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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 255-273
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Hospital Beds Data
 Header Item Cross-Border Health Initiatives
 Header Item Home Care Packages Provision
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Home Help Service Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Cannabis for Medicinal Use
 Header Item Vaccination Programme
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Bereavement Counselling Services Provision
 Header Item Cancer Screening Programmes
 Header Item Cancer Screening Programmes
 Header Item HSE Staff Responsibilities
 Header Item HSE Reports
 Header Item Treatment Abroad Scheme
 Header Item Treatment Abroad Scheme

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 973 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 99 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 255-273

Hospital Appointments Status

 255. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment. [40763/18]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Hospital Beds Data

 256. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of inpatient and day case public patient beds in each public and voluntary hospital in tabular form. [40764/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Cross-Border Health Initiatives

 257. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the evidence required for the cross-border healthcare directive to prove a person is on a public waiting list here.  [40765/18]

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

Home Care Packages Provision

 258. Deputy Frank O'Rourke Information on Frank O'Rourke Zoom on Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a homecare package will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40770/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Appointments Status

 259. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will secure an appointment to see an ENT specialist at the Royal College of Surgeons. [40776/18]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Home Help Service Provision

 260. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when 15 hours of home support will be provided for a person (details supplied). [40778/18]

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

Health Services Provision

 261. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a person (details supplied) can receive treatment in University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40779/18]

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

Hospital Appointments Status

 262. Deputy Eugene Murphy Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will be scheduled for surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40786/18]

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, since 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 the Deputy directly.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

 263. Deputy Gino Kenny Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the medical cannabis expert reference group has concluded its report on guidelines for the proposed medical cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40792/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Considerable progress is being made in relation to the Cannabis for Medical Use Access Programme. The Deputy will be aware that an Expert Group has drawn up clinical guidance for healthcare professionals treating patients through the Access Programme.

These clinical guidelines have been published on the Department of Health’s website, as part of a comprehensive repository of information on cannabis for medical use; including information on the licence application process, the planned access programme, the different types of cannabis products and the specified medical conditions they may be used to treat, as well as clinical guidance on its use. This information can be found at the following website address:

health.gov.ie/blog/publications/cannabis-for-medical-use.

Vaccination Programme

 264. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the HPV vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40793/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Health Service Executive is committed to providing accurate information for parents about diseases, the vaccines to prevent them and side effects to allow them to choose whether to give consent to vaccination. All the information provided to parents about vaccination is prepared from the available licensed documentation for each vaccine, the Summary of Products Characteristics (SPC) and Patient Information Leaflet (PIL).

As this PQ refers to a service issue, I have referred it to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Services

 265. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if all blood samples that are taken in sexual assault treatment units after a rape has occurred are tested for date rape drugs; his plans to fund and run a pilot study in which all blood samples taken in sexual assault treatment units to identify the size of this problem and its trend; his further plans to make the spiking of drinks in such a manner a criminal offence and raising the profile of same; if the number of locations at which men and women can access these blood tests will be increased; the funding and staffing levels of each sexual assault treatment unit in each of the past ten years; and his plans to ensure that all sexual assault treatment units have the necessary staff levels to be open when necessary 24 hours a day and 7 days a week unlike the Dublin unit. [40794/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Deputy's question deals mainly with service-level and operational components of SATU, therefore his question has been referred to the HSE who will respond to these queries directly. The Minister has directed the department to undertake a policy review of national SATU services to assess the efficacy of health policy in the area, including the current staffing model, access, and governance. The review is ongoing and is expected to conclude by the end of 2018.

Bereavement Counselling Services Provision

 266. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to extend bereavement counselling services for children under 18 years of age that have been affected by the sudden death of a parent. [40834/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly I understand from the HSE that TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency, has responsibility for bereavement counselling services for children under 18 years of age that have been affected by the sudden death of a parent. As such, the Deputy may wish to put this question to my colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, as TUSLA falls under the aegis of her Department.

  Question No. 267 withdrawn.

Cancer Screening Programmes

 268. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the supplementary report into the CervicalCheck screening programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40838/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris On 12 September 2018, the Report of the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, was published following a Government decision. Government has accepted all 50 recommendations set out in the Report.

The Report is unequivocal in stating that the widespread non-disclosure of the results of historical screening audits was a substantial breach of trust for the women and families concerned. It caused significant distress and additional suffering to those affected.

However, Dr Scally is clear in his report that the Inquiry is satisfied with the quality management processes in the labs contracted by CervicalCheck. His report presents no evidence that the rates of discordant smear reporting or the performance of the programme fell below what is expected in a cervical screening programme.

Crucially, he has confirmed that he finds no reason why the existing contracts for laboratory services should not continue until the new HPV regime is introduced. This is very welcome reassurance for women in Ireland and very welcome also given the importance of screening for women’s health.

The report highlights issues with accreditation of some of the laboratories used in the past for CervicalCheck work. In light of this, Dr Scally has undertaken to do further work, on which he will provide a supplementary report to the Minister.

Cancer Screening Programmes

 269. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the roll-out of the HPV test; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40839/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I approved the switch to HPV testing as the primary screening mechanism for the CervicalCheck programme in February 2018, with cytology as a reflex test. This will involve a reconfiguration of the laboratory work involved and will be subject to a tendering process for any work carried out outside the public sector. The HSE have advised that detailed capacity planning is ongoing, and a project steering group comprising all key stakeholders is in place.

The introduction of the HPV test as the primary screening test is a key priority, which will significantly improve the accuracy of the screening process. My Department is engaging with the HSE to ensure that implementation of the switch to HPV testing progresses as quickly as possible.

HSE Staff Responsibilities

 270. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on the performance achievement policy for the Health Service Executive; if he is satisfied that full compliance with the policy has been achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40840/18]

 314. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on the performance achievement policy of the Health Service Executive; if he is satisfied that full compliance with the policy has been achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40997/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 and 314 together.

  Paragraph 2.7.2 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 to 2020 provides that appropriate performance management systems must be fully implemented in public service sectors by 1 January 2019.

  It is my understanding that the HSE and the staff representatives are currently engaging on the implementation of a HSE performance achievement policy.

HSE Reports

 271. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of implementing the recommendations of the 2017 external report on the national screening service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40841/18]

 315. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of implementing the recommendations of the 2017 external report on the National Screening Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40998/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 271 and 315 together.

  I understand that the report to which the Deputy refers was commissioned by the HSE and that its recommendations are under consideration by them. Accordingly, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

 272. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the outsourcing contracts in place regarding hospitals (details supplied). [40844/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Last year, the HSE published the Scoliosis Waiting List Update and Service Development Plan, which addressed treatment of children requiring corrective surgery for Scoliosis.

The approach set out in the Plan included insourcing of surgical procedures in the Children’s Hospital Group (CHG) and the broader public hospital sector, as well as outsourcing  initiatives, including private providers nationally and abroad. As part of the outsourcing initiative in 2017, two hospitals in the UK and two in Europe were engaged to undertake spinal fusion surgery.

In relation to outsourcing contracts in place at CHG, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

 273. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason only one child has been forwarded for treatment abroad by the HSE during 2018 even though four month targets have not been met and some children have been left waiting so long for their surgery that they have been deemed not to be clinically fit to have surgery. [40845/18]

 277. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if children (details supplied) are now discharged from their HSE orthopaedic specialist consultant here; and the person that will routinely follow-up these patients. [40849/18]

 278. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the cost in regard to the tendering process of the outsourcing contracts for scoliosis surgeries during 2017 (details supplied); the other costs that were incurred during this process, that is, renegotiation of contracts, including additional post-op follow-up of children in the UK and Germany and the costs of a French contract that was never utilised. [40850/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 273, 277 and 278 together.

Last year, the HSE published the Scoliosis Waiting List Update and Service Development Plan, which addressed treatment for children requiring corrective surgery for scoliosis. The approach set out in the Plan included insourcing of surgical procedures in the Children's Hospital Group (CHG), and the broader public hospital sector, as well as outsourcing initiatives, including private providers nationally and abroad.

In 2017, as part of the outsourcing initiative, families were offered the opportunity to have their child's surgery abroad. CHG advise that in total as part of this initiative 28 patients have had their treatment abroad and that arrangements have been agreed with services in the UK to undertake follow up reviews to ensure those children who received outsourced surgery in the UK receive appropriate follow up care as per the agreed protocol. This will include face to face outpatient clinics in Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, in addition to phone call and Skype follow up, if needed. These reviews are scheduled according to the patient's clinical care plan.

As a result of the additional €9m provided to the HSE in Budget 2018, the CHG advise that the increased investment has started to see the service stabilise and the current capacity expand to meet the demand for timely scoliosis treatment. As a consequence, there has not been the demand to send patients abroad for surgery.

Notwithstanding, this year a small number of families were offered the opportunity to have their child's surgery abroad, but did not avail of the offer as they did not want to travel abroad. One child did have surgery abroad in 2018; this was a procedure that was due to have taken place in 2017, but which was deferred until 2018.

The CHG advise that the investment in paediatric orthopaedics this year, which includes scoliosis services, has already improved access for surgery and outpatient review. The impact of investment is now starting to deliver results, with a consistent reduction in waiting times being recorded. By September 2018 there had been a reduction of 26% in the waiting times experienced to access surgery since the start of the year. This year the CHG aims to deliver 447 procedures, compared to 371 in 2017, and 224 in 2016.

The CHG advise that details of the costs associated with outsourcing are subject to confidentiality that applies to the procurement process with regard to information supplied by bidders, including costs. The same policy also applies to follow-on costs.


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