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Shortall, Róisín

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 Nbr. 3


Priority Questions - Primary Care Strategy

The key component of the primary care strategy is the development of services in the community to give people direct access to integrated multi-disciplinary primary care teams, PCTs, consisting of ...More Button

The allocation of the extra posts will be subject to approval by the universal primary care project team, which has been tasked with working through the issues relating to the programme for Governm...More Button

I accept there has been much talk but little action on primary care over the past 11 years. More decisions have been taken on developing primary care over the past year than during the previous de...More Button

The Deputy is mixing up staff and centres here.More Button

It is a framework for smaller hospitals and not a strategy. However, we have a primary care strategy and I remind the Deputy that is an 11-year old strategy. We are taking that seriously now. Th...More Button

Other Questions - Medical Cards

I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 11 together.More Button

A number of difficulties arose with the processing of medical cards in the final quarter of last year. These difficulties gave rise to a very large backlog and long delays for both new applicants ...More Button

Reviews of the problems have identified a number of factors as to how these problems arose, including the decision by the HSE to fully centralise the processing of medical cards before the centrali...More Button

These issues are a matter of serious concern to me and I have had a number of meetings with the HSE over the past number of months to raise my concerns. The HSE has introduced a number of changes ...More Button

These include increased staffing levels in the centralised processing service and in respect of medical card appeals, improvements to how medical card renewals are assessed and the frequency with w...More Button

While a number of customer service and communication issues remain to be addressed, the HSE has nevertheless been making good progress in eliminating the backlog and preventing further backlogs occ...More Button

Average waiting times are not collated because the performance metric used by the HSE is the 15-day turnaround time for complete applications. I have reported the latest information for that measu...More Button

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.More Button

Figures for January 2011 are not available to PCRS as the centralisation programme was only completed on 1 July 2011. Prior to that date local health offices were responsible for processing medica...More Button

I assure the Deputy that under no circumstances was any direction given or intentional decision taken to slow down the issuing of medical cards. I want to rule that out because allegations were ma...More Button

In terms of what I stated in my reply, it would seem at this point that there is an acceptance that the HSE bit off more than it could chew in the overnight centralisation of medical cards in the m...More Button

The agreement recently reached with GPs in terms of the processing of medical cards is a very welcome one and it enables a number of actions to be done. The first is to extend a person’s eli...More Button

Regarding terminally ill patients, there is a new arrangement that has been clarified. In the case of a person with a terminal illness, where that terminal illness is validated by a GP or a consul...More Button

Regarding incomplete forms, most of the current backlog relates to incomplete forms and to get those on the move staff in the PCRS are contacting people directly by telephone to fill in those blank...More Button

Written Answers - Medical Cards

Under the former Eastern Health Board, it was the practice to provide psychiatric medicines free to all patients who attended an outpatient clinic for services regardless of their eligibility statu...More Button

In 2009, the HSE decided to bring the arrangements for the supply of medicines to patients attending mental health outpatient clinics in the greater Dublin area into line with those operating in th...More Button

People affected by these changes who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the asse...More Button

The HSE also has guidelines in place in relation to the provision of emergency medical cards to patients with a serious medical condition in need of urgent medical care that they cannot afford. Em...More Button

Other services such as allied health professional services may be available to medical card holders. According to current HSE figures, there are 136 women on their database who hold such cards. Th...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 587 together.More Button

The HSE has stated that between 1 July 2011 and 29 February 2012 Primary Care Reimbursement Service received 450,306 applications and renewals for medical cards. 39,552 of these renewal application...More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

Questions Nos. 619 and 620 answered with Question No. 603.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred again to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy as a matter of urgency.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

As Deputies are aware a number of difficulties arose with the processing of medical cards in the final quarter of last year. These difficulties gave rise to a very large backlog and long delays fo...More Button

Reviews of the problems have identified a number of factors as to how these problems arose, including:More Button

These issues are a matter of serious concern to me and I have had a number of meetings with the HSE over the last number of months to raise my concerns. The HSE has introduced a number of changes ...More Button

These include:More Button

A number of additional changes will be implemented by the HSE in the coming months. I am particularly keen to see changes to how medical card renewals in respect of people with permanent disabilit...More Button

While a number of customer service and communication issues remain to be addressed, the HSE has nevertheless been making good progress in eliminating the backlog and preventing further backlogs occ...More Button

Finally, a review of medical card processing has been undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the HSE which contains a number of recommendations that the HSE is considering.More Button

Written Answers - Health Services

There are currently approximately 21,000 in treatment. The HSE will be commencing an independent review of orthodontic services in 2012 which will consider a number of service provision models. Th...More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

Question No. 547 answered with Question No. 14.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

The Programme for Government committed to reforming the current public health system by introducing Universal Health Insurance with equal access to care for all. As part of this reform prog...More Button

Initially it is intended to extend GP cover without fees to persons with defined long-term illnesses who are in receipt of drugs and medicines under the Long Term Illness Scheme. Primary legislati...More Button

Written Answers - General Practitioner Services

General Practitioner (GP) out-of-hours co-operatives are an essential part of our primary care services and help to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, care needs are met in the primary c...More Button

GP out-of-hours co-operatives are now in place in all HSE areas, providing coverage in all or in part of all counties. There were 949,703 contacts with GP out-of-hours services in 2011. A Nationa...More Button

A new GP out-of-hours service commenced in Tallaght Hospital on 1st November 2011. It covers the Tallaght and Clondalkin areas and there are approximately 40 GPs in the co-op. There is a further c...More Button

Separate reports in 2009 by FÁS, ESRI and the Competition Authority and in 2010 by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children referred to the GP manpower issue and stated that 120...More Button

The EU/IMF programme made provision for the removal of restrictions to trade and competition in sheltered sectors, including eliminating restrictions on the number of GPs qualifying and removing re...More Button

In relation to the EU/IMF programme provision for the removal of restrictions on GPs wishing to treat public patients, the Health (Provision of General Practitioner Services) Act 2012, which came i...More Button

Written Answers - Primary Care Strategy

I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 583 together.More Button

The Programme for Government committed to reforming the current public health system by introducing Universal Health Insurance with equal access to care for all. As part of this reform prog...More Button

Initially it is intended to extend GP cover without fees to persons with defined long-term illnesses who are in receipt of drugs and medicines under the Long Term Illness Scheme. Primary legislati...More Button

As other aspects of the Deputies questions relate to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the HSE, my Department has requested the Par...More Button

Question No. 53 answered with Question No. 14.More Button

Written Answers - Drugs Payment Scheme

I propose to take Questions Nos. 552 and 553 together.More Button

Pradaxa is available under the GMS Scheme, the Drug Payment Scheme and other community drugs schemes for the prevention of blood clots in adult patients who have undergone elective hip replacement ...More Button

The HSE is assessing the availability of resources to provide for the long term treatment with Pradaxa for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. This is a complicated proce...More Button

There is a range of alternative medications which can be prescribed for stroke prevention under the community drugs schemes.More Button

Written Answers - Cosmetic Products Regulation

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) is the competent authority for the regulation of cosmetic products in Ireland. In relation to the tragic death of a 17 year old girl in the UK, referred to in the n...More Button

PPD (para-phenylenediamine) is a chemical ingredient which is used in hair colorant products. If applied directly to the skin, it may cause reactions. Allergic reactions are rare but can be sever...More Button

The safety of hair dye substances is currently being assessed by the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. The scientific committee’s final opinion will serve as a basis to take ...More Button

I am informed by the IMB that it has not been made aware of any reactions to PPD on the Irish market to date.More Button

Written Answers - Medical Aids and Appliances

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) is the competent authority for medical devices in Ireland, however the IMB has no direct role in the authorisation of any medical device before it is placed on the m...More Button

Question No. 635 answered with Question No. 14.More Button