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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 283-302
 Header Item HSE Staff
 Header Item Supported Residential Accommodation Provision
 Header Item General Practitioner Services Provision
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications
 Header Item Cross-Border Health Initiatives
 Header Item Pharmacy Regulations
 Header Item Nursing Staff Provision
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Midwifery Services
 Header Item Midwifery Services Provision
 Header Item Midwifery Services
 Header Item Midwifery Services
 Header Item Maternity Services
 Header Item Midwifery Services Provision
 Header Item HSE Properties
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Regional Health Forums
 Header Item Health Services Reform
 Header Item Home Care Packages Provision
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Data

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 283-302

HSE Staff

 283. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if there is a minimum tenure period which a person must remain in post before they have an entitlement to permanency in instances in which a person is employed by the HSE in an acting post; if so, the details of same; the grades, roles and so on which this rule covers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8977/19]

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

Supported Residential Accommodation Provision

 284. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason funding has been refused for the provision of a supported housing solution in the case of a person (details supplied) in view of the fact that the solution was recommended in 2008 and the person has been waiting for approval of funding; the options available for the care of the person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8978/19]

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.

General Practitioner Services Provision

 285. 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 provision of general practitioner care in a town in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8982/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for it to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Applications

 286. 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 fair deal scheme application by a person (details supplied); if the matter will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8989/19]

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.

Cross-Border Health Initiatives

 287. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the plans in place in relation to the cross-border initiative for healthcare procedures in the context of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8991/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As part of a whole of Government response to Brexit, the Department of Health is working to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated set of preparations to ensure continuity of health services post-Brexit.

The Government, on Friday 22nd Feb 2019, published the ‘Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019’  .

  Part 2 of the Bill deals with healthcare arrangements with the UK post-Brexit in a no-deal scenario and contains provisions to allow me to make Orders and Regulations to enable necessary healthcare arrangements to be maintained between Ireland and the UK, including those existing arrangements which enable access to health services in the UK for persons in the State.

  Work is currently ongoing between the Irish and UK officials on the preservation of access to health services which have been facilitated by the Common Travel Area.

Pharmacy Regulations

 288. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on whether the proposals of an organisation (details supplied) relating to pharmacy assistants are unfair in view of the fact that the pharmacy assistant is an occupation that is ceasing due to the average age of pharmacy assistants and retirements.  [8997/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The Pharmacy Act 2007 established the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) and the functions of the Society are set out in the Act. The functions of the PSI are carried out on its behalf by the Council of the Society.

Section 30 of the Pharmacy Act 2007 provides for an exception to the general provision in the Act which requires the sale and supply of medicines at a pharmacy to be conducted under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist, and specifies that no offence is committed where a registered pharmaceutical assistant “acts on behalf of a registered pharmacist during the temporary absence of the registered pharmacist”.

Section 30 also permits the Council to make rules as to:

1. What may or may not be done by a registered pharmaceutical assistant when acting on behalf of a registered pharmacist; and

2. What constitutes the temporary absence of a registered pharmacist.

Following a period of public consultation, the Council of the PSI considered the proposed draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2018 at its meeting of 20 September 2018, where the Council approved the draft rules without amendment. Following this, the PSI undertook to redraft the Rules in relation to what may or not be done by a registered pharmaceutical assistant when acting on behalf of a registered pharmacist. On 6 December, the Council of the PSI approved a revised draft of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2018 for issuance for public consultation. This public consultation commenced on 13 December 2018 and ran until 11 January 2019, affording any interested party the opportunity to make representations on the matter directly to the PSI.

Following completion of the public consultation phase, the Council of the PSI considered the proposed draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2018 at its meeting on 14 February 2019.

My role in relation to this process is limited to the consideration of any such Rules once submitted for my consent. I must consider any Rules presented to me from a fair and impartial perspective, without prejudice or prejudgment.

I await the receipt of the Rules for my consideration from the PSI and, until that time, I am unfortunately not in a position to comment any further on the matter raised.

Nursing Staff Provision

 289. 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 if a night nurse will be accommodated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9002/19]

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.

Home Care Packages

 290. 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 the reason for withdrawal of home care support in the case of a person (details supplied); the action being taken to reinstate the home care support required with particular reference to their medical requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9005/19]

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.

Midwifery Services

 291. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the level of midwifery staffing in the 19 maternity units as measured against the 2016 birthrate plus; and the recommended midwifery staffing levels. [9013/19]

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

Midwifery Services Provision

 292. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of the 100 midwifery posts recommended by the 2016 birthrate plus consultancy report and advertised in 2016 under phase I of the report that are filled. [9014/19]

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

Midwifery Services

 293. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of the additional 100 midwifery posts recommended by the 2016 birthrate plus consultancy report and advertised in 2017 under phase II of the report that are filled. [9015/19]

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

Midwifery Services

 294. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of the 15 director of midwifery posts advertised in 2016 that are filled. [9016/19]

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

Maternity Services

 295. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of whole-time equivalent midwives in the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in each of the years 2016 to 2018. [9017/19]

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

Midwifery Services Provision

 296. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 5 February 2019, the proportion of women that will be accessing the supported care pathway entirely by the end of 2019. [9018/19]

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

HSE Properties

 297. Deputy Denise Mitchell Information on Denise Mitchell Zoom on Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason the planned transfer of a HSE-owned site at a location (details supplied) to a refuge for development as a step-down facility was cancelled in January 2019; the plans the HSE has for the future of the site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9030/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the management of the public healthcare property estate, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you in relation to this matter.

Hospital Appointments Status

 298. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9033/19]

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.

Regional Health Forums

 299. 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 his plans for the role of regional health forums in the governance of health services; if regional health forums will be retained in their current form; if they will be aligned with the proposed regional integrated care organisations; the way in which they will interact and relate to regional integrated care organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9034/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The four Regional Health Fora were established in 2006 to make representations to the HSE on the range and operation of health and personal social services in their area. These Fora are important for providing local elected representatives input into the delivery of services in each area.

I am conscious, however, that the four regions which relate to the Fora no longer match closely to the Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations set up in 2013 and 2014 respectively, and this causes some difficulty in relation to the effectiveness of the Fora. In this regard, it should be noted that the current legislation, the Health Act 2004, stipulates a maximum of four Regional Health Fora.

As the Deputy will be aware, the report of the cross-party Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare, Sláintecare, identifies four core building blocks that underpin a well-functioning health system. The first of these building blocks is a clear governance and accountability framework. As part of its recommendations in this area, the Committee called for the establishment of a HSE Board, the HSE to become a more strategic and patient-focused ‘national centre’ carrying out national level functions, and the establishment of regional bodies with responsibility for the planning and delivery of integrated care at a regional level.

As set out in the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, I am committed to the development of a new system of health structures and governance as called for in the Sláintecare report. The Strategy sets out a number of actions that will lead to the development of a new system of health structures and governance over the next number of years. This includes the following action - "define and agree a new organisational and operational structure for the future reconfigured health service, including respective roles of the Department of Health, the HSE and regional integrated care organisations".

As part of this work, consideration will be given to current Regional Fora arrangements and how best to design and develop mechanisms by which local elected officials and other stakeholders can engage with future regional organisations.

Health Services Reform

 300. 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 when a decision will be made regarding the alignment of community health organisations and hospital groups and for the establishment of regional integrated care organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9035/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The report of the cross-party Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare, Sláintecare, identifies four core building blocks that underpin a well-functioning health system. The first of these building blocks is a clear governance and accountability framework. As part of its recommendations in this area, the Committee called for the establishment of a HSE Board, the HSE to become a more strategic and patient-focused ‘national centre’ carrying out national level functions, and the establishment of regional bodies with responsibility for the planning and delivery of integrated care at a regional level.

As the Deputy will be aware, 9 CHOs and 7 Hospital Groups were established on an administrative basis in recent years to plan and deliver community and acute care services respectively. However, these structures are not geographically aligned and there is broad consensus that having separate and un-aligned structures for acute and community care impedes the development of a more integrated health service as envisaged under the Sláintecare programme.

To address these issues, the Sláintecare report recommends the geographic alignment of community healthcare organisations (CHOs) and hospital groups to support population based health planning and delivery, the design of the new regional bodies and ultimately the introduction of a form of regional health resource allocation. To support decisions on geographic alignment, the Sláintecare report further recommends “further analysis and consultation …to identify how alignment can best be achieved with minimal disruption to key structures including at community healthcare network level”.

As set out in the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, I am committed to the development of a new system of health structures and governance as called for in the Sláintecare report. The Strategy sets out a number of actions that will lead to the development of a new system of health structures and governance comprising a leaner national centre with responsibility for national planning, strategy and standard setting, complemented by regional integrated care organisations with responsibility for the planning and delivery of services at a regional level.

In line with the Sláintecare report recommendation, my Department undertook a public consultation regarding the geographical alignment of CHOs and Hospital Groups in 2018. In addition, my Department has carried out further detailed analysis work to determine the optimal geographical alignment of CHOs and Hospital Groups which can be achieved with minimal disruption, and which will ultimately be the geographical areas of the proposed new regional integrated care organisations. My Department is finalising proposals in this regard, and I hope to bring proposals to Government shortly.

Home Care Packages Provision

 301. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when an application for a home care package by a person (details supplied) will be processed to completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9052/19]

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.

Consultancy Contracts Data

 302. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of urologist consultants in each of the RCSI hospitals in 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of consultant urology hours provided in each hospital under current contracts; the number of urology surgeries that were cancelled in each RCSI hospital in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9059/19]

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


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