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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 136-160
 Header Item Thalidomide Victims Compensation
 Header Item Primary Care Centres
 Header Item Home Help Service Provision
 Header Item Medical Card Applications
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists Data
 Header Item Health Services Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Thalidomide Victims Compensation
 Header Item Pharmacy Data
 Header Item Health Services Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Food Labelling
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Treatment Abroad Scheme
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Psychological Services
 Header Item Psychological Services
 Header Item Health Services Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Disability Services Provision
 Header Item Audiology Services Data
 Header Item Hospital Consultant Data

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 990 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 43 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 136-160

Thalidomide Victims Compensation

 136. 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 position regarding State support for those who suffered injuries resulting from the ingestion of thalidomide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49456/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Following an Irish Government decision in 1975, the Government granted an ex-gratia sum equivalent to 4 times the German lump-sum and an ex-gratia monthly allowance for life equal to the German monthly allowance to each of the Irish children found to have thalidomide related injuries. The German monthly payments are made by the Contergan Foundation, which is established under German legislation. From 1st August 2013, the Contergan Foundation substantially increased its monthly payments to thalidomide survivors, including Irish survivors. There are currently 29 Irish people in receipt of ex-gratia monthly payments from my Department.

Both the German payments and the Irish ex-gratia payments made to the survivors are exempt from tax, including DIRT and are not reckonable as means for the purpose of Social Welfare payments.

In addition to the initial lump sum and monthly payments for life, the supports provided to each Irish survivor include a medical card on an administrative basis regardless of means, provision of appliances, artificial limbs, equipment, housing adaptations and access to a full range of primary care, hospital and personal social services.

There is a designated senior manager in the Health Service Executive to act as a liaison with regard to the ongoing health and personal social service needs of Irish survivors.

It is important to note that it is open to any Irish person to apply to the Contergan Foundation for assessment of their disability as being attributable to thalidomide. Any Irish person who establishes that their injury is attributable to thalidomide will be offered appropriate supports by the Irish Government, commensurate with those currently provided to Irish thalidomide survivors, as outlined above.

Primary Care Centres

 137. Deputy Eamon Scanlon Information on Eamon Scanlon Zoom on Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the opening date for the new primary care centre in Tubbercurry, County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49457/19]

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

Home Help Service Provision

 138. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when funds will be allocated to enable a person (details supplied) in the midwest region who has been approved for home help and is on a waiting list to access same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49465/19]

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 Applications

 139. Deputy Seamus Healy Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a medical card will be approved for persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49466/19]

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 Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 140. 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 when a person (details supplied) will receive a prosthetic limb in view of the length of time the person has been waiting to date. [49470/19]

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 direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

 141. 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 number of patients on the cardiology waiting list at University Hospital Kerry in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49478/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

  The latest National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures show that there are 945 patients on the cardiology Outpatient waiting list in University Hospital Kerry. Of these, 51% (486) are waiting 12 months or less. There are no patients waiting for an Inpatient/Daycase cardiology procedure.

  Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the NTPF increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020.

  My Department is working with the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. The National Service Plan 2020 will set out HSE planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to improve access to inpatient/daycase treatment and with a particular focus on hospital outpatient services.

  In this regard, I would encourage all hospital groups and individual hospitals to engage with the NTPF to identify waiting list proposals for the remainder of this year and for 2020.

  Please see the document at the link for the requested information.

  UHK Cardiology OPD

Health Services Staff Recruitment

 142. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae Information on Danny Healy-Rae Zoom on Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the recruitment process used to advertise for nurses and care staff in community hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49480/19]

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.

Thalidomide Victims Compensation

 143. 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 his views on a matter regarding thalidomide (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49494/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath There are a number of cases concerning thalidomide before the High Court at present, which are being managed by the State Claims Agency on behalf of the Irish State.

The State Defendants in the proceedings are the Minister for Health and Children, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Attorney General and Ireland. An order for discovery was sought by the Plaintiff and was made by the High Court on 10 April, 2019. That order has neither been perfected nor served upon the State and accordingly the time for compliance with discovery obligations has not commenced to run.

An application is pending before the Court to vary the discovery ordered and this has not as yet been determined. Review of the data necessary to comply with the discovery order in the context of proceedings is ongoing and is necessarily the subject of legal advice and privilege. Accordingly, it is inappropriate for me to give further comment or detail in respect of the process until discovery has concluded and the proceedings resolved.

No State Defendant has been determined to be non-compliant with the discovery order in these proceedings.

Pharmacy Data

 144. 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 number of claims by pharmacies in each of the years 2016 to 2018 for non-dispensing fees in cases in which the pharmacist exercised his or her professional judgment and did not dispense an item on a GMS prescription; the amount paid in non-dispensing fees in each of those years; and the value of the non-dispensed medicines in respect of these claims for non-dispensing in each year in tabular form. [49496/19]

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.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

 145. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae Information on Danny Healy-Rae Zoom on Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to review the recruitment process for community hospitals in view of the fact that the current process is not functioning; if so, the timeframe for the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49498/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 146. 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. [49500/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 147. 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 knee replacement operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49501/19]

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.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 148. 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 when an operation will be provided for a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in issuing a date for the procedure; if the person can undergo the procedure on the treatment purchase fund scheme or in another way; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49502/19]

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.

With regard to whether the patient can avail of treatment through the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). The NTPF works with public hospitals, as opposed to with patients directly, to offer and provide the funding for treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic.

The key criteria of the NTPF is the prioritisation of the longest waiting patients first. While the NTPF identifies patients eligible for NTPF treatment, it is solely on the basis of their time spent on the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List. The clinical suitability of the patient to avail of NTPF funded treatment is determined by the public hospital.

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

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 149. 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 the reason an art assist machine is not available to a person (details supplied) in view of the exceptional circumstances; the reason the assistance of the machines is not provided to patients in view of the fact they are a preventative medicine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49504/19]

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 direct reply to the Deputy.

Food Labelling

 150. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the position regarding the development of national food labelling legislation; his views on front-of-pack nutrition labelling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49514/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Food labelling in the EU is governed by Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (FIC). This contains mandatory requirements in regard to the provision of nutrition labelling in pre-packaged foods.

The Regulation also provides that EU Member States can recommend use, within their own territory, of a voluntary scheme which provides additional forms of expression or presentation of nutritional information for specified nutrients on the front-of-pack (FOP) of a product, once the proposed scheme meets certain criteria. There is currently no harmonised legislation at EU level on front-of-pack labelling (FOP).

In 2016, the Department of Health published an 'Obesity Policy and Action Plan for 2016-2025' which included an action point to review EU consumer information labelling of food products and with a view to its application in the Irish market. This issue will be considered in due course by the national Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group (OPIOG).

Hospital Waiting Lists

 151. 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 an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49520/19]

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.

Health Services Provision

 152. 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 if additional therapy will be arranged for a child (details supplied). [49521/19]

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.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

 153. Deputy Peter Burke Information on Peter Burke Zoom on Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an application by a person (details supplied). [49522/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The HSE is responsible for the operation of the Cross-Border Directive and under the terms of the Directive there is a National Contact Point (NCP) in each Member State. The NCP for Ireland is located within the HSE's CBD office. A key function of the NCP here is to facilitate exchange of information for patients regarding their rights and entitlements to receive healthcare in another Member State, in particular the terms and conditions for reimbursement of cost and the procedures for accessing and determining those entitlements.

  Under the terms of the Cross-Border Directive it is the responsibility of the patient to make the arrangements for any treatment they wish to receive in another Member State and it is therefore not possible to assist the patient directly in the sourcing of treatment in the UK.   A patient may wish to contact the NCP in the UK if seeking additional information relating to treatment available and alternative locations for the particular treatment. Contact details for all NCP's are available from the HSE's NCP on its website - http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/schemes/cbd/ - and also by phone and email.

Departmental Expenditure

 154. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the amount spent by his Department and each agency under the aegis of his Department on the National Ploughing Championships in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by online advertising, offline advertising, promotional material, wages, photography, stand rental and other costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49542/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The table details the Department's spend at the National Ploughing Championships between the years 2016 and 2019.

  2016 2017 2018 2019 (To Date)
Offline advertising € - € - € - €3,075.00
Promotional material € - € - €5,559.60 €715.25
Wages (Travel & Subsistence) € - € - €74.01 €4,562.24
Stand rental € - € - €548.40 €69,189.03
Other costs € - € - € - €6,678.40
Department of Health Costs € - € - €6,182.01 €84,219.92
Safefood       €9,064.00
Total Costs € - € - €6,182.01 €93,283.92

Psychological Services

 155. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when an appointment will be made for a vacant psychologist post based in Kells, County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49549/19]

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.

Psychological Services

 156. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of vacant psychologist posts in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49550/19]

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.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

 157. Deputy Jack Chambers Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of a post (details supplied); his plans to replace the post; the interim measures being put in place for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49551/19]

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

Disability Services Provision

 158. 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 cases tabled to be taken by the early intervention team at Coolock primary care centre in 2020; if this is a reduced number of cases than previously tabled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49552/19]

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.

Audiology Services Data

 159. 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 full-time paediatric audiologists working in CHO area 9 in 2017, 2018 and to-date in 2019; his plans to further increase the number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49559/19]

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 direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Consultant Data

 160. 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 full-time endometriosis excision specialists at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, in each of the past three years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49560/19]

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.


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