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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1056-1076
 Header Item Medical Card Delays
 Header Item Hospital Consultants Recruitment
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Medical Card Reviews
 Header Item HSE Funding
 Header Item Health Services Staff Remuneration
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Haddington Road Agreement Savings
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Departmental Meetings
 Header Item Medical Card Delays
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item HSE Agency Staff

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1056-1076

Medical Card Delays

 1056. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if an application for a full medical card will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; the reason for delay as it is an urgent case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13307/14]

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.

Hospital Consultants Recruitment

 1057. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when the two consultant physicians who will be lost to Navan hospital in the next two months will be replaced by two permanent consultant physicians based in Navan.  [13135/14]

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.

Health Services

 1058. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13309/14]

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.

Medical Card Reviews

 1059. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason medical card holders are being reviewed within months of receiving their medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13313/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White All medical card and GP visit card holders are subject to a periodic review of eligibility to determine continuing eligibility.

Ordinarily, three months before an individual’s existing medical card/GP visit card eligibility expiry date, a review notification issues to the individual (or their parents, in the case of a child).

A reminder letter is issued a month later if the requested review form details have not been received at that point. If a person does not return their review form within the time specified, their continuing eligibility cannot be confirmed and their medical card/GP visit card cannot be reissued. In these circumstances, or where the review process establishes that a person no longer holds eligibility, the eligibility ceases.

Persons are requested to return their completed review forms, at least one month in advance of the due expiry date of their existing eligibility in order to give the HSE sufficient time to carry out the review and/or to get back to the person if the application is incomplete or requires any further details to be provided.

A person (and their dependants, if it applies), the subject of a medical card/GP visit card eligibility review assessment, will continue to have their eligibility extended pending the outcome of a review assessment, provided:

1. they have returned their review form within the time specified, and

2. are engaging with the HSE in enabling their review assessment to complete.

Outside of the date period three months prior to the expiry date of a person’s current approved eligibility, the HSE reserves the right, when appropriate, to undertake a review at any other time to confirm a person’s eligibility. Instances where such reviews might be occasioned include but are not confined to: following on from a change to the schemes qualifying eligibility criteria, notified changes to a person’s circumstances that may affect continuing eligibility, random reviews asking that a card holder confirm ‘ordinary residence’ in Ireland.

Approximately 10,000 letters are issued each month to cardholders asking that they sign and return to the HSE a Declaration of Residency form. On receipt of this Declaration, eligibility to the GMS Scheme continues. If a person does not return the Declaration of Residency form, their eligibility ceases.

The Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) (No. 2) Act 2013 with effect from 18th December 2013 provides for the reduction in the Persons age 70 or older medical card income qualifying thresholds to €500 gross income per week for a single person and €900 gross income per week for a couple. The HSE is required to identify those persons who no longer have full eligibility as a result of this change and in place of the medical card issue a GP visit card to those with gross income up to €700 (single person) /€1,400 (couple) per week. Those persons aged 70 or older with gross income above €700/€1,400 per week will have no eligibility to either a medical card or a GP Visit Card. This assessment review process has commenced and 6,000 review letters have been issued to customers.

The HSE is now completing medical card reviews for approximately 86,000 individuals per month. It is expected that increased data sharing between Revenue, Department of Social Protection and the HSE has the potential to further reduce the level of documents and information required from families as their eligibility status is reviewed.

HSE Funding

 1060. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when he last received an audited set of accounts from an organisation (details supplied); if the set of accounts were thorough and in compliance with section 38 of the Health Act 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13315/14]

 1061. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide or direct an organisation (details supplied) to provide detailed and itemised accounts for 2012 miscellaneous expenses listed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13316/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I propose to take Questions Nos. 1060 and 1061 together.

  As the Deputy's questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Staff Remuneration

 1062. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide details of the full salary and remuneration package for an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13317/14]

 1063. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide details of the full salary and remuneration package for an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13318/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1062 and 1063 together.

  As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medical Card Applications

 1064. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when a 26 week old baby (details supplied) in County Mayo, will receive a medical card; his views on a baby with such a condition not having to wait over 16 weeks for a decision on an application; and if he will expedite the application in view of the excessive nature of the delay in processing this application and the severe financial implications for the young family. [13321/14]

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.

Health Services Provision

 1065. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the supports that have been put in place in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 10; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13346/14]

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.

Haddington Road Agreement Savings

 1066. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason section 38 and 39 voluntary organisations are being asked to complete the Health Service Executive Haddington Road Agreement cost reduction database for social care, primary care, mental health and health and well-being form as they have already furnished the section 38 and 39 renumeration package details; and if staff in these organisations, therefore, now have the same entitlements to pensions, increments and other benefits applicable to public servants covered by Haddington Road.  [13359/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) provides significant enablers and provisions to extract savings and reduce the overall cost base in health service delivery. A national assurance and support process has been established to monitor and support the delivery of sustainable cost reductions as required under HRA.

Organisations such as voluntary hospitals and a range of disability bodies, funded under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004, provide health or personal social services on behalf of the HSE. Staff of these organisations are classified as public servants and set rates of remuneration apply. These staff are included in public service numbers and are covered by public service pension schemes. Service Level Agreements between the HSE and such bodies require compliance with the approved salary scales.

Staff in organisations funded under Section 39 are not classified as public servants, not counted in public service numbers, do not have public service pensions and are not bound by the Department of Health Consolidated Salary Scales.

The HSE provides significant funding for more than 2,600 agencies through 4,100 individual service level arrangements under Section 39 of the Health Act 2004. The aim of the national assurance and support process is to ensure that the opportunities that the enablers of the Haddington Road Agreement provide are maximised to assist cost extraction. Oversight of the Section 39 agencies by the HSE in this regard does not indicate that the entitlements of staff in these agencies has been aligned with those of Section 38 staff.

Hospital Services

 1067. 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 better services for cystic fibrosis in Beaumont Hospital Dublin; and if he will make 13 patient rooms a priority. [13378/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I understand that the Health Service Executive responded directly to the Deputy on 20 March in this matter.

Departmental Meetings

 1068. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13390/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly All the information requested by the Deputy is not immediately available but I will respond to the Deputy when it is. In the meantime, I can confirm that in the time period specified, I have not met with the organisation, nor has my Office received a request for a meeting.

Medical Card Delays

 1069. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if an application for a full medical card will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13405/14]

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.

Departmental Funding

 1070. 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 funding will be made available to a group (details supplied).  [13406/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I regret to inform the Deputy that my Department does not have funding available to support this project. However, I have asked the Health Service Executive to determine if it can provide any assistance and to revert to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointment Status

 1071. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a consultant visit in respect of a person (details supplied).  [13409/14]

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.

Health Services

 1072. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when the tendering contract for Kerry General Hospital shop will commence; if stipulations will be built into the tendering process that accommodate the NLN students that currently work there and also train new students going forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13418/14]

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.

HSE Agency Staff

 1073. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22 was refused inclusion in the Health Service Executive’s serious physical assault scheme despite being seriously injured during an assault while on duty working for the HSE; the reason it took two months for this application to be processed; and when a final decision on the appeal in this case will be made. [13427/14]

 1074. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason for the delay in a decision being made on an application by a person (details supplied) from Dublin 22 for inclusion in the injury at work scheme; and when a decision can be expected in this case.  [13428/14]

 1075. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason the Health Service Executive did not provide an MRI scan for an employee (details supplied) who sustained serious injury arising from a workplace assault in November 2013.  [13429/14]

 1076. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide, in tabular form, information on the Health Service Executive serious physical assault and injury at work schemes, including the total number of applicants for each scheme per year since 2009; the total number of applications refused for each scheme per year since 2009; the total number of refused applications for each scheme granted on appeal per year since 2009; the average processing time for each scheme per year since 2009; and the average processing time for appeals for each scheme per year since 2009. [13430/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1073 to 1076, inclusive, together.

  As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.


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