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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 331-350
 Header Item Graduate Medicine Programme Fees
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Disabilities Assessments
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Neuro-Rehabilitation Policy
 Header Item Home Care Packages Provision
 Header Item Home Care Packages Data
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme
 Header Item Hospital Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding
 Header Item Mental Health Services Funding

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 331-350

Question No. 331 answered with Question No. 323.

Question No. 332 answered with Question No. 320.

Question No. 333 answered with Question No. 322.

Question No. 334 answered with Question No. 323.

Graduate Medicine Programme Fees

 335. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if there are funds within his Department to assist a person (details supplied) who is attending college overseas in order to become a doctor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43615/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The funding of undergraduate medical education is a matter for the Department of Education and Skills.

  The number of places currently funded is considered sufficient to supply the needs of the Irish health care system. With regard to the issues of recruitment and retention of graduating doctors, my Department is monitoring the implementation of the MacCraith Report recommendations, which deal with these topics.

  The position is that there are no funds available, within my Department, to assist individuals acquire undergraduate medical degrees outside this State.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 336. 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 reason a person (details supplied) cannot be added to a hip operation waiting list while they lose weight; if there is a specific weight criterion for this procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43616/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, 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 HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Disabilities Assessments

 337. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the average waiting times to begin and complete, respectively, an assessment of need under the Disability Act 2005 after the date of application in each county in each of the years 2007 to 2016 and to date in 2017, in tabular form; and the number of whole-time equivalent assessment officers employed in each of the years since 2007 in each county, in tabular form. [43644/17]

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's relate to a service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Appointments Status

 338. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43654/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The scheduling of appointments is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient’s general practitioner consider the patient’s condition warrants and earlier appointment, he or she should take the matter up with the consultant and the hospital involved. In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Departmental Funding

 339. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the amount of funding per annum charities and Government agencies (details supplied) received for 2016 or the nearest available year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43659/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department administered a National Lottery Discretionary Fund up to and including 2016 from which once-off grants were paid to community and voluntary organisations providing a range of health related services. The 2016 National Lottery Fund provided a grant of €24,075 to the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) to fund the World Congress on Women's Mental Health in March 2017.  The other organisations named by the Deputy were not awarded National Lottery funding by my Department in 2016.

  I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply directly to the Deputy regarding funding paid to the organisations named during 2016.

Neuro-Rehabilitation Policy

 340. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the draft HSE rehabilitation medicine model of care; when it will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43686/17]

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

Home Care Packages Provision

 341. 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 home care package for a person (details supplied); the detail of this home care package; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43687/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Home Care Packages Data

 342. 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 home care packages and transitional care beds that will be provided by the €37 million funding announced in budget 2018. [43696/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly Budget 2018 has provided additional resources for Services for Older People and we are in a position to strengthen supports, in particular to facilitate speedier discharge from acute hospitals this winter. Discussions are ongoing between the Department and the HSE in relation to the level and timing of home care packages and transitional care approvals that can be provided following last week's announcement.

Mental Health Services Funding

 343. 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 expenditure on mental health in 2017; the equivalent figures on a like-for-like basis in terms of services provided in each of the years from 2011 to 2016 taking into consideration reclassifications of expenditure between those dates. [43698/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The HSE Mental Health Services Division expects to spend its full allocation of €853 million in 2017.

  Funding provided for Mental Health Services for each year for the period 2011 to 2016 are as follows:

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Allocation 712.0 711.0 737.0 766.0 791.8 826.6
Spend     709.0 735.8 785.4 825.0

Mental Health Services Funding

 344. 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 increased funding announced for mental health in line with the programme for Government commitment in each of the years 2012 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and the amount of that funding for each calendar year that was actually drawn down or spent on mental health services, in tabular form. [43699/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly Funding provided for Mental Health Services for each year for the period 2012 to 2017 are as follows:

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Allocation 711.0 737.0 766.0 791.8 826.6 853.1
PFG & Pay Agreement 35.0 35.0 20.0 35.0 35.0 15 PFG & 9.6 Pay
Net Increase   26.0 29.0 25.8 34.8 26.5
Spend   709.0 735.8 785.4 825.0 853.1*
*projected

  The HSE Mental Health Services Division expects to spend its full allocation of €853 million in 2017.

Mental Health Services Funding

 345. 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 amount the €35 million in additional funding for mental health announced in budget 2017 that was spent in the 2017 period; the amount that was included in the expenditure figure for 2017; the amount that was carried over into the budget 2018 figures announced recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43700/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The HSE Mental Health Services Division expect to spend its full allocation of €853 million in 2017. Budget 2017 made allowance for an additional €35 million for services to be initiated in 2017 and continued in 2018. Recognising the time-frame required to initiate new developments, €15 million was provided as part of the overall 2017 Budget. This was in part due to the time lag of new staff taking up posts and the completion of preparations for the introduction and enhancement of key priorities as specified in the HSE's 2017 Service Plan.

Budget 2018 announced €35 million to further develop mental health services in 2018 and the Minister for Health has also committed an additional €55 million in funding for 2019. The €35 million increase is made up of the €20 million continuing cost in 2018 of developments initiated in 2017, combined with a further €15 million for further new developments.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

 346. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the nature of discussions between his Department or agencies under his remit with an organisation (details supplied) regarding the nursing home support scheme, particularly regarding the NTPF.  [43705/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The Department of Health has met regularly with various stakeholders, including Nursing Homes Ireland. Meetings with NHI have discussed a wide range of issues including the review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, funding of Long Term Care, residential care standards, recruitment and workforce planning. NHI was also represented on previous Working Groups chaired by the Department which considered the Care and Welfare Regulations and Towards a Restraint Free Environment in Nursing Homes. In November 2016 NHI presented to the Interdepartmental Working Group established to oversee certain recommendations contained in the review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme.

I have had three meetings with the NHI, the most recent of which took place in September 2017. A number of different issues were discussed, including nursing home charges, cost pressures, the recruitment and retention of health care assistants in the nursing home care sector and workforce planning and the implementation of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme review.

The NHSS is a system of financial support for those assessed as needing long-term nursing home care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. Under law each private and voluntary nursing home must negotiate and agree a price for long-term residential care services with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) should they wish to be an approved nursing home for the purposes of the Scheme.

The process of setting prices with individual private nursing homes is commonly referred to as the NTPF pricing mechanism. The National Treatment Purchase Fund has statutory independence in the performance of its function, and negotiates with each nursing home on an individual basis.

A Steering Committee was established to oversee and manage the pricing review. The Steering Committee is chaired by the NTPF and includes representatives from the Department of Health, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) and the NTPF. External consultants Deloitte and Prospectus were engaged by the NTPF in June 2016 to assist in its review of the pricing mechanism. Numerous stakeholders were engaged in this process, including NHI. Work in this area is ongoing and well advanced.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

 347. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 760 of 21 March 2017, the progress made on the recruitment of an additional 4.5 whole-time equivalent sonographers at CUMH. [43707/17]

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

Services for People with Disabilities

 348. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to the alarm among disabled persons and their families and carers in County Donegal, caused by the closure of the swimming pool at a location (details supplied); if the swimming pool will be reopened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43713/17]

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's relate to a service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Funding

 349. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the projected expenditure on mental health in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43720/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The HSE Mental Health Services expect to spend their full allocation of €853 million in 2017. New developments have been initiated and will continue to be enhanced, along with existing services, in the coming years in line with the Programme for Government and recommendations from A Vision for Change.

Between 2012 and 2017 €140 million additional funding has been provided to the Mental Health Budget, with an addition of €59.1 million announced in Budget 2018, bringing increased investment by the Government to over €200 million, or 28%, since 2012. In addition, the Minister for Health has committed to a further €55 million to be made available for mental health services in 2019.

Mental Health Services Funding

 350. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the amount of the additional €15 million for mental health in 2017 which will be spent in 2017; the specific initiatives it has funded; the number of additional positions it has provided in the mental health division; the use to which unspent funds will be diverted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43721/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The HSE Mental Health Services Division expects to spend its full allocation of €853 million in 2017. This includes the €15 million allocated to new developments, which have been initiated and will continue to be enhanced, along with existing services, in the coming years in line with the Programme for Government and recommendations from A Vision for Change.

Among the initiatives funded by the €15 million are Forensic Community In-Reach Teams, additional Nurse Undergraduate places, and the enhancement of both 7-day-a-week and Eating Disorder services.

The number of additional posts provided for in 2017 is 325.

Budget 2018 made allowance for an additional €59 million for Mental Health Services for 2018. This includes pay-related costs of €24 million, €20 million to further progress the new initiatives commenced in 2017, and the €15 million for new developments above.

This increase will result in a Mental Health Budget of €912.1 million, an increase of €200 million, or 28%, since 2012. In addition, the Minister for Health has committed to a further €55 million to be made available for mental health services in 2019.


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