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Harris, Simon

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Leaders' Questions (Continued)

Not since last week.More Button

I have not been.More Button

There is only the RCSI.More Button

Leaders' Questions (Resumed) (Continued)

For poetry.More Button

Business of Dáil (Continued)

Correct, and we need it.More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

Here is Brendan to save the day for us.More Button

Charitable and Voluntary Organisations

Was asked: if, in view of recent events, he has plans to review arrangements for the funding and auditing of section 38 agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I thank Deputy Browne for this important and timely question in light of a number of public concerns that have been raised in respect of organisations funded by the Health Service Executive.More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy and the House, as the Tánaiste did some moments ago, that a review of all section 38 providers is being conducted by external consultants. This review is now under wa...More Button

The HSE is funding approximately 40 agencies under section 38 of the Health Act as well as providing funding for or grant aid to a far wider group of what we know as section 39 agencies. The siz...More Button

I too am very concerned by what I am seeing in St. John of God. That is why an investigation is now under way by the HSE in respect of those payments. I have been clear, the HSE has been clear an...More Button

Was asked: to provide an up-to-date list of section 38 entities which receive funding from the HSE and the amount of funding each organisation received from 2013 to 2015, inclusive; if he will publish all HSE...More Button

I congratulate the Deputy on his election as Vice Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts. I have previously served on that fine body and know that the Deputy will have an interesting day on ...More Button

Was asked: when irregularities and concerns first came to or were brought to his attention and that of the Health Service Executive in the matter of a charity (details supplied); the steps that were taken or ...More Button

Was asked: if employees of section 38 agencies are public servants, members of public service pension schemes and are directly bound by his consolidated pay scales; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

On 27 September, 2013 the Department of Health issued a health sector pay policy (Circular 11/2013), prepared following consultations with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, to the HS...More Button

In relation to superannuation arrangements in the public service it should be noted that employment in a Section 38 agency does not confer a right to membership of a particular type of pension sc...More Button

There are a variety of pension schemes that operate in the public service, including in Section 38 agencies, depending on when and how an individual enters the public service. There are public s...More Button

  Question No. 583 answered with Question No. 579.More Button

  Questions Nos. 584 and 585 answered with Question No. 99.More Button

Charitable and Voluntary Organisations (Continued)

That is not fair and is not in accordance with the rules. That investigation is ongoing.More Button

It is not just about whether I can guarantee or I can be assured, it is about whether we have the structures in place to have a degree of certainty. I am not satisfied that we just have an inter...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. I sat on the Committee of Public Accounts when we discussed this issue back, I think, in 2013. I, like most people on both sides of the House, was repulsed by the carry-o...More Button

While I am endeavouring to fill the Deputy with confidence, we must be careful not to fill Irish people with a lack of confidence in some of the best service providers we have in this country in th...More Button

-----and are delivering vital health services which, frankly, were never delivered by the State. If they were not there, God knows what type of situation vulnerable people in this country would ha...More Button

Home Help Service Data

Was asked: the number of banked and paid for hours that home-help workers are due; the breakdown of these by region; the number of hours that have been cut from persons in the same areas for the period 2014 t...More Button

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: when the task force for the implementation of personalised budgets for persons with disabilities will be established; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the status of the provision of needs assessments by needs assessment officers in areas (details supplied); the number of officers in place; the reason for the delay in provision; when he will clear...More Button

Was asked: if he will address the current shortage of services in County Longford for persons who are discharged from rehabilitation; and his views on whether support services such as physiotherapists, occupa...More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

Was asked: if and when St. John of God Hospital informed him or the Health Service Executive of plans to redeploy health-funded resources away from a school (details supplied).More Button

Was asked: his views on the assertion of St. John of God Hospital that its redeployment of health-funded resources away from a school (details supplied) is in line with the value-for-money report on disabilit...More Button

Was asked: his views on the assertion of St. John of God Hospital that its redeployment of health-funded resources and the transfer of the clinical team away from a school (details supplied) to being part of ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the assertion of St. John of God Hospital that its redeployment of health-funded resources away from a school (details supplied) is appropriate and that the alternative provision of se...More Button

Was asked: the way in which he proposes to meet the long-term residential needs of children and young adults whose parents may not be available and who require residential care; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Hospital Groups

Was asked: the criteria for appointment to senior hospital management positions and for board appointments in each of the hospital groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As I have stated previously, I intend to continue to implement hospital groups structures but on an administrative basis. The reason is that I asked the House to establish an Oireachtas all-party ...More Button

With regard to senior hospital management positions, the HSE has developed eligibility criteria for senior management posts at hospital group and individual HSE hospital level. The criteria refl...More Button

Regarding the hospital group board appointments, chairs are in place for all hospital groups and board members were appointed to three out of seven hospital groups - Saolta university health care...More Button

The terms of office of the Saolta university health care group and the UL hospitals group boards are due to expire shortly. Given the scale of the change process involved in implementing hospita...More Button

My Department will shortly advertise, through the Public Appointments Service process, for nominees to all of the hospital group boards, excluding the children's hospital group, and I expect to b...More Button

I am accountable to the House for the decisions I have made during my time as Minister for Health. That is what I was endeavouring to do in my initial response to the question, by outlining my phi...More Button

However, the Deputy raises a valid point relating to the appointment of senior hospital positions. The Deputy is probably aware of the history of this. There was a Government decision on 14 May...More Button

I take the Deputy's point but I reiterate my point that these appointments were made for a 24-month period. We did not have a scenario whereby people were sanctioned for the rest of their career. ...More Button

Hospital Waiting Lists

Was asked: his plans to reduce gynaecology waiting times in Cork University Hospital.More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this important matter. I understand from data provided by the National Treatment Purchase Fund, NTPF, that at the end of June 2016 some 3,859 patients were waiting f...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that ensuring timely access to health services is a key challenge and concerted efforts are being and will continue to be made to improve the current situation. My Dep...More Button

Given it is an issue his party feels strongly about, I draw the attention of the Deputy to A Programme for a Partnership Government, which commits to a minimum of €15 million in funding for the N...More Button

I thank the Deputy and take his point. It is cold comfort to people on waiting lists today to hear that the waiting list for this very procedure has fallen significantly in that hospital, given 4,...More Button

What people do not want from the Minister for Health is tea and sympathy; what they want from me is action. I have taken action and, in particular, I have taken four actions in regard to waiting...More Button

I take very seriously the points made by the Deputy. It is very serious for people awaiting these procedures and people are waiting too long. This is why we need a concerted effort to tackle wait...More Button

I will specifically raise with the hospital group CEO the issue the Deputy raises in regard to the unused theatres and the consultant posts, and I will pass on his comments in that regard. I rei...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Cork University Hospital.More Button

I thank the Deputy for introducing the question. I have been made aware by him that the number of patients waiting over a year for an outpatient appointment in Cork University Hospital has increas...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that improving waiting times for scheduled care is a priority for the HSE, my Department and, indeed, for the whole of Government, as I outlined to the Deputy's colleague...More Button

I believe the policy of effectively deactivating the NTPF was a mistake.More Button

Was asked: his plans to address the waiting times for cataract surgery in County Kerry.More Button

I thank Deputy Brassil for raising this important matter with me. He has brought it to my attention personally as well. As I have said to some of the Deputy's colleagues, a key challenge for the ...More Button

Improved waiting times for planned or scheduled care for all patients is a key priority for the HSE, my Department and the Government, and I will not repeat what I have said to some of the Deputy...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than one year for a consultation in University Hospital Limerick.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is to ensure timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required with a particular...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HSE t...More Button

The Deputy may also wish to note that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a cont...More Button

I am advised that University Hospital Limerick has seen an increase of 20.6 % in the number of patients waiting greater than 12 months in the period December 2015 to May 2016. However, I am assur...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to reduce the waiting lists for various procedures throughout the public health and hospital system with a view to ensuring a readily accessible h...More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular ...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increas...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HSE...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Waterford University Hospital.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is to ensure timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required with a particular...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HSE ...More Button

The Deputy may also wish to note that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a cont...More Button

In relation to waiting lists at University Hospital Waterford as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons on the waiting list for ultrasounds; the backlog that exists for ultrasounds in Galway University Hospital for infants up to four months; the reason there is a backlog for suc...More Button

Paediatric ultrasounds can be used to examine the causes of abdominal pain, to investigate a mass of tissue or lump, to assess normal cranial development and for diagnosis of joint problems, partic...More Button

Babies undergo an external hip examination in the days immediately following their birth, and again at the 6 week check-up. They are then scheduled for an ultrasound, if it is considered that the...More Button

The protocols for the imaging of infant hips were amended at a national level in 2015, to the effect that imaging is to be carried out using ultrasound. This amendment to the protocol resulted in...More Button

The HSE has advised that there are currently 58 children under the age of four months on the ultrasound waiting list and ultrasound procedures are carried out once the baby is 8 weeks old. This w...More Button

  Question No. 45 answered with Question No. 32.More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of children waiting more than a year for an outpatient consultation in Temple Street Children's University H...More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular ...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increas...More Button

My Department has asked the HSE to implement an action plan addressing waiting times with hospitals and Hospital Groups. This will focus on improving chronological scheduling, clinical and admini...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists at the Temple Street Children's Hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE ...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in University Hospital Galway.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers nationally have increased in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists in University Hospital Galway as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 w...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in the Mater Hospital, Dublin 7.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers nationally have increased in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists at the Mater Hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working ...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to the waiting lists in Beaumont Hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 worki...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, County Meath.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers nationally have increased in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists at Our Lady's Hospital Navan, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 w...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of children waiting more than a year for an outpatient consultation in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children...More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

My Department has asked the HSE to implement an action plan addressing waiting times with hospitals and Hospital Groups. This will focus on improving chronological scheduling, clinical and admin...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply fro...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, County...More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers nationally have increased in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to the waiting lists at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from th...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Mayo University Hospital.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers nationally have increased in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists at Mayo University Hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 wo...More Button

  Question No. 103 answered with Question No. 40.More Button

Was asked: when he expects to see a sustained improvement in hospital waiting lists.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

Was asked: the number of children waiting for corrective surgical procedures for scoliosis; the number that have been waiting for three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months; the progress being made to ensure the ...More Button

Scoliosis affects approximately 1% of children and adolescents in Ireland. The management of scoliosis is complex and is determined by the severity of the curvature and skeletal maturity. As of 30...More Button

145 patients were waiting less than 12 months, of whom 42 were waiting under three months, 47 waiting between three and six months and 56 waiting between six and 12 months. 23 patients were waiti...More Button

There are particular service pressures in Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, which is the largest provider of scoliosis surgery for children and young people. In order to address these pres...More Button

In addition, significant external capacity for patients awaiting scoliosis procedures at OLCHC was sourced in 2015, and 66 patients have been treated in other hospitals including the Blackrock Cl...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Cavan General Hospital.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular...More Button

While waiting list numbers nationally have increased in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increa...More Button

Regarding 2016, my Department is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE in finalising a dedicated waiting list initiative focussed on endoscopy. In addition, my Department has asked the HS...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

In relation to waiting lists in Cavan General Hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 work...More Button

Was asked: if he is aware that a person (details supplied) is waiting on an appointment to see an occupational therapist for over six months; the action being taken to alleviate these waiting times; and if he...More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

Was asked: if he is aware that there is an extremely long waiting list for scoliosis patients to meet with a consultant and that the subsequent waiting list for surgery is also very long; the current waiting ...More Button

Scoliosis affects approximately 1% of children and adolescents in Ireland. The management of scoliosis is complex and is determined by the severity of the curvature and skeletal maturity. More Button

The most recent waiting list data for procedures showed, as of 30 June 2016, 189 patients aged 18 and under awaiting a procedure in hospitals in Ireland, specifically at Our Lady's Children's Hos...More Button

These long waiting times are not acceptable, and my Department has been working closely with the HSE to address services pressures, particularly in Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC),...More Button

In the interim, significant external capacity was sourced in 2015 for OLCHC patients and 66 patients have been treated at other hospitals, including the Blackrock Clinic and the Royal National Or...More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting 14 months for an appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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...More Button

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition war...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the substantial increase between December 2015 and May 2016 in the number of outpatients waiting more than a year for a consultation in Connolly Hospital.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particular ...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increas...More Button

My Department has asked the HSE to implement an action plan addressing waiting times with hospitals and Hospital Groups. This will focus on improving chronological scheduling, clinical and admini...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my official...More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) has had their second operation put on hold despite the money being in place and the surgeon being able to schedule the urgent operation as soon as possible; a...More Button

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 ...More Button

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and...More Button

Was asked: his views on a case regarding a medical appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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 ...More Button

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warr...More Button

Was asked: the current average waiting times in respect of cataract surgery for each hospital.More Button

Was asked: the average waiting times for persons deemed as priority in respect of cataract surgery for each hospital.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons currently awaiting initial assessment to be placed on a waiting list for cataract surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 587, 588 and 591 together.More Button

A key challenge for our health system is ensuring timely access to health services. This Government recognises that a sustained commitment to improving waiting times is required, with a particula...More Button

While waiting list numbers have increased nationally in the first half of the year, this must be seen in the context of increased demand for care in our health system. There has been a 4% increas...More Button

My Department has asked the HSE to implement an action plan addressing waiting times with hospitals and Hospital Groups. This will focus on improving chronological scheduling, clinical and admini...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to €15m funding for the NTPF in 2017 to address waiting lists for those waiting longest, as part of a continued investment of €50m per year to r...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my official...More Button

Was asked: the current waiting times for outpatient appointments at Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials ...More Button

Was asked: the status of a case (details supplied), including when the person concerned will receive an appointment.More Button

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 ...More Button

Was asked: if he can provide a person (details supplied) with a date for an operation; and the reason for the delay.More Button

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 ...More Button

Was asked: the total number of persons on waiting lists for cardiac surgery, hip replacements or other procedures; if he has a strategy to shorten the waiting period; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The NTPF publishes waiting lists, broken down by national figures, hospital and specialty, on a monthly basis. Figures in respect of specialty are available at More Button

Hospital Waiting Lists (Continued)

We are beginning to see the consequences of this in terms of not having a ready made vehicle that can intervene in some of the particularly difficult situations highlighted by Deputy Moynihan. Thi...More Button

The HSE has established a scheduled care governance group to co-ordinate key initiatives to reduce waiting times and the number of patients awaiting treatment. The Department is engaging with th...More Button

I thank Deputy Moynihan who made me aware of the very difficult and serious case of somebody's surgery, which I have had investigated. The very honest answer to the question is that we have a heal...More Button

According to NTPF data, 60% of patients wait for less than six months for the required outpatient appointment or inpatient day case procedure. At present, 91% of patients wait less than the maximu...More Button

There is another side to this, which is whether some of these procedures can take place outside of hospitals. An initiative we are carrying out is to ensure minor operations can be carried out b...More Button

On the Deputy's query regarding the position in County Kerry, while 155 patients with addresses in County Kerry are awaiting cataract procedures, the waiting list has decreased by 20% in the past...More Button

The Deputy will understand if I do not get into a turf war either. His leader probably would not appreciate my becoming involved in a Cork v. Kerry spat. The Deputy's point is very serious...More Button

I will do as the Deputy has asked and have the change in waiting times examined. I have had a very open conversation with the NTPF. Its terms of reference are broad. It exists to carry out speci...More Button

Mental Health Services Provision

Was asked: his proposals to end the practice of admitting children to adult mental health units and cope in an age-appropriate way with the rise in the number of children and young persons receiving acute inp...More Button

Was asked: his plans to improve psychiatric services at acute and at community level in counties Carlow and Kilkenny.More Button

Was asked: his assessment of mental health services in south Tipperary since the closure of St. Michael's psychiatric unit in Clonmel, County Tipperary; if he will consider re-opening this unit; and if he wil...More Button

Was asked: his progress in establishing 24/7 crisis intervention supports in adult mental health, such as introducing a seven-day week in day units or opening crisis houses as laid down in the A Vision for Ch...More Button

Was asked: if he is aware of the current problems being caused in mental health services by the failure to provide adequate care to persons in mental health distress who have a history of or a continuing subs...More Button

Health Services

Was asked: his views on whether proper protocols were followed in a case (details supplied); and his and the Health Service Executive's plans to amend guidelines and best practice standards to ensure persons ...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether persons with visual impairments are adequately catered for in the Disability Act 2005; his plans to increase services for those who are blind and visually impaired; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: to consider implementing a comprehensive national vision strategy to address adequately the needs of the 224,000 adults and children here that are blind or visually impaired; and if he will make a ...More Button

Was asked: if assistance will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will facilitate a person (details supplied) with required treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Home Help Service

Was asked: his proposals to increase the number of hours under the home help scheme and the number of home care packages in counties Longford and Westmeath. More Button

Was asked: the reason when a person is in need of home help hours and is awarded the hours these hours cannot be accessed due to a lack of availability among private care companies that are recommended by the...More Button

Was asked: when the gratuity payment due to certain home help workers will be made in lieu of pensions payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand the Deputy is referring to Home Help workers who are employed by voluntary providers of home help services which are funded under section 39 of the Health Act 2004. I advised the Deput...More Button

As the Deputy is aware a joint working group has been established, as agreed as part of the Lansdowne Road talks, to consider a number of issues in relation to section 39 organisations. The work...More Button

  Question No. 532 answered with Question No. 475.More Button

Was asked: the reason a person's (details supplied) home support hours have been cut.More Button

Health Services Provision

Was asked: his views on the continuing depth of involvement of religious organisations in providing State-funded health care, on the separation of church and State, and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I thank Deputy Barry for his question. Voluntary and non-statutory service providers, including religious orders, have a long history of providing health and personal social services in Ireland an...More Button

The HSE, however, has a statutory responsibility - one cannot delegate that - for the management and delivery of health and personal social services. As well as providing services directly, the...More Button

I do not have an ideological position on the involvement of religious organisations in the delivery of health care. I believe there is scope for diversity in the range of service providers deliv...More Button

As I said very clearly already, my responsibility as Minister for Health is to make sure that we are delivering the services that the Irish public require in terms of their health and well-being. ...More Button

I set health policy on behalf of the Government; nobody else and no religious order sets health policy. Therefore, I feel very strongly, and I share Deputy Barry's view on this, that where the H...More Button

There is obviously an issue of conscientious objection and that may be the issue to which the Deputy is referring. That could potentially arise in the context of the provision of treatment and s...More Button

I will have a look at the information the Deputy has made available to me and I will revert to him directly on it. I recently met people involved in the Termination for Medical Reasons, TFMR, grou...More Button

Was asked: if it is acceptable to allow an eight year old child who is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other wait two years on the public waiting list for an ear, nose and throat appointment within ...More Button

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 ...More Button

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and...More Button

Was asked: the service that will be put in place to replace the eye-testing service for fifth and sixth class students as part of the primary school children optical scheme, following its discontinuation earl...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

  Question No. 90 answered with Question No. 32.More Button

Was asked: the number of community optometrists here; the number of service level agreements in place between the Health Service Executive and private optometry services for the provision of services; and if ...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

  Question No. 93 answered with Question No. 91.More Button

Was asked: if he will review the outsourcing of health services to non-governmental organisations in view of an issue (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Voluntary/non-statutory service providers have a long history of providing health and personal social services in Ireland. These organisations vary in scale and complexity, ranging from large acut...More Button

  Question No. 110 answered with Question No. 32.More Button

Was asked: to extend the opening hours at Shannondoc, St. Mary's Medical Centre, Thurles, County Tipperary, as the current opening hours are not adequate to service the needs of persons in the Thurles area if...More Button

As this is a service matter, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days ple...More Button

Was asked: to provide an update on the implementation of the free GP care to all children under the age of six scheme; if any impact analysis has been carried out to assess the challenges arising from the sch...More Button

There have been significant developments in the general practice service recently, with more services being made available to our citizens and additional support provided by the HSE. Under a Framew...More Button

As part of this process, the first two phases of universal GP care without fees were successfully introduced in 2015, firstly, for children under the age of 6 years and, secondly, for all people ...More Button

I have recently met with GP representative bodies to discuss the future development of general practice and I have assured them of the Government's commitment to developing primary healthcare ser...More Button

GPs do not currently provide information to the HSE in relation to patient visit activity, waiting times etc. In the absence of such general practice activity data, it is not possible to provide...More Button

In relation to the Deputy's request for information on the number of contracts awarded to GPs for the provision of services to children under 6 years and the number of children who have availed o...More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite an appointment with a paediatrician for a person (details supplied) who has been suffering illness for some timeMore Button

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...More Button

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and...More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite treatment of a person (details supplied)More Button

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...More Button

Was asked: the status of the issues discussed with persons (details supplied) regarding treatment for their child; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I met with the family concerned last month. Since then my officials have remained in regular contact with the family. This has involved ongoing work on the issues involved in the case, but since th...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will receive an appointment to see an early intervention team.More Button

Mental Health Services Report

Was asked: if he has commenced the promised review of A Vision for Change, when he will complete it, the composition of the review team, its terms of reference, and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Nursing Home Services

Was asked: if he will discuss with the Health Service Executive the need for capital funding to secure the future of a facility (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the factors that influenced him to order a value for money review of nursing home costs; if he will publish the information made available to his Department by the Health Service Executive on the c...More Button

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Was asked: if he will review legislation, given that the Crowe Horwath report into the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland is reported to note that the legislation underpinning the management of fitness-to...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, two reports have recently been published by the Board which identify historical organisational and financial governance shortcomings in its operation. The NMBI has acknowled...More Button

The Department continues to work closely with the NMBI to ensure that enhanced corporate governance procedures are implemented and that robust management and operational processes are introduced....More Button

The Board is already implementing the reports' recommendations in relation to full compliance with the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies and the Department of Health's Framework for...More Button

On the issue of fitness to practice, the Crowe Horwath report refers to the heavy workload involved in dealing with such matters and to it being extremely resource intensive. The report states th...More Button

The Board will address the report's findings as part of the detailed change management programme currently being undertaken. It will review its own legislative provisions and those of the other s...More Button

The action being taken by the NMBI on foot of these reports will provide the Framework for the Board to perform its functions efficiently and effectively, in an open and transparent manner, while...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been brought to the Crowe Horwath report into the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI; if he has had any meetings with the NMBI on the reports, its findings and its re...More Button

Was asked: given that the Crowe Horwath report, into the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI, is reported to note that, over the last few years, the nursing board did not have a productive working re...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 and 93 together.More Button

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) was established under the Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011 and has two main objectives; (i) to protect the public and (ii) to ensure the integrity o...More Button

Following a protected disclosure the Department of Health requested the NMBI to commission a third party review of internal management and governance processes. As a result of this review two fu...More Button

Throughout the long investigation of the protected disclosure and the preparation, adoption and publication of these reports there has been extensive and ongoing interaction between the executive...More Button

Was asked: the expenditure of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI, for each of the past five years on legal fees; if this will be broken down in terms of legal representation for NMBI in taking f...More Button

I wish to thank the Deputy for the matter raised.

  Given that this is an operational matter, it is appropriate that it should be dealt with by the NMBI. I have referred the Depu...More Button

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Was asked: if he will expedite the recruitment of a full-time consultant medical oncologist with a special interest in sarcoma in St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin 4; if he will renew the contract of the locum...More Button

I met with members of the Sarcoma Action Group last Wednesday and discussed sarcoma services with them.More Button

The recruitment of a consultant medical oncologist with a special interest in sarcoma, based in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, will be prioritised to facilitate further development of the ser...More Button

Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to facilitate any current patient of the Locum Consultant to continue to be treated by her in respect of their medical oncology needs. More Button

It is intended to increase, in line with available resources, the number of consultant medical oncologists working in the eight designated cancer centres to meet demand. Patients diagnosed with s...More Button

My Department is currently developing a National Cancer Strategy 2016 - 2025 that will focus on prevention, early diagnosis and further improvements in treatment and patient care. This Strategy w...More Button

Was asked: the increases in staffing that have been achieved to deal with the crisis in primary care psychology, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy services; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Was asked: if there continues to be a recruitment freeze on allied health professionals, as the absence of such recruitment is putting some health services in County Kildare under pressure.More Button

An easing of restrictions on the employment of additional staff was announced in Budget 2015. Under this new approach public sector organisations can obtain delegated sanction to recruit within th...More Button

This change allows for greater autonomy to be delegated to Departments and Agencies to manage their own staffing levels within allocated pay frameworks. It also provides for further recruitment ...More Button

Recent measures taken in relation to service areas in the HSE remaining within budget have been portrayed, incorrectly, as a recruitment freeze. The HSE is currently working with the Department ...More Button

These measures do not impact on a hospital’s ability to recruit where funding exists to facilitate that recruitment; for example in the case of funded replacement posts or where additional fundin...More Button

It is this Government’s intention to continue to grow the health budget as the economy improves and to obtain further resources to deliver the level of service that we all want to provide to our ...More Button

Was asked: why formal notification to commence recruitment for a vacant community-based senior dietician post for people with diabetes in County Donegal has not yet been administered by the Health Service Exe...More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

Was asked: the consideration which has been given to the effect of the Health Service Executive recruitment embargo on workforce planning for front-line services; if those services will be in a position to re...More Button

An easing of restrictions on the employment of additional staff was announced in Budget 2015. Under this new approach public sector organisations can obtain delegated sanction to recruit within th...More Button

This change allows for greater autonomy to be delegated to Departments and Agencies to manage their own staffing levels within allocated pay frameworks. It also provides for further recruitment f...More Button

Recent measures taken in relation to service areas in the HSE remaining within budget have been portrayed, incorrectly, as a recruitment freeze. The HSE is currently working with the Department o...More Button

These measures do not impact on a hospital’s ability to recruit where funding exists to facilitate that recruitment, for example in the case of funded replacement posts or where additional fundin...More Button

It is this government’s intention to continue to grow the health budget as the economy improves and to obtain further resources to deliver the level of service that we all want to provide to our ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 441 of 14 June 2016, the reason no reply from the Health Service Executive has yet been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Home Care Packages Provision

Was asked: the increases in staffing that have been achieved to deal with the crisis under the home help scheme and the carer respite services; the number of persons who are in hospital with their discharge d...More Button

Health Services Reports

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 213 to 215, inclusive, of 23 June 2015, the actions he is taking to ensure patient safety in terms of investigating why certain hospitals have higher than ave...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that hospitals are required to trigger inquiries themselves before action can be taken where statistics show an anomaly in patient outcomes, given the findings of the national he...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20 and 114 together.More Button

The Second annual National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS) Report was published on Thursday 16 June 2016, and included data on a wide range of indicators. The purpose of the annual NH...More Button

It is important to note that the NHQRS is not intended to act, and was not designed to act, as a performance measurement tool. There are already a variety of existing measures in the broad health...More Button

However, I recognise that there are areas identified where further room for improvement exists. In particular, considerable variation can be seen between counties in rates of hospitalisation for ...More Button

Nevertheless, rather than initiating enquiries, the intent of the report would be for any apparent anomalies which come to light to prompt further research into their possible causes; in the firs...More Button

Commissions of Investigation

Was asked: the status of the establishment of a statutory commission of investigation into a foster home in the south east.More Button

Vaccination Programme

Was asked: why the Health Service Executive is not engaging with the Reactions and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma, REGRET, group; if he has confidence in the human papilloma virus vaccine; an...More Button

The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). NIAC is a committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland comprising of...More Button

The HPV vaccine protects girls from developing cervical cancer when they are adults. It is available free of charge from the HSE for all girls in 1st year of secondary school. More Button

Each year in Ireland around 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against two high risk types of HPV (16 & 18) that cause 73% of all cervical cancers. Vaccinate...More Button

By January 2016, over 200 million doses of Gardasil had been distributed worldwide. In Ireland over 580,000 doses of Gardasil have been administered and over 200,000 girls have been fully vaccin...More Button

In Ireland, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the statutory regulatory authority for medicines in Ireland. While no medicine (including vaccines) is entirely without risk, the s...More Button

As part of its monitoring of the safety of medicines, the HPRA operates an adverse reaction reporting system, where healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse reaction...More Button

In November 2015 the European Medicines Agency completed a detailed scientific review of the HPV vaccine. The review which the HPRA participated in, specifically focused on rare reports of two c...More Button

On 12 January 2016 the European Commission endorsed the conclusion of the European Medicines Agency stating that there is no need to change the way HPV vaccines are used or to amend the product i...More Button

I am aware of claims of an association between HPV vaccination and a number of conditions experienced by a group of young women. It appears that some girls first suffered symptoms around the tim...More Button

I want to make it quite clear that anyone who is suffering ill health is eligible to seek medical attention, and to access appropriate health and social care services, irrespective of the cause o...More Button

The HSE are currently working to put in place a clinical care pathway appropriate to the medical needs of this group. I hope to be in a position to meet representatives from REGRET in the near fu...More Button

Was asked: if he will give consideration to the extension of the human papillomavirus immunisation programme in secondary schools to boys in recognition of the threat HPV-related cancers and diseases pose to ...More Button

In Ireland the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) makes recommendations on vaccination policy. Their recommendations are based on the epidemiology of the disease in Ireland and intern...More Button

The HPV vaccine protects girls from developing cervical cancer when they are adults. It is available free of charge from the HSE for all girls in 1st year of secondary school. The uptake of HPV ...More Button

However, My Department has requested the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to carry out a Health Technology Assessment on this proposal, and any new recommendations will be consider...More Button

  Question No. 521 answered with Question No. 33.More Button

Was asked: if he will consult with members of a group (details supplied) regarding the human papillomavirus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if the Health Service Executive will commence an awareness campaign for parents of young girls who are being given the vaccine Gardasil so that they can be fully informed of the potential dangers; ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 571 and 625 together.

In Ireland the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) makes recommendations on vaccination policy. Their recommendations ar...More Button

HSE Governance

Was asked: if he will consider introducing a legislative based accountability framework for Health Service Executive employees; the consultation or meetings he has had on this; and if he will make a statement...More Button

While I recognise that continually strengthening accountability and good governance within the HSE is of critical importance, I have no plans to introduce a legislative based accountability framewo...More Button

Was asked: the way the financial management systems of the Health Service Executive have been reformed to ensure more effective oversight of the system for funding sections 38 and 39 organisations, given that...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the Health Service Executive employs enough qualified accountants, financial controllers and auditors to ensure an effective monitoring of the funding system to section 38 and ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 580 and 581 together.

  In 2015 the HSE funded 40 agencies under section 38 of the Health Act 2004 and 2,392 agencies under section 39 of the Hea...More Button

Medicinal Products Prices

Was asked: how Ireland’s expenditure on medicines compares to other European Union member states when considered as a share of overall health expenditure.More Button

Was asked: why, according to 2013 figures from the OECD, Ireland had the highest per capita spend on medicines in the European Union; the areas in which the €775 million in savings in the drugs bill have been...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 26 and 43 together.More Button

OECD statistics serve as a useful metric to compare expenditure in medicines and other areas. However, per capita figures represent one of a number of metrics that can be used to develop a view of ...More Button

According to OECD data for 2014, the last year for which full figures are available, expenditure on prescription and over-the-counter medicines accounted for just over 14 percent of overall healt...More Button

OECD data on pharmaceutical prices is based on list prices of products. Such data does not consider the actual commercially confidential discounted prices in place, and therefore has limitations....More Button

The prices of medicines vary between countries for a number of reasons, including different prices set by manufacturers, different wholesale and pharmacy mark-ups, different dispensing fees and d...More Button

We will continue to build on a number of measures implemented in recent years to reduce the cost of medicines; these measures include the establishment of the HSE's Medicines Management Programme...More Button

My Department has recently created a new Community Pharmacy, Dental, Optical and Aural Policy unit to bring a renewed focus to the development of policy in relation to community pharmacy and the ...More Button

Negotiations and agreements with industry represent just one element of the Government’s strategy to reduce expenditure on medicines; other initiatives will continue to be pursued in the coming m...More Button

A negotiating team representing the State recently reached agreement in principle with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association on a new drug pricing and supply agreement. Until the agreem...More Button

Was asked: his views on concerns regarding artificial pricing thresholds in medicine pricing arrangements with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association.More Button

A negotiating team representing the State has reached agreement in principle with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association on a new drug pricing and supply agreement. As work is still conti...More Button

Negotiations and agreements with industry represent just one element of the Government’s strategy to reduce expenditure on medicines; other initiatives will continue to be pursued in the coming m...More Button

Was asked: the savings he anticipates from the agreement with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association.More Button

A negotiating team representing the State has reached agreement in principle with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association on a new drug pricing and supply agreement. Work will continue bet...More Button

Was asked: his views that the new medicines pricing agreement will act as a biosimilars blocker, due to a clause which states that biologics will only be reimbursed at a price 30% less than the current level,...More Button

Was asked: his views that the new medicines pricing agreement will lead to cost savings in respect of existing biologic, high-technology medicines, given that a lower reimbursement price for biologics will no...More Button

Was asked: his views that the price of two of the largest medicines supplied by the Health Service Executive, Humira and Enbrel, at a cost of €160 million per year, will not experience significant price reduc...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 558 to 560, inclusive, together.More Button

A negotiating team representing the State has reached agreement in principle with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association on a new drug pricing and supply agreement. As work is still contin...More Button

Negotiations and agreements with industry represent just one element of the Government’s strategy to reduce expenditure on medicines; other initiatives will continue to be pursued in the coming m...More Button

General Practitioner Services

Was asked: the actions he is taking to progress the development, staff levels and contracts of general practitioners including the provision of care free at the point of use to persons under 12 years of age; ...More Button

Was asked: the action he is taking to progress the development and staff levels and contracts of general practitioners, including the provision of care free at the point of use to children under 12 years of a...More Button

Was asked: the way he plans to deal with the increased waiting times at general practitioner clinics; his further plans to extend free general practitioner care with the current difficulties in meeting existi...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 27, 82 and 552 together.More Button

There have been significant developments in the general practice service recently, with more services being made available to our citizens and additional support provided by the HSE. Under a Framew...More Button

In Budget 2016, the Government has also provided for the extension of GP care without fees to all children aged under 12 years in the latter part of 2016. This extension is subject to negotiatio...More Button

I have recently met with GP representative bodies to discuss the future development of general practice and I have assured them of the Government's commitment to developing primary healthcare ser...More Button

The Programme for Partnership Government emphasises the need to focus on enhancing primary healthcare services including building up GP capacity, increasing the number of therapists and other hea...More Button

In relation to the issue of waiting times for an appointment to see a GP, I would like to point out that GPs do not currently provide information to the HSE in relation to patient visit activity,...More Button

Was asked: his plans to alleviate the pressures on general practitioners in County Kildare in the view of the introduction of free general practitioner care for the under-sixes.More Button

As this is a service matter, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days pl...More Button

Hospital Services

Was asked: when he will complete improvements to radiology services at South Tipperary General Hospital; the investment cost of these improvements; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Significant investment has been made to improve radiology services at South Tipperary General Hospital. I understand that building work, to extend current facilities, commenced in November 2015 an...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy with any more detailed information which might be available.More Button

Was asked: the status of the development of a catheterisation laboratory at Sligo University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Programme produced a model of care in March 2012. This set out the model of care for the treatment of ACS, and for the provision of Primary Percutaneous Intervent...More Button

A new Cross-Border Cardiology Service commenced in May 2016. Patients residing in the Donegal catchment area who suffer a suspected ST-Elevation Myocardial infarction, and who previously would h...More Button

This service is provided by the Saolta University Healthcare Group in conjunction with the Western Health and Social Care Trust and will provide treatment for approximately 60 patients per annum,...More Button

The cardiology service in Sligo University Hospital is provided by two consultants. A range of in-patient, outpatient and day case treatments are provided by the Sligo Cardiology Service to a ca...More Button

Development of cardiology services at Sligo University Hospital will be considered in the context of the agreed model of care developed by the Acute Coronary Syndrome Programme.More Button

My Department will shortly meet with the Saolta Hospital Group to discuss issues including catheterisation laboratory services on Sligo.More Button

Budget Submissions

Was asked: if he has examined the Alzheimer Society of Ireland's recent pre-budget submission, in particular if he notes the request for an additional €67 million in budget 2017 to provide additional home car...More Button

Treatment Benefit Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: to amend the terms of the treatment abroad scheme to include medical treatment in relation to termination of pregnancy, reasonable travel, accommodation and subsistence for the woman and a travel c...More Button

Electronic Health Records

Was asked: the consultation that has taken place with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland with respect to working towards interoperability of cross-Border e-health services; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Was asked: the action being taken to address the differing legal frameworks, lack of legal clarity and lack of interoperability to facilitate health data exchange to ensure co-ordinated care across borders in...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date in the development of e-prescribing, online referrals and scheduling, telehealth and the development of summary patient records; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date on the e-health strategy for Ireland; the actions that have been taken to date to bring this strategy in line with the European Union e-health action plan 2012-2020; and i...More Button

Was asked: following approval to proceed in 2016 with an initial phase that will facilitate the electronic transfer of prescriptions, utilising Health Information and Quality Authority standards developed to ...More Button

Was asked: the level of implementation of electronic health records, EHR, system allowing the access and update of EHRs by different health professionals in an interoperable structure; the policy initiatives ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32, 45, 50, 81, 90 and 110 together.More Button

The importance of and the opportunity for eHealth or digital health to support health care reform and the delivery of a modern health care system has been recognised for quite some time. In 2013,...More Button

This strategy sets out a number of objectives and a roadmap for the delivery and implementation of eHealth to the benefit of both the citizen and the economy. The Government eHealth strategy draw...More Button

Amongst the key objectives of the eHealth strategy was the setting up within the HSE, of an entity called eHealth Ireland to implement the strategy, the recruitment of a Chief Information Officer...More Button

The eHealth strategy also highlights the potential of cross border collaboration on eHealth and in particular the considerable experience of eHealth deployment in Northern Ireland. It highlighted...More Button

The eHealth strategy also called for the setting up of an eHealth ecosystem to develop eHealth linkages and stakeholder engagement including patient engagement similar to one already working in N...More Button

Interoperability of computer systems is a major challenge facing the implementation of eHealth whether within health care services or in the context of cross border health services. A key compone...More Button

With regard to Electronic Health Records, the Office of the Chief Information Officer has recently submitted a detailed business case for a national electronic health record programme for Ireland...More Button

I am glad to say that since 2013 and the publication of the eHealth strategy for Ireland substantial progress is being made in furthering the eHealth agenda and I look forward to further progress...More Button

In addition, the eReferrals Programme has delivered a solution to provide electronic referrals between primary and acute hospitals using the Health Link facility. To date 48 hospitals have been c...More Button

The delivery of digital health care services and the roll-out of an electronic health record (EHR) will require a further robust legal framework to ensure confidentiality and security of patient ...More Button

Medicinal Products Expenditure

Was asked: the way he proposes to cut the costs of medication to the State and to the general public.More Button

Was asked: the measures being taken to reduce the cost of drugs for patients here; to estimate the amount he believes can be saved by the Health Service Executive in 2016 through reduced drug prices; and if h...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 33 and 521 together.More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to examine opportunities for leveraging purchasing power either through national or European initiatives and for making greater use ...More Button

We will also continue to build on a number of measures implemented in recent years to reduce the cost of medicines; these measures include the establishment of the HSE's Medicines Management Prog...More Button

My Department has recently created a new Community Pharmacy, Dental, Optical and Aural Policy unit to bring a renewed focus to the development of policy in relation to community pharmacy and the ...More Button

Negotiations and agreements with industry represent just one element of the Government’s strategy to reduce expenditure on medicines; other initiatives will continue to be pursued in the coming m...More Button

A negotiating team representing the State has reached agreement in principle with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association on a new drug pricing and supply agreement. Work will continue be...More Button

Ambulance Service

Was asked: to report on the implementation of the action plan of the national ambulance service capacity review; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Capacity Review was published in May along with a comprehensive action plan which incorporates the recommendations of both the Capacity Review and the 2014 HIQA Report on the National Ambulance...More Button

I should perhaps mention that many of the key recommendations in the Capacity Review, and the HIQA Report, were already being addressed as part of a significant programme of reform and modernisat...More Button

Health Services Funding

Was asked: his plans to review arrangements for funding of section 38 agencies in view of recent events.More Button

I would like to inform the Deputy that a review of all Section 38 providers being conducted by external consultants, is already under way. The purpose of these reviews is to establish the standard ...More Button

Was asked: if he will liaise with the Minister responsible for community affairs, in the interests of the health and welfare of children and young persons, to achieve the reinstatement of the Oasis youth outr...More Button

Mental Health Services

Was asked: his plans to introduce a regulatory framework to allow for the registering of all residential mental health and drug and alcohol units to ensure that standards are being observed and proper evidenc...More Button

Was asked: if he will review with the Health Service Executive the decision to transfer all psychiatric beds from County Tipperary to Kilkenny and Ennis, County Clare, as this is clearly not working on the ev...More Button

Mental Health Policy

Was asked: the reason the independent monitoring group set up to monitor the implementation of A Vision for Change and which sat for two periods, 2006-2009 and 2009-2012, did not sit after 2012 given that it ...More Button

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Was asked: the measures being taken to reduce waiting times for speech and language therapy.More Button

Was asked: the measures he is taking to reduce waiting lists for children in need of speech and language therapy, which increased by 20% in 2015 alone; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 103 together.

I acknowledge to the Deputies that waiting lists for speech and language therapy have been very difficult for families and it is an is...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will receive speech and language therapy.More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

General Medical Services Scheme Administration

Was asked: the progress being made in the ongoing negotiations with the Irish Medical Organisation on a new general medical services, GMS, contract; if the National Association of General Practitioners will b...More Button

There have been significant developments in the general practice service recently, with more services being made available to our citizens and additional support provided by the HSE. Under a Frame...More Button

As a first step in this process, universal GP care without fees for all children under the age of 6 years was successfully introduced in 2015. Shortly afterwards, the second phase implemented uni...More Button

Earlier this year, an enhanced supports package for rural GP practices was agreed between the IMO, the HSE and the Department of Health. The enhanced package included improved qualifying criteria...More Button

In order to ensure that primary healthcare will be enhanced for our citizens by a new contract for general practice services, I am currently considering a number of options around this process, i...More Button

Medical Card Administration

Was asked: his plans to legislate for a distinct new medical need ground for eligibility for the medical card with an assessment involving the establishment of a threshold of medical need and not tested again...More Button

On foot of the Keane Report, Report of the Expert Panel on Medical Need for Medical Card Eligibility, the HSE established a Clinical Advisory Group to develop clinical oversight and guidance for th...More Button

Was asked: if the processing of medical card applications can be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

  The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Ser...More Button

Palliative Care Services Provision

Was asked: the Health Service Executive plans in place to support North Westmeath Hospice and palliative care in the county generally.More Button

Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage

Was asked: if he will extend the list of the current conditions covered under the long-term illness scheme to include chronic and severe asthma.More Button

The Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme was established under Section 59(3) of the Health Act, 1970 (as amended). Regulations were made in 1971, 1973 and 1975 specifying the conditions covered by the LT...More Button

Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €144 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden ...More Button

Under the provisions of the Health Acts, medical cards are provided to persons who are unable, without undue hardship, to arrange health services for themselves and their dependants. In the asses...More Button

Home Help Service Provision

Was asked: the proposals there are to increase the number of home help hours in counties Cavan and Monaghan.More Button

Was asked: his proposals to increase the number of home help hours in counties Sligo, Leitrim, west Cavan and south Donegal.More Button

Was asked: his plans for a systematic and sustained increase in the provision of home care for older persons.More Button

Was asked: if he will assist in providing hours to a person (details supplied) under the home help scheme.More Button

Health Services Data

Was asked: if he will confirm that there is an adequate number of intensive care beds to make full use of the recent announcement of the investment in the all-island Congenital Heart Disease Network over the ...More Button

An All-Island Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Network has been developed to ensure that all of the children and young people on the island of Ireland can access world class specialist care. The CHD...More Button

At present children from Northern Ireland requiring emergency surgical cardiology intervention are receiving services in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC). The Business Case sets o...More Button

In order to facilitate this increase in service an increase in Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) capacity will be required. This will involve the opening of currently unopened PICU beds and...More Button

As part of the Business Case for the All-island CHD Network, resources approved for 2016 under the HSE National Service Plan included 19 clinical staff and 6 administrative and portering staff. ...More Button

Cross-Border Health Services Provision

Was asked: the health services that have been sought by persons who have accessed health care under the European Union cross-border health care directive in another European Union and European Economic Area m...More Button

The Health Service Executive operates the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare in Ireland. The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine the matter of the data requ...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons who have accessed health care under the European Union cross-border health care directive in another European Union and European Economic Area member state in each year since ...More Button

The Health Service Executive operates the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare in Ireland. The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine the matter of the data requ...More Button

Hospital Trusts

Was asked: to halt the devolution of control of hospitals to trusts as part of the new ten-year health plan; and his plans to put hospital trusts on a statutory basis; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

The establishment of Hospital Groups represents a very significant reform of our hospital services. As I have stated previously, I intend to continue to implement Hospital Groups on an administrat...More Button

Until the legislation is advanced, Hospital Groups will continue to operate within the existing policy and accountability frameworks of the Department of Health and the HSE. More Button

Hospitals Building Programme

Was asked: the status of development plans for Sligo University Hospital.More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials...More Button

Was asked: the status of the construction works at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Castlebar, County Mayo; and the expected completion date.More Button

The 74 bed community nursing home extension and all associated works at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Castlebar is currently at construction stage.  Works commenced on site on the 27th June 2016 and...More Button

Was asked: the progress to date in the provision of the new children's hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government decision to co-locate the new children's hospital with St James's was announced on 6 November 2012. Satellite centres of the hospital, providing urgent and outpatient care, are to b...More Button

As announced in June 2015, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital will relocate to the campus in time, achieving tri-location of adult, paediatric and maternity services. Tri-location ...More Button

The decision of An Bord Pleanála on April 28 last to grant planning permission for the hospital, satellite centres and related buildings is a huge and very welcome milestone for the project. I a...More Button

Abortion Services Provision

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the level of abortion services provided under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2015, as recently reported to the Houses of the Oireachtas, is sufficient to guaran...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether women's health is adequately protected given the restrictions on health care for pregnant women in view of the eighth amendment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 100 together.

  The main purpose of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 is to restate the general prohibition on abortion in ...More Button

Was asked: his plans to repeal the Regulation of Information (Services Outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies) Act 1995, particularly in view of the United Nations Human Rights Committee finding (de...More Button

Was asked: his views regarding whether women's rights are being vindicated, given the findings of the UN Human Rights Committee in regard to Ireland’s abortion laws; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: if he believes that the recent United Nation's condemnation of Ireland's treatment of pregnant woman in need of abortions shows that this and previous Governments' failure to legislate or to seek t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 66, 549 and 550 together.More Button

My Department is studying the Views of the United Nations Human Rights Committee on complaints brought by Ms Amanda Mellet against the State, and assessing their findings. More Button

The complaint relates to the inability of Ms Mellet, who was carrying an unborn child with Edwards Syndrome (a fatal foetal abnormality), to access a termination of pregnancy within the State. More Button

As I previously stated, I find the Committee’s description of Ms Mellet’s experience outlined in the Views deeply lacking in compassion and I want to see the issue addressed. More Button

The Deputies will be aware that termination of pregnancy is regulated in Ireland by constitutional and statute law and in particular the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution (Article 40.3.3) whic...More Button

I believe that the Government’s commitment to develop a consensus approach on the Eighth Amendment within a Citizen’s Assembly is the way to move forward. The issue of fatal foetal abnormalities...More Button

Aside from the constitutional issue of the Eighth Amendment I am also considering within the law what other services and supports can be put in place to help women in these circumstances. More Button

In this regard, the Regulation of Information (Services Outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies) Act, 1995 defines the conditions under which information relating to abortion services la...More Button

I intend to ask the HSE to ensure that the medical profession have clarity about what they can do under the Act to support women in these circumstances.More Button

National Children's Hospital Status

Was asked: the progress being made on construction of the national children's hospital at the St. James's Hospital site; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government decision to co-locate the new children's hospital with St James's was announced on 6 November 2012. Satellite centres of the hospital, providing urgent and outpatient care, are to b...More Button

As announced in June 2015, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital will relocate to the campus in time, achieving tri-location of adult, paediatric and maternity services. Tri-location ...More Button

St James’s Hospital has the broadest range of national specialties of all acute hospitals, as well as strong and well established research and education infrastructure, making it the hospital tha...More Button

The decision of An Bord Pleanála on April 28 last to grant planning permission for the hospital, satellite centres and related buildings is a huge and very welcome milestone for the project. I a...More Button

Misuse of Drugs

Was asked: if there is evidence available that the rescheduling of benzodiazepines or ​Z​ drugs could​ prevent the misuse of dangerous or harmful drugs; the specific requests the Garda made to him regarding t...More Button

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Was asked: the reason he is allowing a situation to arise at Letterkenny University Hospital where the necessary infrastructure and staff are not being provided to the orthodontic department there and as a re...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Was asked: if he will approve and expedite orthodontic treatment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

National Dementia Strategy Implementation

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 714 of 31 May 2016, how the co-investment programme of €27.5 million for the national dementia strategy has been spent; the funding available from this; the co...More Button

Special Educational Needs

Was asked: the number of children waiting for disability assessment reports from the Health Service Executive; if he is aware that this impedes the ability of children obtaining the assessments they need in o...More Button

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Was asked: his plans to increase the current rheumatology consultant service being provided at Mayo University Hospital.More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials...More Button

Was asked: why the only specialised sarcoma consultant (details supplied) here is being let go; the person who will look after the approximate 300 patients currently under this consultant; what is their quali...More Button

Was asked: if he will ensure that the standard of care for sarcoma patients will not decline at St. Vincent's University Hospital due to the possible departure of the only specialised sarcoma chemotherapy onc...More Button

Was asked: the timeline of the appointment of a permanent consultant medical oncologist with special interest in the area of sarcoma at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin 4, following the commitment gi...More Button

Was asked: if St. Vincent's hospital in Dublin 4 applied for additional funding for a dedicated sarcoma specialist doctor over the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the name of the person who is the national clinical lead in soft tissue sarcomas; if the Health Service Executive has informed relevant cancer patients of this new appointment; and if he will make ...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on whether a new post for a sarcoma specialist in St. Vincent's hospital will be decided; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to extend the contract of a person (details supplied); if he will ensure that a permanent position is offered to this person based on expertise in treating sarcoma cancer; if...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 99, 512, 529, 577, 584, 585 and 603 together.More Button

I met with members of the Sarcoma Action Group last Wednesday and discussed sarcoma services with them.More Button

The recruitment of a consultant medical oncologist with a special interest in sarcoma, based in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, will be prioritised to facilitate further development of the ser...More Button

Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to facilitate any current patient of the Locum Consultant to continue to be treated by her in respect of their medical oncology needs. More Button

It is intended to increase, in line with available resources, the number of consultant medical oncologists working in the eight designated cancer centres to meet demand. Patients diagnosed with ...More Button

Dr Charles Gilham is the National Clinical Lead in Soft Tissue Sarcomas and he provides advice to the National Cancer Control Programme in relation to the development of services nationally.More Button

My Department is currently developing a National Cancer Strategy 2016 - 2025 that will focus on prevention, early diagnosis and further improvements in treatment and patient care. This Strategy ...More Button

  Question No. 100 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Accident and Emergency Departments

Was asked: his plans to reduce the congestion at accident and emergency departments in public hospitals here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Pressures on EDs have been rising, as the population is both growing and ageing. To date, the HSE has reported an average increase in ED attendances of nearly 6% compared with the same period last...More Button

Despite the sustained increase in attendances, overall this year there has been a decrease of just over 7% in the number of patients who have had to wait on a trolley, in comparison with the same...More Button

ED performance has been improving due to a combination of coordinated initiatives. These include reducing patient attendances at EDs by developing alternative primary care services, such as Comm...More Button

Further, initiatives have also focussed on reducing delayed discharges from hospitals, and improving how hospitals manage surges in demand for emergency care.More Button

In order to progress the Government’s commitment to reducing ED wait times for patients, on 8 June I announced funding of €40 million for a “Winter Initiative”, €10m of which has been ring-fenced...More Button

My Department and the HSE are currently working to finalise a proposal to support initiatives across primary care, acute hospitals and social care, all directed towards reducing winter pressure o...More Button

Further, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a number of initiatives intended to contribute to alleviating ED overcrowding, such as a review of bed capacity and a review of the ...More Button

Was asked: if he has received detailed costings from the board of Beaumont Hospital and its hospital group for the building of a new fit-for-purpose accident and emergency department at Beaumont Hospital, Dub...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to commence the design phase of a new ED at Beaumont Hospital later this year. Funding for the construction will be provided as part...More Button

I have not received detailed costings in respect of a new Emergency Department at Beaumont Hospital.More Button

Healthcare infrastructure projects funded by capital allocation are determined by health care service needs and how these are to be delivered. The development of any new or refurbished healthcare...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my official...More Button

Was asked: to indicate a strategy to deal with ongoing congestion at accident and emergency departments throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Pressures on EDs have been rising, as the population is both growing and ageing. To date, the HSE has reported an average increase in ED attendances of nearly 6% compared with the same period last...More Button

Despite the sustained increase in attendances, overall this year there has been a decrease of just over 7% in the number of patients who have had to wait on a trolley, in comparison with the same...More Button

ED performance has been improving due to a combination of coordinated initiatives. These include reducing patient attendances at EDs by developing alternative primary care services, such as Comm...More Button

Further initiatives have also focused on reducing delayed discharges from hospitals, and improving how hospitals manage surges in demand for emergency care.More Button

In order to progress the Government’s commitment to reducing ED wait times for patients, on 8 June I announced funding of €40 million for a “Winter Initiative”, €10m of which has been ring-fenced...More Button

My Department and the HSE are currently working to finalise a proposal to support initiatives across primary care, acute hospitals and social care, all directed towards reducing winter pressure o...More Button

Further, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a number of initiatives intended to contribute to alleviating ED overcrowding, such as a review of bed capacity and a review of the ...More Button

Health Services Staff

Was asked: the increases in staffing that have been achieved to deal with the crisis in home help and carer respite services; the number of persons in hospital with their discharge delayed waiting to access t...More Button

Was asked: his proposals to negotiate a new general practitioner contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There have been significant developments in the general practice service recently, with more services being made available to our citizens and additional support provided by the HSE. Under a Framew...More Button

As a first step in this process, universal GP care without fees for all children under the age of 6 years was successfully introduced in 2015. Shortly afterwards, the second phase implemented uni...More Button

Earlier this year, an enhanced supports package for rural GP practices was agreed between the IMO, the HSE and the Department of Health. The enhanced package included improved qualifying criteri...More Button

I have recently met with GP representative bodies to discuss the future development of general practice and I have assured them of the Government's commitment to developing primary healthcare ser...More Button

Was asked: to report on discussions he has had with the management of the Central Remedial Clinic and the Health Service Executive regarding the wind-up of a pension scheme for CRC workers; and if he is in fa...More Button

The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) is funded by the Health Service Executive under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004. Therefore the CRC is accountable, in the first instance, to the HSE in relation ...More Button

The CRC was requested to prepare viable alternative proposals in conjunction with the HSE in relation to the 44 employees that were members of the CRC pension plan. I understand that the CRC has...More Button

It would not be appropriate for me to have discussions with the management of the CRC, but I have requested that the HSE work with the CRC to resolve this matter. Any solution proposed must be in...More Button

Mental Health Services Data

Was asked: the number of children under 18 years of age who have been admitted to acute hospitals on mental health grounds; and the number of individual children these admissions relate to and the number of s...More Button

Was asked: if analysis has been completed or studies carried out on the number of admissions and renewal orders revoked before a mental health tribunal is held.More Button

Was asked: the number of the 17 mental health areas within the nine community health care organisations that provide a full weekend support.More Button

Drug Treatment Programmes

Was asked: when regulations will be introduced to provide for the introduction of suboxone as an alternative to methadone.More Button

Respite Care Services

Was asked: his plans for a national respite strategy to help those caring for persons with very profound disabilities.More Button

Hospital Beds Data

Was asked: the increase in the number of critical care beds that are available since April 2016; the estimated increase for the remainder of 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials...More Button

Pharmacy Services

Was asked: the action being taken to introduce a minor ailment scheme in community pharmacies.More Button

The Health Service Executive and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) have commenced a pilot pharmacy-based minor ailment scheme. The scheme allows medical card holders to receive treatment from their l...More Button

The pilot began on 1 July and will run in 19 pharmacies in four towns (Kells, Roscommon, Macroom and Edenderry) for three months. After this time, the pilot phase will be evaluated to establish ...More Button

Was asked: the total costs incurred by the hi-tech drugs scheme in 2015; the amounts paid to pharmacists in dispensing fees during 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Health Services Staff Data

Was asked: the work he has contemplated or plans to determine the areas of greatest need for primary care staff; the extent of unmet demand in each area; the cost of meeting this demand; the staffing requirem...More Button

My Department has recently convened a cross-sectoral Steering Group to develop a national integrated strategic framework for health workforce planning during 2016. Any decisions regarding staffing...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on the matter with regard to current requirements. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my P...More Button

Was asked: the number of public health nurses currently employed by the Health Service Executive; his plans to recruit further public health nurses over the next five years and if so, the number; and if he wi...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which staff levels in all posts have fluctuated over each of the past eight years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Childhood Obesity

Was asked: his Department's plans for addressing levels of childhood obesity; and the measures his Department is taking to promote better nutrition, healthy eating and increased levels of physical activity am...More Button

Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if his Department conducted or is in the process of conducting financial audits of section 38 and 39 funded agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Oversight of agencies funded under Section 38 and 39 of the Health Act is the responsibility of the HSE under its establishing legislation. The HSE has a formal national governance framework with ...More Button

The HSE requires that all grant aided non-statutory agencies submit their annual audited accounts to the HSE. As part of its annual audit plans, the Internal Audit Division of the HSE conducts a...More Button

An Annual Compliance Statement (ACS) process is in place whereby the Board Chairs of each Section 38 agency are required to certify on an annual basis that they are compliant with the necessary g...More Button

These reviews involve an examination of key governance processes and documents, including obtaining confirmation that there are internal financial controls and that formal written financial proce...More Button

The HSE's Audit Committee, also established under the Health Act 2004, advises both the Director General and the Directorate on financial matters relating to their functions. The HSE’s Internal ...More Button

Orthodontic Services Data

Was asked: the number of orthodontic treatments that the Health Service Executive has outsourced for patients who are waiting over four years for routine orthodontic treatment and for how many patients; the h...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Was asked: his plans to recruit additional gynaecologists in Cork University Hospital.More Button

Cork University Hospital are currently in discussions with the South South West Hospital Group in relation to Obstetric and Gynaecological posts.

  As this is a service matter, I...More Button

Was asked: when the post of consultant radiologist with a special interest in nuclear medicine will be filled at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9; the number of persons that applied for this post; when the post of...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Health Care Policy

Was asked: the research that is being conducted specifically on universal health care; if he is aware of research being undertaken by other groups outside his Department on universal health care; if he will b...More Button

My Department is funding the Joint Department of Health/ ESRI Research Programme in Healthcare Reform. The initial phase of this programme involved a research project on costing the UHI model outl...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 106 of 2 June 2016, if the research being undertaken by his Department and the Economic and Social Research Institute three-year programme on health reform wil...More Button

I welcome the establishment of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare which is a key commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government.

  The resourcing of the Committ...More Button

Departmental Management Structures

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 28 of 2 June 2016, if the research being undertaken by the new policy, strategy and integration unit established within his Department will be available to the...More Button

The all-party Committee on the Future of Healthcare, which is a key commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government, held its inaugural meeting on 23 June. More Button

The resourcing of the Committee and how it discharges its functions are a matter for the Committee and the Houses of the Oireachtas Services. Senior officials in my Department have met with the ...More Button

HSE Funding

Was asked: his plans to ensure that public funds provided by his Department are not misused or misappropriated by voluntary and charitable bodies providing supporting services such as suicide prevention suppo...More Button

Was asked: the funding the Health Service Executive provided to St. John of God Hospital under section 38 provisions for each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date, in tabular form.More Button

Hospital Investigations

Was asked: if he will examine the composition of the current internal hospital review teams conducting internal investigations into all serious incidents in hospitals with particular reference to the lack of ...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials...More Button

Ministerial Hospital Visits

Was asked: if he has met with Saolta and-or the management of Galway University Hospital on health issues (details supplied) and the planning for a new hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no plans for a new hospital to be built in Co. Galway. More Button

University Hospitals Galway comprises Galway University Hospital and Merlin Park University Hospital, which are located in the city of Galway. The close proximity of these Hospitals and the join...More Button

There has been, and continues to be, significant development of the GUH site. Developments completed include the Clinical Research Facility, the upgrade to the Maternity Unit and the CF Out-Pati...More Button

Also, construction work is ongoing on the new 75 bed ward block which will provide single room in-patient accommodation. A new acute mental health department is under way and is expected to be c...More Button

Furthermore, the Programme for a Partnership Government has committed to providing a new ED for GUH. Given the ongoing investment that has been, made at the GUH site, it would not represent valu...More Button

National Carers Strategy Implementation

Was asked: the progress being made on implementing the recommendations of the national carers strategy; when he will publish and fund phase 2 of the strategy between 2016 and 2020; and if he will make a state...More Button

Orthodontic Services

Was asked: the number of suitably qualified staff that have been part of the initiative undertaken by the HSE to train and upskill to become orthodontic therapists; the details of the pilot scheme and the num...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Disability Support Services Provision

Was asked: the progress made to date in establishing the task force to examine the issue of personalised budgets, as committed to in the programme for Government; if the commitment to establish this task forc...More Button

Legislative Process

Was asked: the sections, if any, of the Disability Act 2005, that have not yet been implemented in full; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Alcohol Pricing

Was asked: if he or his Department have assessed the ramifications and the impact, if any of the ECHR's Advocate General's comments made in September 2015, about prescribing a minimum price for alcoholic drin...More Button

Was asked: if he or his Department have assessed the ramifications and the impact if any of the ECHR's Advocate General's comments made in September 2015 about prescribing a minimum price for alcoholic drinks...More Button

Care of the Elderly Provision

Was asked: if he will amend the nursing home support scheme, to allow for provision of home care, funded under the fair deal scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Care Services Provision

Was asked: if he will ring fence funding for the implementation of phase two of the national carers strategy 2017-2021, as committed to by the Taoiseach during the first national carers' strategy, which was c...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: the cost of introducing the transport support scheme, which was announced in 2014, as a replacement for the mobility allowance and motorised support grant; the timeframe for implementing this schem...More Button

Preschool Services

Was asked: why a person (details supplied) has not been allocated supports as part of the preschool placement under the special needs assistant scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Disability Services Funding

Was asked: his views on ring-fencing 8% to 15% of the Health Service Executive disability budget, currently governed by service level agreements, for individualised and community based models supports; and if...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: to provide an update regarding when Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationship Act 2015, will be enacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when he will implement the provisions for donor assisted reproduction Parts 2 and 3 further to the passing of the Children and Family Relationship Act 2015.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 481 and 599 together.More Button

When the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 was enacted in April last year, it was indicated that Parts 2 and 3 of the Act, which deal with donor-assisted human reproduction, would not be...More Button

General Practitioner Data

Was asked: the number of general practitioners in County Kildare, for each of the years 2011 to 2015 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days pl...More Button

Disability Support Services

Was asked: if he will examine the timeframe given to a person (details supplied) for an assessment of need; if this will be brought forward given the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Medical Aids and Appliances Applications

Was asked: the status of an application by a person (details supplied) for a medical device; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Was asked: the status of an application for medical equipment by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Suicide Incidence

Was asked: the number of persons that have died by suicide while in the care of State-funded psychiatric hospitals or mental health facilities over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

Hospitals Funding

Was asked: the amount of funding being made available to support hospital chaplaincy services for each of the past four years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials ...More Button

Drugs Payment Scheme Data

Was asked: the number of persons paying the maximum €144 per month for medicines under the drug payment scheme, DPS, by HSE region; the amounts allocated in dispensing fees to pharmacists under the DPS; and i...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Long-Term Illness Scheme Data

Was asked: the number of persons currently accessing the long-term illness scheme by HSE region; the amounts being paid to pharmacists in dispensing fees under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Hospital Appointments Delays

Was asked: to expedite a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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...More Button

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition war...More Button

EU Funding

Was asked: the amount of pre-financing by programme his Department has applied for with regard to the current phase of EU funding programmes; the amount that is likely to be reimbursed to the European Commiss...More Button

My Department has not applied for pre-financing with regard to the current phase of EU funding programmes. More Button

As you may be aware there is a health theme within the INTERREG Cooperation Programme funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). I understand that the INTERREG Programme received ...More Button

Hospital Appointments Status

Was asked: the status of a referral (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the particular issue raised relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to you. If you have not received a reply from the HSE with...More Button

Was asked: the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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 ...More Button

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warr...More Button

Was asked: if he will schedule an appointment for surgery for a person (details supplied).More Button

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 ...More Button

The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensu...More Button

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days plea...More Button

Was asked: the status of an operation for a person (details supplied) and if he will expedite same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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...More Button

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will be scheduled for an operation.More Button

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...More Button

In relation to the specific case raised, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and...More Button

Was asked: the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will be called for a hospital appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 563 and 620 together.More Button

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 H...More Button

The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition war...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a date for an operation for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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 ...More Button

Was asked: the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Was asked: when an operation will be provided for a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in issuing a date for this procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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...More Button

Was asked: why a person (details supplied) has not received an urgent appointment; if he will arrange an appointment as soon as possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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...More Button

Diabetes Strategy

Was asked: his plans to make resources available for diabetes care over multiple years in order that services and planning can be directed in a more strategic way to support patients and provide optimum care.More Button

Departmental Properties

Was asked: if he will transfer a property in County Longford back to its original owner (details supplied).More Button

I must advise you that the Health Service Executive is required to obtain value for money when disposing of surplus property assets. Proceeds of disposals of surplus assets are re-invested in deli...More Button

Medical Card Eligibility

Was asked: if he will consider introducing a health amendment card for Magdalen laundry survivors; to define the entitlements under the current scheme particularly in respect of aids, appliances and medicines...More Button

As part of a support package, including a range of financial payments, that was approved by Government for former residents of Magdalen Laundries, eligibility for health services for the Magdalen w...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that the Health (Amendment) Act 1996 (HAA) provides primary and community health services for people who contracted Hepatitis C from the use of State blood or blood produc...More Button

Was asked: if those receiving a pension from the United Kingdom and living here will still be entitled to a non-means-tested medical card despite the United Kingdom no longer being part of the European Union,...More Button

Regulation (EC) 883/2004 deals with the coordination of social security, including health care, for those moving within the European Union. Under its provisions, persons residing in Ireland who ar...More Button

The result of the recent EU Referendum in the UK means that the UK electorate have declared their wish to leave the EU. It is important to be clear that the UK has not yet left the EU. Until it...More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that there will be no immediate changes in the area of health as a consequence of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Health cooperation between the UK and Ireland wil...More Button

Was asked: to outline the primary care reimbursement service’s guidelines for awarding discretionary medical cards to cancer patients; and if cancer patients applying for a discretionary card are given an add...More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

  The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Ser...More Button

Was asked: the primary care reimbursement service’s guidelines for awarding discretionary medical cards to motor neurone disease patients; and if motor neurone disease patients applying for a discretionary ca...More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

  The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Ser...More Button

Health Services Reform

Was asked: regarding the coroner's inquest, the Health Information and Quality Authority report and the internal and external reviews into the death of a person (details supplied) to outline in detail and in ...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials...More Button

For the Deputy's information, the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) has endorsed and published a number of Clinical Guidelines for the health system, arising from the Galway Report...More Button

Was asked: if he evaluated the full extent and costs of a comprehensive health service in the future; his views on the matter with regard to demographics; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government has embarked upon a major multi-annual programme of health reform, the aim of which is to deliver universal healthcare, where all people can access the health services they need, of ...More Button

Was asked: to set out his vision for the future of the public health service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government makes clear its commitment to universal healthcare. In particular, the Programme states that efforts to increase access to safe, timely care as close to ...More Button

Departmental Bodies

Was asked: the number of positions on the boards of bodies and agencies under the aegis of his Department; the number of vacant positions; when each vacancy occurred; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The nomination and appointment process for boards of bodies under the aegis of my Department is set out in legislation. In line with Government Decision S180/20/10/1617 of 2014 and Guidelines set o...More Button

HSE Correspondence

Was asked: the reason the issuing of letters to persons has been outsourced in some areas by the Health Service Executive; the number of administrative staff employed by the HSE; the costs incurred in contrac...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

  Question No. 512 answered with Question No. 99.More Button

HSE Staff

Was asked: if there are positions available within the field of health and safety specialists; and if persons who are fully qualified in this field have been refused employment.More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Medical Card Applications

Was asked: if he will arrange for a person (details supplied) to be taken on urgently as a medical card patient.More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated c...More Button

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.More Button

Home Care Packages Data

Was asked: the number of persons in Tallaght hospital who have been deemed medically fit for discharge and have had to wait more than one week for their discharges, due to their inability to access home care ...More Button

Was asked: the number of home care hours which are currently available in counties Longford and Westmeath.More Button

Hospital Staff

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will receive payment for a post similar to others within the same hospital group for the same period to ensure remuneration equality; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Occupational Therapy

Was asked: if he will intervene to ensure that children who require access to this essential service will not be left waiting beyond the current waiting times in respect to an early intervention team (details...More Button

Was asked: his plans to hire an additional occupational therapist for County Longford as there is only one such occupational therapist in place to cover the whole county at present; and the expected waiting t...More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

Was asked: the average waiting time for a community occupational therapist assessment for persons discharged from rehabilitation units in counties Longford and Westmeath; and his views on whether these waitin...More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

Was asked: the average waiting time for a community occupational therapist visit in counties Westmeath and Longford.More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, pl...More Button

Infectious Disease Incidence

Was asked: the estimated number of persons that his Department believes to be HIV positive; the measures being taken to combat new HIV infections; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Weekly HIV & STI Report, published by the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre, indicated that in week 26 - 2016 (26 June - 2 July) that 4 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections wer...More Button

The National Sexual Health Strategy 2015 – 2020 and Action Plan 2015 – 2016 were launched in October 2015. The National Sexual Health Strategy aims to improve sexual health and wellbeing and red...More Button

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has reported that the greatest burden of STIs falls among those aged under 25 years and among men who have sex with men (MSM). Accordingly, the St...More Button

The Sexual Health Action Plan for 2015 - 2016 identified 18 priority actions across clinical services, education, communications and governance / structures. These actions aim to enhance sexual h...More Button

Psychological Services

Was asked: the amount of funding available to recruit new psychologists and counsellors in 2016 in order to develop psychological services for persons under 18 years of age; and the timeframe for the delivery...More Button

Was asked: the reason primary care psychology services are not provided for children in north County Dublin; the reason the Swords Mater CAMHS has not treated a child from the routine waiting list over the pa...More Button

Health Insurance Data

Was asked: the number of persons here currently covered by private health insurance; if this has increased or decreased since July 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The latest available data from the Health Insurance Authority (HIA) shows that the total number of people with health insurance is 2.126 million, or 46% of the population (end March 2016). This fig...More Button

The HIA gather data on a quarterly basis and information in respect of June 2016 is not yet available. There was an increase of over 95,000 in the number of insured persons from March 2015 to Mar...More Button

Dental Services Provision

Was asked: the number of persons eligible for dental care under the dental treatment services scheme in the years 2011 to 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The particular issue raised by the Deputy is a service matter for the Health Service Executive. Accordingly I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for dire...More Button

Was asked: the actions he is taking to address the failure by the Health Service Executive to provide a primary school dental scheme in County Laois; and the improvements that will be made in the service.More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Primary Medical Certificates Applications

Was asked: the status of an application for a primary medical certificate by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Health Services Staff Remuneration

Was asked: the cost of returning to a single tier pay structure in the health service which ensures that all those recruited into the system on 1 January 2011 are placed on pay scales based on the pre-2010 ra...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

  Question No. 529 answered with Question No. 99.More Button

Home Care Packages Funding

Was asked: if he will increase funding for home care services to at least €414 million in budget 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: the reason accessing the private health care system at home in circumstances (details supplied) is not covered.More Button

EU Directive 2011/24/EU establishes rules, including reimbursement rules, for facilitating access to safe and high-quality cross-border healthcare in the EU in a Member State other than the patient...More Button

Medical Card Applications Data

Was asked: the position regarding the processing times for medical card applications (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated c...More Button

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.More Button

Respite Care Services Provision

Was asked: the reason the number of public respite beds at Maynooth community care unit has been reduced to two beds; when this reduction came into effect; if this is a temporary measure or if he has plans to...More Button

Was asked: the status of respite services at St. John of God St. Mary's centre, Drumcar, County Louth; if St. Mary's currently provides respite services; if it will maintain respite services over the summer p...More Button

Respite Care Grant Eligibility

Was asked: why respite care for persons over 18 years of age ceased, despite the needs of the caring families being the same as previously; his plans to reintroduce respite for carers of adults; and if he wil...More Button

Was asked: the supports or resources made available for the provision of respite for persons over 18 years of age in each of the years 2012 to 2016 to date, in tabular form.More Button

Perinatal Data

Was asked: the action being taken to address the low rate of breastfeeding here.More Button

Mobility Allowance

Was asked: the status of replacing the mobility allowance and the motorised transport grant scheme which was closed to new applicants in 2013; when he will introduce a replacement scheme; and if he will make ...More Button

Antimicrobial Resistance

Was asked: his progress in drafting the national action plan on antimicrobial resistance; if this plan will be subject to public and industry stakeholder consultation and if not, why not; if he is satisfied t...More Button

The rise in antimicrobial resistance is universally recognised at global, European and national levels, including Ireland, as one of the greatest potential threats to human and animal health with p...More Button

There is international consensus through the ‘One Health’ Initiative to which the WHO (World Health Organisation), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the OIE (World Health Organisation f...More Button

The 'One Health' concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Recognis...More Button

The European Union at both Council and European Parliament levels supports a Community Strategy against AMR having regard to the 'One Health' concept. The Commission's 2012 AMR 5-year action pla...More Button

In recognition of the serious and increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance and the requirement for a ‘whole of Government’ approach to health issues, the Department of Health’s Chief Medical...More Button

The Committee has a clear role and mandate across the human and animal health sectors. Committee membership consists of representatives of both Departments and of the relevant HSE and veterinary...More Button

The prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) and AMR has been a significant patient safety and public health priority for the Department of Health Ireland for numerous y...More Button

Medical Card Drugs Availability

Was asked: if the purchase of a medicinal liquid which in its manufactured form is produced in tablets but can then be converted into a liquid by a pharmacist due to the particular requirements of the custome...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

Medicinal Products Availability

Was asked: the status of funding for the fitting of a medical device for a person (details supplied).More Button

As the particular issue raised relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to you. If you have not received a reply from the HSE withi...More Button

General Practitioner Training

Was asked: the cost of increasing the number of general practitioner training places from 161 to 180; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Programme for Partnership Government emphasises the need to focus on enhancing primary healthcare services, including building up GP capacity and increasing the number of therapists and other h...More Button

There are currently 14 GP Specialist (Vocational) Training Programmes in operation in Ireland and doctors who wish to pursue GP training in Ireland may apply for a general practice training post ...More Button

In addition to the salary costs of the GP trainees themselves, the overall cost of expanding GP training would depend on the cost of various training inputs required. The Department does not hol...More Button

Hospital Facilities

Was asked: the status of the integrated medical imaging system; the number of hospitals that are part of this system; the number that are not part of the system; the timeframe within which he expects all hosp...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Pr...More Button

Was asked: the status of the development of a catheterisation laboratory at Sligo University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Programme produced a model of care in March 2012. This set out the model of care for the treatment of ACS, and for the provision of Primary Percutaneous Interventi...More Button

A new Cross Border Cardiology Service commenced in May 2016. Patients residing in the Donegal catchment area who suffer a suspected ST-Elevation Myocardial infarction, and who previously would ha...More Button

This service is provided by the Saolta University Healthcare Group in conjunction with the Western Health and Social Care Trust and will provide treatment for approximately 60 patients per annum,...More Button

The cardiology service in Sligo University Hospital is provided by two consultants. A range of inpatient, outpatient and day case treatments are provided by the Sligo Cardiology Service to a catc...More Button

Development of cardiology services at Sligo University Hospital will be considered in the context of the agreed model of care developed by the Acute Coronary Syndrome Programme.More Button

My Department will shortly meet with the Saolta Hospital Group to discuss issues including catheterisation laboratory services in Sligo.More Button

Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors Recruitment

Was asked: the number of non-consultant doctors who could not commence their work rotations in acute hospitals and mental health services on 11 July 2016 due to outstanding documentation issues relating to wo...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

  Question No. 577 answered with Question No. 99.More Button

General Practitioner Contracts

Was asked: when he will meet and engage with the National Association of General Practitioners on a new contract for its members; his views that the 1,600 members' views and input are essential to advancing a...More Button

There have been significant developments in the general practice service recently, with more services being made available to our citizens and additional support provided by the HSE. Under a Framew...More Button

In Budget 2016, the Government has also provided for the extension of GP care without fees to all children aged under 12 years in the latter part of 2016. This extension is subject to negotiatio...More Button

I have recently met with GP representative bodies, including the National Association of General Practitioners, to discuss the future development of general practice and I have assured them of th...More Button

Charities Regulation

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the Health Service Executive's ability to monitor section 38 agencies and organisations; if the system of oversight has been strengthened since 2014 when the executive indic...More Button

Was asked: the measures he is proposing to strengthen the 2013 governance arrangements the Health Service Executive introduced with the section 38 agencies in particular in terms of strengthening the direct r...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 579 and 583 together.

  Section 38 and 39 Service Providers (Providers) in receipt of in excess of €250,000 annually are required to sign a stand...More Button

Was asked: the action he has taken following top-ups being provided to employees of St. John of God Hospital; if he proposes to revise arrangements for section 38 agencies following this; if he will change au...More Button

The HSE has written to the St John of God Hospitaller Order to inform it that the HSE’s Internal Audit has been requested to undertake a review of the payment of additional remuneration to its seni...More Button

Separately, the HSE has arranged for external reviews to take place which involves an examination by external consultants of the governance at Board and Executive level in the Section 38 service ...More Button

Hospitals Data

Was asked: the number of procedures carried out in respect of cataract surgeries for each hospital for each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date, in tabular form.More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 days please contact my Private Offi...More Button

  Question No. 591 answered with Question No. 587.More Button

Was asked: if he is aware of the fact that of the 4,184 registration applications received by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland between 2015 and May 2016, only 1,632 were successfully added to the re...More Button

I have been advised by the NMBI that the figures referred to in your question are correct. However, it is important that these figures are understood in the context of the explanation provided belo...More Button

Death Certificates

Was asked: the reason a death certificate is not available in respect of a person (details supplied); if the matter will be investigated so that the next of kin can receive closure; if there is information av...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that I do not have access to individual patient files or personal information.

  I have asked the HSE to look into the matter and to respond to you dir...More Button

Professional Qualifications

Was asked: his views on the impact on the livelihood of persons who work in the physical therapy sector of the removal of the professional title "physical therapist" from physical therapy practitioners; if a ...More Button

By end 2018, the title of physiotherapist is due to be protected, under the provisions of Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, for the exclusive use of registrants of the physiothe...More Button

HIV-AIDS Programmes

Was asked: the State budget and strategy in 2016 and in the coming years for HIV prevention among gay and bisexual men; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

National Treatment Purchase Fund

Was asked: when he will introduce the treatment purchase scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Currently, in accordance with Reg 4(1) of the NTPF Board (Establishment) Order 2004, the NTPF carries out activities in respect of data and analytics, audit and quality assurance of waiting lists a...More Button

  Question No. 599 answered with Question No. 481.More Button

Medicinal Products Reimbursement

Was asked: the status of the drug Translarna; when he will make a decision as to whether to include it in the reimbursement list; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical...More Button

Decisions on whether to reimburse medicines by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds by the HSE, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). ...More Button

The NCPE completed a health technology assessment of ataluren (brand name Translarna) in April and did not recommend reimbursement. The HSE is currently considering the NCPE report.More Button

  Question No. 603 answered with Question No. 99.More Button

Dental Services

Was asked: why a person's (details supplied) referral from a general practitioner for an appointment in a hospital was rejected; and if the person can be granted an appointment at the hospital as soon as poss...More Button

The Dublin Dental Hospital is governed by a Board, established by Statutory Instrument (S.I. No. 129 of 1963) under the Health (Corporate Bodies) Act 1961. The Minister has no role in the setting o...More Button

Medical Card Reviews

Was asked: when the clinical advisory group on medical cards will report its final recommendations to him; when the interim report which was given to the Minster for Health last summer will be published; and ...More Button

Was asked: if, in line with the commitment in the programme for Government, he has requested the clinical advisory group on medical cards to examine the guidelines for awarding discretionary medical cards for...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 606 and 607 together.

  On foot of the report by the Expert Panel on Medical Need for Medical Card Eligibility, the HSE established t...More Button

Hospital Accommodation Provision

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 829 of 17 May 2016, the approximate total number of new beds that could be brought on stream without requiring additional capital investment; and if he will ma...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials...More Button

  Question No. 619 withdrawn.More Button

Orthodontic Services Provision

Was asked: the actions he is taking to address the failure by the Health Service Executive to provide a reasonable level of orthodontic services for County Laois; when the improvements will be made in this re...More Button

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contac...More Button

General Practitioner Services Provision

Was asked: his plans to improve the general practitioner service in the Monasterevin and Kildangan areas of County Kildare.More Button

As this is a service matter, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days pl...More Button

  Question No. 625 answered with Question No. 571.More Button

HSE Agency Staff Data

Was asked: the extent to which the numbers of consultants, doctors, nurses or other professionals have fluctuated in each of the past eight years to date in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up...More Button

Nursing Staff Remuneration

Was asked: the way in which he will address the issue of lower pay affecting the latest nursing recruits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A Chairman's Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement provided that the Department of Health and the HSE would consider the extent to which the issue of pay during the fourth year 36 week undergraduate...More Button

Following consideration by my Department, in conjunction with the HSE and the nursing unions, sanction was received in February for an increase in the rate of pay for the fourth year placement fr...More Button

Medical Card Data

Was asked: the number of medical cards in circulation; if he expects the number to increase or decrease over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated ...More Button

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.More Button

General Medical Services Scheme

Was asked: the procedure in place to expedite the process of medical cards for cancer patients; if he expects to improve the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services sche...More Button

Departmental Websites

Was asked: if his Department's website is accessible to persons with a disability; if the accessibility of this website is regularly reviewed to take account of new and emerging technologies; and if he will m...More Button

The Department of Health’s website www.health.gov.ie has an accessibility page with details of facilities for people with disabilities, including features for individuals with reading d...More Button