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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 242-251
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Maternity Services
 Header Item Public Health Policy
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item HIQA Investigations

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 830 No. 3

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Written Answers Nos. 242-251

Hospital Waiting Lists

 242. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when a person (details supplied) in County Laois will have an operation carried out.  [7233/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly In relation to the particular patient query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to him directly.

  Questions Nos. 243 and 244 answered with Question No. 241.

Medical Card Appeals

 245. Deputy Michelle Mulherin Information on Michelle Mulherin Zoom on Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding an appeal against the refusal of a medical card in respect of a child (details supplied); if it will be expedited in view of the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7241/14]

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 issued to Oireachtas members.

Services for People with Disabilities

 246. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the mechanism available to a family to secure care services for their child who has ADHD and ASD, in particular occupational therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7259/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The particular issue raised by the Deputy is a service matter for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Maternity Services

 247. Deputy Ciara Conway Information on Ciara Conway Zoom on Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly to set out his plans to increase investment in maternity services, including the lifting of the moratorium on employment of perinatal psychiatrists beyond Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7271/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly An additional €1.48m has been provided in the HSE's Service Plan 2014 to target necessary patient centred improvements in maternity care. Looking forward, the proposed National Maternity Strategy, which will be developed by my Department in conjunction with the HSE, will provide the context for any necessary investment in our maternity services in the coming years. The Strategy will provide the strategic direction for the optimal development of our maternity services to ensure that women have access to safe, high quality maternity care, in a setting most appropriate to their needs.

In relation to staff resources, I would like to confirm that there is no embargo in the public health service on the recruitment of midwives or other frontline staff, including perinatal psychiatrists. While the numbers employed across the public service must be reduced in order to meet fiscal and budgetary targets, it is recognised that certain services, such as maternity, are demand led and require specialist staffing. Arrangements are in place in the HSE to allow the recruitment of such staff where it has been established that there is an urgent service requirement.

Public Health Policy

 248. Deputy Ciara Conway Information on Ciara Conway Zoom on Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly to outline the actions he will take to improve awareness and knowledge of sexual health and healthy sexual relationships, particularly among young persons, in view of the debate on the age of sexual consent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7272/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme currently is tasked with improving knowledge and awareness of sexual health and relationships through the delivery of targeted communications campaigns, customised information and educational programmes and other initiatives across a range of settings. The Programme runs and funds a range of sexual health information and education campaigns targeted to groups identified by research as having particular sexual health information needs, such as children and adolescents, 18-24 year olds, women aged 35-55 and parents, as well as early school leavers, young people who have experienced first sex before 17 years, and other minority groups.

In addition, the development of a National Sexual Health Strategy is nearing completion. This Strategy acknowledges the importance of developing healthy attitudes to sexuality throughout childhood and adolescence and builds on that foundation for positive sexual health and wellbeing into adulthood and older age. I intend to submit the Strategy to Government for approval as soon as possible.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications

 249. Deputy Brian Walsh Information on Brian Walsh Zoom on Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when an application under the nursing home support scheme will be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7276/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Hospital Services

 250. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly to set out his plans to introduce a Huntington's disease neurology clinic at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9.  [7290/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

HIQA Investigations

 251. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly to outline the action he is taking to ensure that all Health Information and Quality Authority report recommendations into Tallaght hospital are now implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7301/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the HIQA Report on Tallaght Hospital rests with the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital and the Director General the HSE, with oversight from my Department. In line with established HSE policy on the receipt and implementation of major reports, the HSE established an Implementation Oversight Group with appropriate chairmanship and membership to progress the Report’s recommendations relating to Tallaght hospital and nationally. The group has held meetings with the Health Information and Quality Authority on a number of occasions to report on progress achieved. As part of the public reporting process, in July 2013 the HSE posted an interim report on its progress to its website which can be accessed at www.hse.ie. Progress reported indicates the completion of early morning ward rounds, the application of the Manchester triage system and the robust review of waiting lists, which demonstrates strong local engagement in hospitals around these critical issues. The implementation of the National Early Warning Score has also added significantly to the care of patients. Some recommendations require continuous implementation and monitoring and these have been incorporated and mainstreamed into the overall work of the HSE.

  There are a number of recommendations in the report – particularly in the area of national planning, accountability and oversight, where the Department of Health has a lead role. These recommendations are being considered and progressed in the context of the overall reform programme, as set out in Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015, the report on The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a transition to Independent Hospital Trusts, and the Integrated Reform Plan for the health sector.


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