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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 511-527
 Header Item Nursing Staff
 Header Item Nursing Home Services
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Care Services Provision
 Header Item Public Sector Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Hospital Consultant Recruitment
 Header Item Patient Data
 Header Item Care Services Provision
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Care Services Provision
 Header Item Primary Care Services Provision

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 946 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 511-527

Nursing Staff

 511. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to the fact that nurses were removed from the active register within two weeks of receipt of a final reminder notice to pay their annual retention fee, ARF, albeit that the reminder notice stated no action would be taken for 28 days following the date of issue from that final reminder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17655/17]

 512. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of nurses that have been removed from the active register before the 28 day period from their final reminder notice date of 8 March 2017 had been reached; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17656/17]

 513. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if nurses who had been removed from the active register within 28 days of their final reminder notice are now reinstated; if those who were removed before the expiry of the 28-day period but not yet reinstated will be reinstated without penalty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17657/17]

 514. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if those nurses who were forced to pay an additional €250 to be reinstated before the 28-day period of notice from their final reminder letter will be refunded the additional cost they were forced to incur to be reregistered [17658/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 511 to 514, inclusive, together.

I would like to thank the Deputy for raising this matter.

Section 38 of the Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011 enables the Board of the NMBI to charge such fees as may, from time to time, be determined by the Board - this includes a fee for the restoration of a person's name to the register. Section 77 of the 2011 Act allows the Board to remove a person's name from the register for non-payment of the annual retention fee (ARF). In that regard, this Section indicates that the Board may, not earlier than 28 days after the reminder has been sent, remove the nurse’s or midwife’s registration.

The NMBI have advised that a renewal notice and a reminder notice were issued to registrants on 6 November 2016 and 15 February 2017 respectively. Consideration of removal of names from the register is not considered by the Board until at least 28 days has elapsed from the date of the reminder notice. In addition, a final reminder was sent to registrants on 8 March 2017. The Board decided on 21 March 2017 that 2,258 people who had not paid their ARF would be removed from the register. The NMBI have advised that the final reminder which issued on 8th March 2017 indicated that the Board would consider removals from the register at its meeting on 21 March. Registrants were informed that the fee must be paid with immediate effect to avoid removal.

The Board has also confirmed that anyone who has been removed from the register must complete the restoration form and pay the restoration fee of €250. However, it should be noted that a person removed from the Register for non-payment of the ARF may apply to have the restoration fee waived. In that regard, the outcome of the following is considered:

- Review of the application and the personal circumstances of the individual at the time of the removal.

- Assessment, on an individual basis, as to whether the personal circumstances of the registrant, at the time of their removal from the Register, were of a serious and extenuating nature or whether there are humanitarian grounds upon which a decision to waive the restoration fee may be made.

Following assessment, the Director of Registry may decide to waive the restoration fee.

Nursing Home Services

 515. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the policy in relation to the provision of convalescent care for persons leaving hospital has changed from patient choice to a tendering system whereby only certain nursing homes will be part of the scheme; the reason for this; the expected saving to be made by going to public tender for this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17676/17]

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

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 516. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when medical equipment will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17680/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 517. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a specially adapted car seat can be facilitated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17681/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.

Care Services Provision

 518. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of a request for full-time residential care for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17682/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

 519. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason a person (details supplied) who applied for a position of student paramedic with the HSE was refused on educational grounds even though they were called to sit an aptitude test. [17683/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

 520. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to hire a myalgic encephalomyelitis specialist consultant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17684/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy): Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy 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.

Patient Data

 521. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of myalgic encephalomyelitis patients here; the source of this information; the way in which it is collated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17685/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy): Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy 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.

Care Services Provision

 522. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the supports in place to assist diagnosed myalgic encephalomyelitis patients in the community to assist them with their everyday lives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17686/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy): Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy 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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Eligibility

 523. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to introduce a 90% agricultural relief to farm business assets under the financial assessment of the nursing home support scheme in order that the contribution to cost of care is calculated on agricultural value and reflects ability to pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17692/17]

 524. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the charge on productive assets be removed to reflect ability to pay, in relation to the assessment of farmers under the nursing home support scheme; if so, when; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17693/17]

 525. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the review of the nursing home support scheme will be completed; the changes which will be introduced to aid farm families and small businesses; when these changes will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17694/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I propose to take Questions Nos. 523 to 525, inclusive, together.

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS) is a system of financial support for those in need of long-term nursing home care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their income and assets while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

When the NHSS commenced in 2009, a commitment was made that it would be reviewed after three years. The Report of the Review was published in July 2015. Arising out of the Review, a number of key issues have been identified for more detailed consideration across Departments and Agencies.

An Interdepartmental/Agency Working Group has been established to progress the recommendations contained in the Review. This Group is chaired by the Department of Health and includes representatives from the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the HSE, the Revenue Commissioners, and when required, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). These recommendations include examining the treatment of business and farm assets for the purposes of the financial assessment element of the Scheme. This work is currently underway. An initial report on progress was submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Health in September 2016.

Once all of the relevant Review recommendations have been considered, any amendments required to the Scheme will be identified. Changes which require legislative implementation will be addressed collectively, and it is important to remember that the NHSS is largely underpinned by primary legislation.

The Programme for a Partnership Government has also committed to reviewing the NHSS to remove any discrimination against small businesses and family farms. This review is currently underway.

Care Services Provision

 526. Deputy Pat Buckley Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason for the cuts to a service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17707/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Primary Care Services Provision

 527. Deputy Pat Buckley Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of addiction counsellors working in primary care in each of the years 2008 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and the annual expense incurred by these positions on the Exchequer. [17710/17]

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


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