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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1146-1165
 Header Item Speech and Language Therapy
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Disability Services Funding
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item European Council Meetings
 Header Item Medical Card Reviews
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Medical Card Delays
 Header Item Narcolepsy Issues
 Header Item HSE Reports
 Header Item General Medical Services Scheme Administration
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status

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. 1146-1165

Speech and Language Therapy

 1146. 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 arrangements entered into to best meet the needs of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare who requires both speech and language therapy and occupational therapy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13824/14]

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.

Hospital Appointment Status

 1147. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a hospital appointment will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.  [13833/14]

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 Health Service Executive, 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 HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in this matter.

Services for People with Disabilities

 1148. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the way a residential placement for a young person is decided upon by Health Service Executive disability services; if input from parents or guardians and current service providers is considered during the decision-making process; if budgetary limits are applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13836/14]

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

Disability Services Funding

 1149. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the funding that was made available for residential placements in respect of young persons assisted by the National Association of Housing for Visually Impaired in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013; the funding that is to be allocated for 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13837/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The National Association of Housing for the Visually Impaired receives funding from the Health Service Executive. My Department has asked the HSE to provide the Deputy directly with the information requested.

Medical Card Applications

 1150. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13839/14]

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.

  Question No. 1151 answered with Question No. 988.

Medical Card Applications

 1152. 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 a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry.  [13841/14]

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.

European Council Meetings

 1153. 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 the next meeting of EU Health Ministers will take place; his agenda and priorities for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13844/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly An Informal meeting of Health Ministers is due to take place on the 28th and 29th April in Athens. This meeting is being hosted by Greece, current holders of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. I plan to attend.

  An agenda has not yet issued for this meeting. Officials at my Department have been advised that the following items are likely to feature on the agenda:

- The Economic Crisis and its effect on Healthcare

- Migration and Public Healthcare

- eHealth

  The Deputy might also wish to be aware that I plan to attend the next Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting in Luxembourg on the 19th/20th June 2014. There are four EPSCO meetings a year - health is discussed at two, in June and in December.

Medical Card Reviews

 1154. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will have their medical card application reviewed; the reason the person was told that they could not have their application reviewed and had their medical card withdrawn without a chance to provide evidence; if due process was followed in this application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13856/14]

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 Applications

 1155. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite a medical card application in respect of a family (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13858/14]

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 Delays

 1156. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork was told that it would take 30 working days to process their medical card application when it is supposed to take only 15 working days; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13859/14]

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.

  Questions Nos. 1157 and 1158 answered with Question No. 1100.

Narcolepsy Issues

 1159. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if the situation regarding narcolepsy not being recognised as a disability is under review as part of the future supports and requirements promised to sufferers as a result of receiving the Pandemrix vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13881/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly There are a number of definitions of disability that are used for particular purposes e.g. Disability Act, Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act, Equal Status Act, Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004, the Census and qualifying criteria for income supports such as Domiciliary Care Allowance, Disability Allowance, etc. These definitions define disability in terms of an individual's functional ability in their environment rather than a medical diagnosis or condition.

  The HSE and the Department of Education and Skills continue to provide a range of services and supports to individuals diagnosed with narcolepsy following pandemic vaccination regardless of age, on an ex-gratia basis. These services and supports which are co-ordinated by the HSE National Advocacy Unit are intended to provide that individuals receive tailored assistance to address their specific requirements, where appropriate. It is acknowledged that treatment and individual medical needs may need to be reassessed over time to take account of changes in their condition or circumstances.

  The ex-gratia health supports include clinical care pathways to ensure access to rapid diagnosis and treatment, multi-disciplinary assessments led by clinical experts, counselling services for both the individuals and their families, discretionary medical cards for those who have been diagnosed have been provided to allow unlimited access to GP care and any prescribed medication, ex-gratia reimbursement of vouched expenses incurred in the process of diagnosis and treatment, including travel expenses for attending medical appointments; physiotherapy, occupational therapy assessments, dental assessments and dietary services all on a needs basis. Regional co-ordinators have been appointed to assist individuals to provide advice, information and access to local services.

  On the education side, the National Educational Psychological Services (NEPS) engaged with all of the schools being attended by children with narcolepsy to provide guidance and assistance on the condition and the supports available. These include special education home tuition, the provision of supplemental learning support/resource teaching support on a needs basis and the provision of Special Needs Assistants (SNA) support if required. Furthermore, reasonable accommodations, including special examination centres and rest breaks were provided for students who sat state exams in last June. Similar arrangements will be available on a needs basis to students sitting state exams in future years. The Department of Education and Skills issued circulars providing information to schools on the nature, likely symptoms, possible effect of the condition of narcolepsy on students and the supports available for students.

  With regard to third level, students diagnosed with narcolepsy following pandemic vaccination can access the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme, which is a college/university scheme which offers enhanced access routes to third level education.

  All health and educational services and supports will continue to be provided on an ex-gratia basis. Those services and supports will be reassessed on an ongoing basis to take account of the individual's condition and circumstances.

HSE Reports

 1160. Deputy Jerry Buttimer Information on Jerry Buttimer Zoom on Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly further to the recent report received by the Health Service Executive regarding the treatment of lymphoedema, if his Department and the HSE will consider the report with a view to establishing the way the public health system can better support persons living with lymphoedema here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13884/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Deputy's question relates to a survey of lymphoedema services. Accordingly, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him in this regard.

  Question No. 1161 answered with Question No. 1080.

General Medical Services Scheme Administration

 1162. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a general practitioner has to confirm in writing that they will not take on a new medical card client; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13895/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White It is sufficient that a medical card holder supplies the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) with the names of three doctors in their locality that on request have declined to accept them on to their GMS panel. Written confirmation from the doctors does not have to be provided to PCRS. Once this information is received, PCRS will undertake to assign the card holder to a GP.

Medical Card Appeals

 1163. 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 progress made to date in respect of an appeal for a medical card in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13901/14]

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 Appointment Status

 1164. 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 a hospital appointment will be provided in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13909/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly A maximum waiting time target of 12 months has been set for a first time consultant-led outpatient appointment and this is reflected in the HSE Service Plan. The SDU and the NTPF are working closely with hospitals towards achievement of the maximum waiting time. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved.

In relation to the specific hospital appointment query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Appointment Status

 1165. 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 when a surgical procedure will be carried out in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13921/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The management of inpatient and daycase waiting lists for patients awaiting public health care is based on the principle that after urgent and cancer patients are treated, then clinically assessed routine patients should be seen in chronological order (i.e. longest waiter first). Should the patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he/she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved.

In relation to the specific query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.


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