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Harris, Simon

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Leaders' Questions (Resumed) (Continued)

Probably with money.More Button

The majority.More Button

Democracy.More Button

Questions on Promised Legislation

Deputy Micheál Martin made a fair point. We have a commitment in the programme for Government to increase funding for home care packages and home help hours this year and it is our intention to co...More Button

We will work with Deputy O'Dea on it. Some issues genuinely arise. One cannot just lift the fair deal scheme for nursing homes and apply it to somebody's home but we are very willing to work to t...More Button

Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)

I thank the Deputy for raising this important issue. We can all agree that this is absolutely disgusting and despicable. I would not even call it misinformation. Women are just being told, in som...More Button

I think that word is also correct. The question that faces this Oireachtas is how to shut these facilities down. I know the Joint Committee on Health has considered Deputy Howlin's Bill. Deputy ...More Button

The Deputy asked what stage the Bill is at. It is a priority for drafting this session.More Button

I certainly do not want people in Kerry to have a lesser health service than those in Cork or any other part of the country. Very recently, Kerry hospital became only the second hospital in the co...More Button

The NTPF has received €5 million funding for 3,000 day-case procedures, many of which will be cataract procedures. I expect patients to start getting appointments in Easter week. Where they are c...More Button

I only wish to answer the Deputy's question but I do not wish to-----More Button

Deputy MacSharry is correct in what he says about the importance of international collaboration.More Button

In the aftermath of this it would be very useful if we could set aside time in the future to have a debate on how we can collaborate better at an international level.More Button

HSE Investigations

I thank the Deputy sincerely for raising this important issue. I know it is of great concern to the families affected, many of whom I have had an opportunity to meet, correspond and talk with - as...More Button

I would like to begin by reiterating that the Government's ongoing priority is the safeguarding of vulnerable people who are in the care of the health service, and I appreciate that the Deputy ha...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware from his work in Wicklow, Sunbeam House Services is a voluntary organisation providing a wide range of services across east Wicklow and south County Dublin to adults w...More Button

Unfortunately I am also aware that a number of serious issues of concern have been raised by families of service users attending Sunbeam House Services. On foot of these concerns, an externaI as...More Button

As part of this process, a review was undertaken of the independent regulator HIQA’s inspection reports on Sunbeam House Services disability residential centres. I understand that in addition th...More Button

The review team has now finalised its formal written report in line with its terms of reference. I wish to be clear that I consider the issues to be extremely serious and I have engaged closely ...More Button

In conclusion I wish to assure Deputy Casey that I and my Department will continue to maintain close contact with the HSE with a view to ensuring that all necessary service improvements across th...More Button

HSE Investigations (Continued)

I fully agree with everything Deputy Casey said. I have been involved with advocating for people with disabilities in County Wicklow since my teenage years. I have absolutely no intention of allo...More Button

For quite a period, parents have been highlighting concerns about a number of issues at Sunbeam House Services. It is my absolute view that the report vindicates those concerns. I understand th...More Button

Many of the staff in Sunbeam House Services have been doing Trojan work at different levels and in a variety of roles. There is a clear need for improvement and things have gone wrong. The repo...More Button

Hospital Appointments Status

Was asked: the status of a case (details supplied); and when the person can expect an appointment with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in County Offaly.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: when a medical assessment appointment will be provided for a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in issuing a date; 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: 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: the reason for waiting times incurred by a person (details supplied); if he will expedite this person's 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: if he will expedite an appointment 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 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: to set out 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 war...More Button

Was asked: if an appointment will be provided 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

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: the position in relation to the provision of a comprehensive nursing and home support package to enable a person (details supplied) in County Cork be discharged from hospital and return home; and ...More Button

Medicinal Products Availability

Was asked: the progress in the provision of the Translarna drug for those persons diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of ...More Button

Was asked: if he will approve funds for the use of Translarna for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in view of its approval in 28 EU member states including the United Kingdom; and if he will make ...More Button

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of ...More Button

Medicinal Products Licensing

Was asked: the status of the drug translarna for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy; the reason it is not approved here; the history of its applicatory process through the NCPE process; and if he wi...More Button

The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of ...More Button

Civil Registration Documentation

Was asked: if he will assist in providing a document to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

The Civil Registration Service is operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE) on behalf of the General Registrar's Office under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection.

 ...More Button

Mental Health Services Provision

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive an appointment with the child and adolescent mental health services in Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Occupational Therapy

Was asked: the reason for the delay in accessing occupational therapy in County Meath.More Button

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons currently waiting to access occupational therapy in County Meath.More Button

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.More Button

Was asked: the number of primary care paediatric occupational therapists in County Wicklow; the number of persons waiting for care; the waiting times for an appointment for this treatment since 2011, in tabul...More Button

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.More Button

HSE Staff Data

Was asked: the number of occupational therapists in County Meath recruited in the past 12 months.More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.More Button

Hospital Waiting Lists

Was asked: the reason no new referrals are being placed on the waiting lists for ear, nose and throat, ENT, appointments for persons at two hospitals (details supplied); when this situation will improve for p...More Button

Was asked: his plans for the waiting list crisis for persons in need of ear, nose and throat, ENT, appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 267 and 268 together.More Button

Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government's key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018. More Button

In December 2016, I granted approval to the NTPF to dedicate €5m to a daycase waiting list initiative with the aim of ensuring that no adult patient will be waiting more than 18 months for a dayc...More Button

In order to reduce the numbers of long-waiting patients, I asked the HSE to develop Waiting List Action Plans for 2017 in the areas of Inpatient Daycase, Scoliosis and Outpatient Services. My De...More Button

In relation to your specific query on paediatric ENT appointments in Crumlin and Tallaght hospitals, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. More Button

Was asked: to outline the number of persons waiting more than nine months to see a consultant ophthalmologist at a Dublin hospital (details supplied); the immediate steps being taken to reduce these waiting t...More Button

Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government's key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018.More Button

In December 2016, I granted approval to the NTPF to dedicate €5m to a daycase waiting list initiative with the aim of ensuring that no patient will be waiting more than 18 months for a daycase pr...More Button

In order to reduce the numbers of long-waiting patients, I asked the HSE to develop Waiting List Action Plans for 2017 in the areas of Inpatient Daycase, Scoliosis and Outpatient Services. My De...More Button

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

National Children's Hospital

Was asked: if he will address issues raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The project to develop the new children’s hospital is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance paediatric services for children and to ensure that children, young people and their families have the ...More Button

The Government decision to locate the new children’s hospital on the campus of St James’s hospital was clinically led. St. James’s is Ireland’s largest and leading adult teaching and research-in...More Button

In line with leading practice in children’s hospital design, those who need to stay in hospital will have their own single room. Each of the 380 single rooms, with the exception of critical care...More Button

A dedicated school will be provided, incorporating a range of educational services, including artwork and pottery, in a stimulating environment that is conducive to learning and is medically equi...More Button

Children who cannot attend the school due to disease processes or infection control issues will also be provided with alternative educational support in their room or via appropriate online facil...More Button

The therapeutic benefits of the outdoors will be catered for in the rooftop garden which will offer opportunities for learning, play and distraction. The garden's play decks and terraces will of...More Button

The design of the hospital has recognised the need of most parents to access the hospital by car, and 675 car parking spaces have been provided for families based on current and projected future ...More Button

The needs of children, young people, their families and those who will work in paediatrics are being taken into account throughout this project. The Youth Advisory Council, (a group of children ...More Button

Medical Card Applications

Was asked: the reason a medical card application was closed in view of the fact that contact was made with the primary care reimbursement service, PCRS, in March 2017 (details supplied) and the person was inf...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 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

Hospital Beds Data

Was asked: the number of beds in the public hospital system; and the number of beds reserved for the private patients of consultants.More Button

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

Was asked: to set out the number of paediatric outpatients beds to be provided in Tallaght Hospital's urgent care facility following the transfer of the accident and emergency department to the National Child...More Button

The satellite centres on the campuses of Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals will be an integral part of, and come under the governance of, the new children’s hospital. This will include staffing, qua...More Button

Each centre will provide urgent care as well as secondary outpatient services including rapid access general paediatric clinics. The aim is to improve geographic access to urgent care for childr...More Button

Each centre will provide consultant-led urgent care from staff of the new children’s hospital and appropriate diagnostics. Each centre is projected to deal with 25,000 urgent care attendances per...More Button

The provision of general paediatric rapid access clinics will meet the need of primary care for access to specialist opinion (secondary paediatric opinion) – currently many children are referred ...More Button

The satellite centres will be open during the known busiest daytime and evening hours and closed during the night when departments are at their quietest. It is anticipated that the urgent care c...More Button

Was asked: the number of beds and wards in all public and voluntary acute hospitals that were closed on 7 April 2017 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Ambulance Service Response Times

Was asked: the ambulance response times for each ambulance journey in County Wicklow between 2014 and 2016, inclusive, in tabular form; 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 the Deputy directly. More Button

Ambulance Service Data

Was asked: the number of ambulance journeys made by children in County Wicklow between 2014 and 2016 in tabular form; the point of departure; 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 the Deputy directly. More Button

Was asked: the number of ambulance attendances at each emergency department nationwide in March 2017 in tabular form; the number of such ambulances that waited longer than 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, ...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly. More Button

Health Services

Was asked: to outline his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand the challenges Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) patients face in accessing appropriate services. I would be happy to meet with these patients and carers. I will ask my Department to fa...More Button

Hospital Services

Was asked: to outline the status of the development of adequate diabetes consultant and CNS staff for paediatric and adult diabetic care in a hospital (details supplied).More Button

A Paediatric Insulin Pump Services was initiated in May 2015. This service is based in Sligo University Hospital, with outreach clinics in Letterkenny University Hospital.More Button

The Saolta University Healthcare Group has confirmed that the Consultant Paediatrician with Speciality Interest in Diabetes, who was instrumental in commencing this service, is leaving this post ...More Button

The permanent post is to be filled through public competition via the Public Appointments Service; this process is on-going. In order to address continuity, the clinical service arrangements for...More Button

There is currently one consultant Endocrinologist at Letterkenny University Hospital providing the adult Diabetes service, which serves approximately 700 patients with Type 1, and 6,500 with Type...More Button

Additional clinics are being run on monthly basis (1 - 2 extra clinics per month), in order to address waiting lists for the service.More Button

In terms of the future of diabetes services in the North-West, the Saolta Group advises that a business case is currently being prepared in support of a second Consultant Endocrinologist, a Diabe...More Button

Was asked: the percentage of the existing St Loman's campus which is currently in use; and the long-term plans for the entire campus.More Button

Health Insurance Prices

Was asked: to outline his plans to adopt the proposal to phase out tax relief on health insurance; the measures he plans to adopt to offset the €600 increase that the average family would incur; and if he wil...More Button

I understand from media reports that phasing out tax relief on Health Insurance may be under consideration by the Committee on Future Healthcare. It is important to note that the work of the Commi...More Button

However, as Minister for Health I would caution that making private health insurance less affordable for people by withdrawing tax relief without improving ‎the public health system would only se...More Button

Nursing Staff

Was asked: to outline his views on the incentives, tax breaks or pay increases necessary to slow the leak of Irish nurses to the USA, United Kingdom and Australia and to fill the critical shortage of nurses i...More Button

The number of nursing and midwifery staff increased by 1,693 whole time equivalents between February 2014 and February 2017, notwithstanding intense global competition for our nurses and midwives.More Button

During recent engagement between this Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the HSE, INMO and SIPTU nursing, management supplied a joint proposal document setting out a num...More Button

The above is in addition to the many other initiatives currently underway to improve nursing and midwifery staffing levels throughout the country.  The HSE has offered permanent posts to 2016 deg...More Button

The measures that were proposed by management and agreed with the INMO and SIPTU Nursing will significantly improve the staffing of nursing and midwifery posts in the public health service and of...More Button

Was asked: the steps he is taking to retain Irish nursing graduates in view of recent reports that almost two-thirds of accident and emergency nursing posts remain available two months after they were first a...More Button

During recent engagement between this Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the HSE, INMO and SIPTU nursing, management supplied a joint proposal document setting out a numbe...More Button

The above is in addition to the many other initiatives currently underway to improve nursing and midwifery staffing levels throughout the country.  The number of nursing and midwifery staff incre...More Button

A number of specific measures have also been taken in relation to pay that will support the recruitment and retention of Irish nursing graduates. Measures to date include the first stage of pay...More Button

The measures that were proposed by management and agreed with the INMO and SIPTU Nursing will significantly improve the staffing of nursing and midwifery posts in the public health service and of...More Button

Dental Services Provision

Was asked: when dental screening will be reintroduced in primary schools (details supplied) in County Laois.More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.More Button

National Drugs Strategy

Was asked: to outline his plans to publish the new national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Was asked: to set down the estimated cost of recruiting 100 additional speech and language therapy posts; 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.More Button

Hospital Charges

Was asked: if the policy of charging family members of critically-injured patients car parking fees in a Dublin hospital (details supplied) will be reviewed; if there has been a review of such fees being char...More Button

There is a significant demand for car parking at all hospitals. Consequently, the efficient management of parking spaces and traffic flow on hospital campuses is of crucial importance. This is to ...More Button

Arrangements for car parking is an operational matter for the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE has advised that it does not provide guidelines on hospital parking and each hospital/hospit...More Button

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

Psychological Services

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will have a psychological assessment in view of the fact the person has spent two years on a waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

Health Services Staff

Was asked: if experienced paramedics can be given permission to work over the age of 66 years of age, in view of the shortage of paramedics.More Button

In relation to the issue of retirement age, an Interdepartmental Working Group, chaired by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, examined the issues arising from prevailing retirement ag...More Button

Disability Services Provision

Was asked: if he will give consideration to requests in correspondence (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the concern of parents regarding long delays in having assessments and services pr...More Button

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 247 and 248 of 2 March 2017, the status of the referred response which has not been received to date.More Button

I have made enquiries with the NMBI in this matter and I have been advised that due to an oversight, the reply did not issue to the Deputy. However, I understand that a reply together with an apolo...More Button

Health Insurance Data

Was asked: the number of persons currently availing of private health insurance in certain age groups (details supplied). More Button

The following table provides for the most recent data available from the Health Insurance Authority (HIA) and shows the number of insured persons by age group as of 1 January 2017. This informatio...More Button

Nursing Staff Data

Was asked: the number of new nursing staff recruited for each hospital (details supplied) in the year to the end of March 2017 in tabular form; the number of nursing staff that left the hospital in the year t...More Button

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.More Button

Drugs Payment Scheme Threshold

Was asked: his views on the maximum a family or persons cohabiting should pay per month for medicine regardless of financial means.More Button

The maximum monthly amount which families, including those who are cohabiting, should pay for approved medicines through the community drugs schemes is determined by their eligibility under the Hea...More Button

Currently, the limit under the Drugs Payment Scheme is €144 per month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by that person or his or her family. Under the Genera...More Button

Mental Health Services

Was asked: the frequency with which inspections are carried out by an organisation in respect of a psychiatric unit (details supplied); if these reports are published; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Was asked: when a replacement oncologist for a person (details supplied) will be hired at Tullamore Regional Hospital; and the length of time the HSE has known of the person's intentions to leave the post at ...More Button

The Deputy's question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.More Button

Health Services Staff Data

Was asked: the number of paramedics employed nationally in each of the years 2011 to 2016, inclusive, and to date in 2017, in tabular formMore Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly. More Button

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the timeframe for complying with the programme for Government commitment to end the discrimination against persons in the fair deal nursing scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data

Was asked: the number of persons awaiting placement under the fair deal scheme; the average waiting time; the number of persons currently awaiting placement under the scheme for each local health area in tabu...More Button

Home Help Service Data

Was asked: the number of home help hours by local health area provided in each month in 2016 and to date in 2017 in tabular form.More Button

Home Care Packages Data

Was asked: the number of home care packages currently being provided by local health office area on a seven day week basis, on a five day week basis and fewer than five days a week, respectively, in tabular f...More Button