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 Header Item Written Answers Nos 151-170
 Header Item Medicinal Products Reimbursement
 Header Item HSE Data
 Header Item Child Care Services Data
 Header Item HSE Data
 Header Item Disability Services Provision
 Header Item Disabilities Assessments
 Header Item Home Care Packages Data
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item National Cervical Screening Programme
 Header Item Departmental Communications
 Header Item National Cervical Screening Programme
 Header Item National Cervical Screening Programme Data
 Header Item National Cervical Screening Programme Data
 Header Item National Cervical Screening Programme Data
 Header Item Departmental Communications
 Header Item Departmental Communications
 Header Item Departmental Correspondence
 Header Item HSE Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Tobacco Control Measures

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 969 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos 151-170

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

 151. 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 recommendations have been made for a drug (details supplied) by the HSE drugs group following the seeking of additional information in January 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21612/18]

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, under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

In reaching a decision, the HSE examines all the evidence which may be relevant in its view for the decision and will consider such expert opinions and recommendations as it may have sought.

  The Rare Diseases Medicinal Products Technology Review Committee is engaged with prescribers and the patient representative group to establish clear reimbursement guidelines for sapropterin. These would be expected to target sapropterin for patient cohorts for which it may be a cost-effective intervention.

  The reimbursement guidelines are expected to include a requirement for response testing, to detail the criteria to identify patient cohorts for whom reimbursement of sapropterin would be a cost-effective use of resources and to include appropriate monitoring and control mechanisms. These engagements are ongoing.

  The HSE Drugs Group will review the output of such engagements at the earliest opportunity to examine whether the above aims were achieved and will consider a reimbursement recommendation at that time.

HSE Data

 152. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of children aged one or under that are buried at the HSE owned cemetery at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21614/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have no information on the matter raised by the Deputy. This is a child welfare issue and is therefore a matter for my colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Child Care Services Data

 153. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of children aged one or under that died in periods at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21615/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have no information on the matter raised by the Deputy. This is a child welfare issue and is therefore a matter for my colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

HSE Data

 154. 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 if he will report on the HSE figure which shows that there has been an increase of 100,000 personal assistant hours in 2017; if the 100,000 hours allocated are to persons already in the system or new individuals; the source from which the funding increase has been provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21635/18]

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 a service issue, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disability Services Provision

 155. 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 he will address a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21639/18]

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 an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disabilities Assessments

 156. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to engage with parents, schools, the representative bodies of psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists in relation to concerns regarding the new model for assessment of need for children with special needs [21651/18]

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.

Home Care Packages Data

 157. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of persons in receipt of home support services at 30 April 2018; the number that were approved and waiting for home support services for each community healthcare organisation, CHO, area at 30 April 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [21690/18]

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.

Appointments to State Boards

 158. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the process involved and the associated timeframe to appoint a board for the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21692/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris On 15 May 2018, Government approved legislation for an independent Board for the HSE and I will now be publishing the General Scheme of the Bill. An independent Board for the HSE was recommended by the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare (Sláintecare Report) and the necessary legislation is on the priority list for publication in the Government's Legislation Programme for this session. The Board will be a non-executive Board, with the skills and competencies for objective scrutiny of the HSE and to challenge when necessary. Board members can be appointed by the Minister when the legislation is in place and I look forward to working with Deputies and Senators with a view to getting the legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas this year.

National Cervical Screening Programme

 159. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when he or his predecessor's attention was drawn to the problems with CervicalCheck false negative results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21700/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Documentation from 2016 that contained references to the cervical cancer clinical audit, and the outcomes therefrom, was not brought to my attention, or that of my predecessor, until its release last week.

I received a briefing note in relation to a legal case which had been taken against MedLab/Clinical Pathology Laboratories Ltd, a company providing cytopathology for CervicalCheck, and the HSE on 16 April 2018. I have published that briefing note and set out the information available to me on the record of the Dáil.

Departmental Communications

 160. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he or one of his predecessors were informed of the media strategy for reporting on the number of false negative cervical checks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21701/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Documentation from 2016 that contained references to media matters was not brought to my attention, or that of my predecessor, until its release last week.

National Cervical Screening Programme

 161. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention was drawn to the prospect of legal action from laboratories that are involved in CervicalCheck; when his attention was drawn to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21702/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Documentation from 2016 that contained information in relation to the possibility of legal action by laboratories was not brought to my attention until its release last week.

National Cervical Screening Programme Data

 162. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention was drawn to the different levels of detection rates in the three different laboratories performing CervicalCheck; if an investigation was done into possible causes for the differences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21703/18]

 163. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the level of detection rates for cervical checks in the different laboratories performing same in each of the years 2008 to 2017 inclusive. [21704/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 and 163 together.

  These questions relate to matters which are now the subject of a Scoping Inquiry that I established on 8 May 2018.

  The Terms of Reference of the Scoping Inquiry, which is being led by Dr Gabriel Scally, are very comprehensive and include the following in relation to laboratories contracted by CervicalCheck:

   - examine the tendering, contracting, operation, conflict of interest arrangements, performance information and performance management, accreditation and quality assurance of contracted cytology laboratory services by CervicalCheck from initiation of the programme.

  I believe it appropriate that an expert clinical inquiry examines these matters.

National Cervical Screening Programme Data

 164. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of clinicians that were contacted by CervicalCheck on foot of the smear test review; and if all of these clinicians have made contact with all their patients that are covered by the audit.  [21706/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I am advised by the HSE that approximately 30 clinicians were contacted by CervicalCheck on foot of the smear test review.

  A total 205 of the 209 women, or their next-of-kin, where the audit showed their test could have provided a different result, have been contacted and efforts are continuing to contact the remaining women.

National Cervical Screening Programme Data

 165. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the cases of cervical cancer that were not audited; the number of these cases in which the woman had had a smear test; the number of persons that have not been contacted; the reason for same; if all of the women have been contacted; and his views on their situation.  [21707/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE has advised that they will conclude the matching process with the National Cancer Registry in the next week in relation to women who were not part of the original CervicalCheck audit.   The Deputy will appreciate that I am not in a position to provide any further information in relation to the number of women involved, until such time as this data matching process is completed and fully validated.  

The Deputy will be aware that an International Clinical Expert Review Panel, led by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists with expert input from the British Association of Colposcopists & Cervical Pathologists, is being established. This independent review panel will consider all cases of invasive cervical cancer in Ireland since the inception of the CervicalCheck screening programme and will identify those cases who were screened by the programme.  The process will examine the screening history of women who were screened by CervicalCheck and will identify those who had a previous smear(s) prior to their diagnosis.  For these women the expert panel will review their screening, cytological and clinical histories and undertake a re-examination of their cytology tests.  Where the review opinion of the cytology result(s) differs to the original result provided by CervicalCheck, the review panel will endeavour to determine any failures to prevent cancer or  to intervene at an earlier stage and will prepare individual reports for those affected, establishing the facts and the implications where these have been determined.

I should also mention that a Working Group, including representatives from the Department and the HSE, will be established to work with the review panel in order to ensure that any issues are resolved and progressed.

Finally, I can assure the Deputy that the additional women who have cervical cancer and also had cytology with the CervicalCheck programme will be prioritised.

Departmental Communications

 166. 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 memos (details supplied) were discussed at central management meetings within his Department at which he and the Secretary General of his Department were in attendance in each of the years 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21713/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The records available to me indicate that these matters were not discussed at any Management Board meeting which I or my predecessor attended. 

Departmental Communications

 167. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the action the Chief Medical Officer took when his attention was drawn to memos (details supplied); if advice and or direction was issued regarding the contents of the documents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21714/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris This question relates to matters which are now the subject of a Scoping Inquiry. I announced the terms of reference of this Inquiry following agreement by Government on 08 May 2018. The Inquiry, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, will examine the facts, including details of the non-disclosure to patients relating to CervicalCheck clinical audits and the management and level of knowledge of various parties including, the HSE and the Department of Health. Dr Scally will report to the Minister by the end of next month setting out his findings. The terms of reference for the Scoping Inquiry are published on my Department's website. 

Departmental Correspondence

 168. 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 his Department notified or sent documents (details supplied) to the State Claims Agency, the Chief State Solicitor or the Office of the Attorney General since 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21715/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The documents concerned were not forwarded to the State Claims Agency, the Chief State Solicitor or the Attorney General.

The documents provided the Department with an understanding that a retrospective clinical audit was being undertaken for quality assurance and learning purposes and CervicalCheck had a clear objective to provide results to consultants in order to allow for direct communication with the women concerned.  The Department was assured as to the merit of the clinical audit and the communication of the results to the women concerned.  

In the circumstances, the question of sharing the documents with the State Claims Agency, the Chief State Solicitor or the Attorney General did not arise. 

HSE Staff Recruitment

 169. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the process involved in the appointment of a new director general for the HSE; the length of time the process will take; the arrangements that will be put in place following the retirement of the former director general and prior to the appointment of a new director general; the reason the position is only being advertised now; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21717/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Preparations are advancing regarding the process for the appointment of a new Director General for the HSE. This will be done in accordance with the provisions of the governing legislation which is Section 16E of the Health Act 2004 as amended by the Health Service (Governance) Act, 2013. This requires that the recruitment process will be undertaken in line with the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004. The recruitment will be carried out by the Public Appointments Service and will include an international executive search. My Department is engaging with the Public Appointments Service to progress this as a priority.

The post will be advertised shortly.

In the meanwhile, I have appointed Mr John Connaghan to carry out the role of Director General of the HSE pending the completion of the recruitment process

Tobacco Control Measures

 170. 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 if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the HSE tobacco-free campus "No Smoking" signage includes e-cigarettes (details supplied); his views on whether this might cause confusion amongst smokers seeking to cease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21718/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As 'Tobacco Free Campus' is a Health Service Executive (HSE) initiative I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy on this question. If you have not received a reply within fifteen working days please contact my Private Office and it will follow up on the matter.


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