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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 226-232
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Health Strategies
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Maternity Benefit Issues
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Primary Care Centres Expenditure
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 809 No. 3

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Written Answers Nos. 226-232

Medical Card Applications

 226. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1. [32449/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has recently reissued to Oireachtas members.

Health Strategies

 227. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will support national vision strategy for eye health in 2013.  [32453/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The issues involved in eye health span a number of areas in the health sector with regard to access to treatment, patient safety and quality of care. There are a number of eye conditions which require specialist health services including cataract, refractive error, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration. There are detection and treatment services available at present in community and acute hospital settings for these conditions. In addition, there are a number of high level strategies which are relevant to the area of eye health, including Clinical Programmes; Public Health; Health Protection; Positive Ageing and Carers Strategies and Screening initiatives. A number of these strategies link with the HSE's Clinical Ophthalmology Programme. The health sector will continue to provide and deliver vision services and supports through these programmes and specifically through health prevention, screening and intervention policies and programmes. In this context, it is not proposed to develop a separate national vision strategy.

Hospital Services

 228. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason there has been no orthoptist services available in Our Lady's Hospital Cashel, County Tipperary since December 2012; when will the previous orthoptist be replaced in Cashel; where are patients who have been on the priority list being treated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32454/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Maternity Benefit Issues

 229. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the total amount paid out in maternity cash grants to medical card holders in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32455/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available. However, I have asked the Health Service Executive to supply this information to me and I will forward it to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Medical Card Appeals

 230. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if medical cards will be reinstated to persons (details supplied) in County Kerry in view of the the fact that they were awarded after notification of a successful appeal and withdrawn two months later without any review or formal notice of this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32457/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has recently reissued to Oireachtas members.

Primary Care Centres Expenditure

 231. Deputy John Lyons Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide an assurance that the funds for a primary care centre at a location (details supplied) in Dublin 11 will be ring-fenced in the event that the planned development does not go ahead or is delayed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32459/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deuty Alex White): Finglas has been identified as a high priority location for the development of a primary care centre (PCC).   Approval for a HSE direct-build PCC was approved in 2012 in the context of the HSE's multi-annual Capital Plan.   Following the review of a number of sites in the area, the HSE identified a Dublin City Council owned property on Mellowes Road, Finglas as the preferred site for the construction of the proposed new Finglas PCC. Subject to planning permission, the commercial terms for the sale were agreed with the officials of Dublin City Council and approved by the HSE. This site was selected because

- it is centrally located in the catchment area which it is intended to serve;

- it has very good accessibility and is well served by bus routes;

- it is a generous green-field site, has future expansion capacity and there would be no impact on current services during the construction period;

- it would complement the HSE Day Care Centre on Kildonan Road;

- it facilitates the establishment of GP services in this area;   local GPs have expressed significant interest in discussion with the HSE, in being a part of this development in this specific location.

  The HSE now advises that the North West Committee which is a local area committee of Dublin City Council has rejected the proposed sale of the Mellowes Road site to the HSE for use as a health care facility.    A final decision is awaited from Dublin City Council.    The HSE remains committed to the development of this primary care centre and has appointed a design team who have commenced a preliminary design. The design is now on-hold pending completion of the purchase. It was intended to submit the planning application once the site acquisition had been finalised.

  An important feature of the HSE's construction programme is that it recognises the construction dynamic - that construction projects can develop at different paces - and as a consequence it is multi-annual.   Ring-fencing this project's estimated construction costs would cut across the multi-annual concept and be counter-productive, as funds ring-fenced but not spent in a given year must be surrendered to the Exchequer at year end.    This project's progress and its estimated costs (as is the case for all other projects) are reviewed and revised as appropriate at each stage of development.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 232. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when a patient who is under the care of a consultant (details supplied) in County Donegal since November 2012 was informed that their surgery will not be carried out; the reason this is the case, and if he will reassure this patient that they will receive the necessary care; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32460/13]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2013, 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 this particular query raised by the Deputy, I have asked the Health Service Executive to investigate the situation and respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.


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