations; and the way in which he plans to address this matter [51390/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE collects and reports information monthly, in arrears, in relation to the percentage of public and private work being undertaken at each Hospital on an elective in-patient basis and on a day-case basis. Data from September 2017 shows that the public/private mix at a system level stands at 82% public for elective in-patient work and at almost 86% for day-case work. This is consistent with the typical 80/20 public/private ratio provided for in Consultant Contract 2008 and the public/private bed designation ratio in the 1997 Common Contract held by approximately 10% of consultants. This aggregate data indicates that the majority of consultants are in compliance with their contracts.

The framework for the regulation of a consultant's private practice is contained in Section 20 of Consultant Contract 2008. It provides that the public to private practice ratio is to be implemented through the Clinical Directorate structure and gives the employer of the consultant concerned full authority to take all necessary steps to ensure a Consultant's practice shall not exceed the agreed ratio of public to private practice.

However it is clear that the arrangements in place to manage private activity are not robust enough to deliver compliance in all circumstances and, as a result, some consultants are able to engage in private practice activity at levels that significantly exceed the permitted levels, or else they may engage in significant levels of off-site private practice, although their contract does not provide for this.

It is the responsibility of management to make sure these contracts are being enforced and to put in place structures that support compliance. I am very clear that consultants must deliver their work commitment to the public system. I have asked the HSE to ensure that more robust measures are in place in 2018 to make sure all consultants, those highlighted in the programme and all others, comply with their contractual obligations. In the longer term I have established an independent group, chaired by Dr Donal de Buitléir, to examine the impact of separating private practice from the public hospital system. This was one of the key recommendations of the Sláintecare Report.

Nursing Home Services

 175. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the year, name and location of the public nursing homes that have closed each year from 2005 to 2013, respectively, in tabular form [51411/17]

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.

GLAS Payments

 176. Deputy Eamon Scanlon Information on Eamon Scanlon Zoom on Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed when a GLAS payment will issue to a person (details supplied) which is being withheld due to a departmental error; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51262/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1st October 2015. All 2015 payments have been paid to the applicant along with the 2016 advance payment.

A penalty was applied to the 2016 balancing payment but this has now been resolved. However the resolution of the case requires additional non-routine processing. Work is ongoing to resolve the issue and any payment due will issue to the nominated account as soon as possible.


Last Updated: 19/02/2020 09:13:05 First Page Previous Page Page of 59 Next Page Last Page