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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 308-327
 Header Item Vaccination Programme
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Pharmaceutical Sector
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Hospital Appointments Status
 Header Item Medicinal Products
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Medical Card Administration
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 91 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 308-327

Vaccination Programme

 308. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the HSE will roll out the HPV vaccine programme for boys; if there will be a catch-up programme for all school age boys over the age prescribed by the programme; if priority is given to boys who are homosexual or bisexual; if it is recognised by the HPV school programme that boys who are homosexual or bisexual are in a higher risk group than heterosexual boys; if there is another HPV vaccine programme or clinic in which teenage boys and young men who are homosexual or bisexual can receive the HPV vaccine; and if so, the cost of same.  [10464/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In December 2018 the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) completed a health technology assessment (HTA) in relation to extending the national immunisation schedule to include the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination of boys.  As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection. 

The HTA recommended that the HPV immunisation programme be extended to include boys with the introduction of a 9-valent HPV vaccine.  Inclusion of a catch-up programme for males in sixth year in school as part of a gender-neutral programme was not considered a cost-effective option and therefore not recommended.  However, a policy decision was made to extend the HPV immunisation programme to include boys and introduce a 9-valent HPV vaccine starting in September 2019.

The HSE National Immunisation Office are currently working towards preparing a gender-neutral HPV programme.  Information materials and training on this will be available for parents and healthcare professionals in advance of the start of the gender-neutral programme.

HPV vaccination of boys provides direct protection against HPV-related disease that are attributable to boys.  It also provides indirect herd protection to girls who have not been vaccinated.  Another important factor includes the additional protection provided by a gender-neutral programme to vulnerable groups (for example, men who have sex with men).

HPV vaccination has been offered to HIV positive men and women under the age of 26 since 2016 through HIV clinics and, since January 2017, HPV vaccination has been offered to men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 16 to 26 through publicly-funded sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics in Ireland.

Services for People with Disabilities

 309. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of new emergency places provided to persons with a disability in CHO area 9 in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10466/19]

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. 

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

 310. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a person (details supplied) will receive urgently required surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10469/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

 311. Deputy Martin Ferris Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a person (details supplied) who has been diagnosed with ASD and has no access to transport will be facilitated in their home town rather than in Listowel, which is 27 km from their home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10475/19]

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.

Hospitals Data

 312. 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 the number of elective surgeries and procedures cancelled in each hospital nationally for each month in 2017 and 2018, by specialty; the reason for the cancellation, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10487/19]

 313. 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 the number of elective surgeries and procedures cancelled in each hospital nationally in each of the years 2011 to 2018, by speciality; the reason for the cancellation, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10488/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 312 and 313 together.

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

Question No. 314 answered with Question No. 259.

Pharmaceutical Sector

 315. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if proposed regulations to reduce the use of pharmaceutical assistants nationally will be clarified; the expected number of job losses nationally among the profession; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10504/19]

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.

Hospitals Data

 316. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of elective surgeries and procedures cancelled at Louth County Hospital; and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda by specialty by month in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10505/19]

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.

Hospitals Data

 317. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of elective surgeries and procedures cancelled by specialty at Tallaght University Hospital by month in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10508/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

 318. 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 the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10544/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

 319. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if there is a speech therapist in a location (details supplied); if not, the reason therefore; when a speech therapist will be put in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10560/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

 320. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the reason a person (details supplied) who applied for an assessment of needs in March 2017 has only received notice from the HSE in February 2018; his plans to improve the waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10561/19]

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.

Hospitals Data

 321. Deputy Brian Stanley Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of elective surgeries and procedures cancelled by specialty at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise and the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore for each month in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10570/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

 322. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a hospital appointment will be expedited for a person (details supplied).  [10582/19]

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.

Medicinal Products

 323. 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 his attention has been drawn to the statement by the HSE regarding Spinraza, which contains figures that are at least six months out of date (details supplied); the steps he will take to request the HSE takes the updated information into account; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10605/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the pricing and reimbursement of medicines; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Question No. 324 answered with Question No. 259.

Hospital Services

 325. Deputy Martin Ferris Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of a request to provide an outreach x-ray service for West Kerry Community Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10608/19]

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.

Medical Card Administration

 326. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to make herbal products available to those on medical cards (details supplied).  [10609/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Services for People with Disabilities

 327. 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 status of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Bill 2017; when he envisages the Bill will progress through Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10645/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Simultaneous with the publication of Senator Reilly's Bill in 2017, Minister Harris asked the HSE to prepare a report detailing models of good practice across the Health Service. The HSE Report was published in December 2018 by the Minister alongside a Department of Health research paper on the prevalence of Autism in Ireland. As outlined by the Minister in the Seanad second stage debate, these are key steps in developing an autism strategy as envisaged by the Bill.   

  The Minister has instructed the HSE to proceed with the establishment of a Programme Board who will further the implementation of the recommendations of the Review.

  The HSE 2019 National Service Plan reflects this commitment and an Autism Plan is to be published in 2019.   

  Tony Canavan, Chief Officer will lead a national working group focused on the implementation. This builds on the substantial work already commenced in relation to improving Autism services, and the assessment process in particular.   

  Key priorities for the group include The Establishment of a Programme Board, Programme of Awareness Raising/Engagement and Guidance to Clinicians and Service Development.   

  As was also pointed out by the Minister during the debate on the Bill, the multi service needs of people with Autism are broader than the remit of the Department of Health. The Department of Justice and Equality has responsibility for providing a focal point for the promotion and co-ordination of disability policy, including the development of the National Disability Strategy.  In this context, the Department of Justice oversees the implementation of the Strategy and the accompanying Programme of Additional Actions on Autism.

  Because of the actions already outlined above which will deliver an autism plan in 2019 and the unique context and nature of the current legislative programme, it is not considered necessary to advance the Senator’s Bill at this stage.


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