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 Header Item Written Answers Nos 1077-1091
 Header Item Medical Card Eligibility
 Header Item Medical Card Administration
 Header Item Long Stay Residential Units
 Header Item Vaccine Damage Compensation Scheme
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Hospital Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Ambulance Service Provision
 Header Item HSE Governance
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Delays
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Health Services Staff Data

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 1077-1091

Medical Card Eligibility

 1077. 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 if he will review the decision to take away a medical card in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13432/14]

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 Administration

 1078. 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 if a person over 70 years of age in receipt of a full medical card should be charged for a medical report to enable them renew their driving licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13434/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White Under the General Medical Services (GMS) contract, a general practitioner (GP) is expected to provide his/her patients who hold a medical card or GP visit card with all proper and necessary treatment of a kind generally undertaken by a GP. The contract between the HSE and GPs under the GMS Scheme stipulates that fees are not paid to GPs by the HSE in respect of certain medical certificates which may be required, for example, "under the Social Welfare Acts or for the purposes of insurance or assurance policies or for the issue of driving licences". Consultation fees charged by general practitioners to private patients and to GMS patients outside the terms of the GMS contract are a matter of private contract between the clinicians and the patients. While I have no role in relation to such fees, I would expect clinicians to have regard to the overall economic situation in setting their fees.

Long Stay Residential Units

 1079. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide, in tabular form, for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 the number of long-term and respite care nursing home beds available to the Health Service Executive in the Louth-Meath area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13439/14]

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.

Vaccine Damage Compensation Scheme

 1080. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding the introduction of a vaccine damage compensation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13442/14]

 1161. 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 his views on the establishment of a no-fault compensation scheme for those who suffer as a result of vaccine administration; the position regarding the establishment of such a compensation fund for the parents of vaccine-damaged children; when a decision will be made on the implementation of the recommendations of this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13892/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 1080 and 1161 together.

  The issues contained in the Report of the Vaccine Damage Steering Group are complex. They need to be considered in the wider context of how best to address the long term health and social needs of people who may have experienced adverse outcomes from all healthcare interventions.

Health Services

 1081. Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the progress that has been made in establishing a Cath Lab service at Sligo Regional Hospital as persons suffering heart attacks in the region must presently travel to Galway or Dublin which would dramatically reduce the opportunity for effective medical intervention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13451/14]

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

 1082. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 874 of 1 January 2012, if he will confirm that a series of murals by the late Sean O'Sullivan RHA depicting the work of the Medical Missionaries of Mary in Africa have been conserved; and if the Health Service Executive can confirm future plans for their display [13472/14]

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.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

 1083. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plans to recruit a paediatric diabetes nurse specialist at Letterkenny General Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13473/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The National Clinical Programme for Diabetes has created a new post for an Integrated Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist, operating from Letterkenny General Hospital. As a result, the nursing resource in Letterkenny General Hospital will be restructured, delivering benefits to both children and adults with Diabetes. The current resource of two Clinical Nurse Specialist posts and one Staff Nurse post in the Diabetic service at Letterkenny General Hospital will remain unchanged. One of the two hospital Clinical Nurse Specialist posts will have a focus on children with diabetes and the other will have a focus on adults with diabetes. The existing midwifery allocation to support pregnant women with diabetes will also continue unchanged. The new post of Integrated Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist is an additional resource which will link hospital-based diabetic services to community-based diabetic care services. This role is an essential resource in empowering patients to achieve optimum diabetes control by utilising clinically sound collaborative links between primary care and secondary care providers, as envisaged in the National Integrated Care Diabetes Programme developed by the National Clinical Programme for Diabetes. The outcome of these changes will be that nursing support for children with diabetes within the hospital will remain at current levels. Overall services will be enhanced through the support of the Integrated Services Clinical Nurse Specialist, who will work across both the hospital and the community.

In addition to the enhanced nursing resources outlined above, the hospital is in the process of recruiting permanent Consultants to two vacant posts within the Paediatric service. One of these posts is being advertised as a Consultant Paediatrician with a Special Interest in Diabetes. In the interim, Consultant cover for children with diabetes is currently being provided by a locum Consultant Paediatrician.

Ambulance Service Provision

 1084. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will ensure that an ambulance service is provided for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare undergoing oncology treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13487/14]

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 Governance

 1085. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 676 of 25 February 2014, if all work done in the processing of payments-payroll for the Health Service Executive is carried out at the address supplied in Dublin; if any of the work is done off shore; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13497/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Services for People with Disabilities

 1086. Deputy Joan Collins Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to Parliamentary Question No. 536 of 22 October 2013, if the Health Service Executive will confirm that the money allocated to Cheeverstown follows the patient; and if the HSE confirm the allocation to a person (details supplied) for their care.  [13504/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As I explained in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 536 of 22 October 2013 the historic position, as set out in the Value for Money (VFM) and Policy Review of Disability Services, is that the bulk of funding to disability agencies is based on an incremental determination process with relevant adjustments made to the previous year's baseline allocation rather than on the basis of a money follows the person model of funding. The move towards a model of funding which is linked to individual need, and which by definition will follow that individual, is encompassed by the recommendations in the VFM Review, a complex multi-year project which will result in very significant changes to the way in which services and supports for people with disabilities are delivered.

  With regard to the individual query raised by the Deputy, as it 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.

Hospital Appointment Delays

 1087. 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 renal transplant patient (details supplied) in Dublin 6 is waiting a number of months for an appointment in Beaumont Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13505/14]

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 her directly.

Services for People with Disabilities

 1088. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when an assessment will be carried out on a person (details supplied) in County Meath who is displaying many of the signs of Asperger's syndrome and is currently at high risk due to their behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13510/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As the particular issue raised by the Deputy relates to an individual case, this is a service matter for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Services for People with Disabilities

 1089. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when an assessment will be carried out on a client on a person (details supplied) in County Meath who is displaying the majority of the signs for ADHD; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13511/14]

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 this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Services for People with Disabilities

 1090. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if legislation allows for those over five years of age to be eligible for three month waiting time for assessment for disability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13512/14]

 1092. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide, in tabular form, the length of waiting times for assessment for children by disability services by county and by the different age profiles, that is those under and over five years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13514/14]

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. 1090 and 1092 together.

Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005 was commenced on 1 June 2007 in respect of children aged under 5. In 2008, the then Government decided, in the light of financial circumstances, to defer further implementation of the Disability Act 2005 and the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. However, in light of legal advice following on a ruling of the High Court children born after 1 June 2002 are being treated by the HSE as eligible to apply for an assessment under the Act. Part 2 of the 2005 Act provides for an assessment of the needs of eligible applicants, occasioned by their disability, to be commenced within three months of receipt of an application and completed within a further three months.

Although the HSE recognises that it faces significant challenges in respect of meeting the statutory time-frames which apply to the assessment of need process given the number and complexity of cases, it is taking a number of measures to address the issue. While any delay in assessment or intervention for any child is not desirable, the assessment process under the Disability Act can take place in parallel with any intervention which is identified as necessary. The HSE has issued guidance to its staff that where there is a delay in the assessment process, this should not affect the delivery of necessary and appropriate interventions identified for a particular child. In addition, targeted action plans have been put in place since early 2011. Measures have included: prioritising assessments, holding additional clinics, contracting the private sector to conduct assessments and reconfiguring resources to target areas of greatest need.

Following the publication of a report commissioned from the National Disability Authority by the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive, a major emphasis is being placed on reconfiguring disability services for children into integrated multidisciplinary geographically-based early-intervention and school-aged teams as part of the implementation of the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People Programme. This involves the roll-out of a new model of service, the objective of which is to bring about equity and consistency, with a clear pathway for children with disabilities and their families to services, regardless of where they live, what school they go to or the nature of their difficulty. The Programme is a key priority for the HSE in 2014 with an additional €4m allocated to assist in its implementation.

My Department has requested the HSE to respond to the Deputy in relation to the detailed data that he has sought on the operation of the assessment process.

Health Services Staff Data

 1091. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the number of staff in the disability services who directly carry out assessments on children currently out on sick leave; if he will provide in tabular form a breakdown on a county basis; the measures being taken to resolve the resulting delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13513/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.


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