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Harris, Simon

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Financial Resolution No. 1: Tobacco Products Tax

I move:



    (1)THAT for the purposes of the tax charged by virtue of section 72 of the Finance Act 2005 (No. 5 of 2005), that Act be amended, with effect as on and fr...More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 1: Tobacco Products Tax (Continued)

    There will also be an increase in the minimum excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes to €7.54. This measure will ensure all cigarette packs, regardless of price, will incur at a minimum the excise...More Button

    Ireland is proudly committed to a policy of high taxation of tobacco in order to encourage people, particularly younger people, to quit smoking. Thankfully, the policy is working. In 2007, some...More Button

    As Deputy Howlin rightly said, this is a long-standing policy of successive Governments whereby taxation plays a role in reducing the number of people smoking and, thankfully, we have seen the evid...More Button

    I reassure Deputies that this is not the entire response of the Government in respect of reducing the number of people smoking. We have a range of supports through the health service. These inclu...More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 1 agreed to.More Button

    Lansdowne Road Agreement Implementation

    Was asked: the measures he plans to implement in order to assist a section 39 funded voluntary hospice (details supplied) in County Sligo in order to enable it to implement both the Lansdowne Road and public ...More Button

    Was asked: the pathway provided for full pay restoration in view of the fact that recent negotiations regarding the pay restoration of section 39 workers have concluded with reports of a deal being struck at ...More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 375 together.More Button

    The Deputies will be aware that in February 2018, an agreement was reached at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) between my Department, the HSE and health sector Trade Unions in relation to...More Button

    I asked the HSE to engage with the Section 39 organisations to establish the facts around what cuts were applied and how and when they were implemented. The HSE has completed the first phase of ...More Button

    Following constructive engagement with the assistance of the Workplace Relations Commission, an agreement was reached on 2 October between the parties. Pay restoration will commence with an annu...More Button

    It is recognised that some of the remaining organisations will have pay restoration issues also. A process of engagement to address this will commence in 2019..More Button

    Services for People with Disabilities

    Was asked: the reason for the delay in processing an application by a person (details supplied) for an early intervention team in order to access educational supports; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

    Was asked: his plans to increase the resources to early intervention teams in order to cease the long delays for families seeking educational supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: if he or the HSE has reviewed an application for funding by a group (details supplied) for a multiple sclerosis care centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will have a consultation with an occupational guidance adviser further to commitments made that such a consultation would occur.More Button

    Was asked: if he has met with a group (details supplied) to discuss funding arrangements for a centre in order for it to open on more weeks per year; if the granting of funds has been considered in the contex...More Button

    Was asked: the wait time for HSE funding approval for bracing therapy if a child has a medical card; the reason children across the Children's Hospital Group, CHG, do not have equal access to bracing therapy ...More Button

    As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible. More Button

    Was asked: if a care centre (details supplied) will be opened for 52 weeks a year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the position in relation to the application by an organisation (details supplied) for further annual investment in its care centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of initial assessments of need of children with disabilities that are carried out per community healthcare organisation annually.More Button

    Was asked: the qualifications that must be held by assessment-of-needs officers; the number of officer positions nationally; his views on whether this number is adequate in meeting assessment demands; and if ...More Button

    Was asked: if funding to a care centre (details supplied) will be increased in order that services can be expanded to support those with multiple sclerosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Budget 2019

    Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a pre-budget submission; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: if budget requests from an organisation (details supplied) will be allocated in budget 2019; 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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

    Departmental Agencies Funding

    Was asked: the amount of section 39 funding by county to an organisation (details supplied).More Button

    Departmental Funding

    Was asked: the reason an organisation (details supplied) in respect of activities in County Meath receives no funding under section 39.More Button

    Primary Care Centres

    Was asked: the status of the primary care centre in Rialto, Dublin 8, in view of the collapse of a company (details supplied).More Button

    As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly t...More Button

    National Educational Psychological Service Staff

    Was asked: the position regarding a psychologist for a school (details supplied); if a psychologist is in place; when the psychologist position became vacant; if it has been advertised; his plans to fill it i...More Button

    Prescriptions Charges

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

    Medical card holders are required to pay a prescription charge of €2.00 per item for medicines and other prescription items supplied to them by community pharmacists under the General Medical Servi...More Button

    Maternity Services

    Was asked: the number of gynaecologists employed in Cavan General Hospital in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form.More Button

    As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly as soon as possible.More Button

    Was asked: the amount expended outsourcing anomaly scans at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of births at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, in each of the years 2011 to 2017; the number of anomaly scans carried out in each of those years; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 366 together.

      As the queries raised by the Deputy relate to a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.More Button

    Hospital Staff Data

    Was asked: the number of consultant specialists and the title of each employed in Cavan General Hospital in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form.More Button

    As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly as soon as possible.More Button

    Was asked: the number of consultant radiologists attached to University Hospital Waterford; the respective speciality applicable to each radiologist, for example, mammography, MRI and so on of each; his plans...More Button

    As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.More Button

    Was asked: if there are vacant posts at the maternity ward in Mayo University Hospital; if so, the length of time the posts have been vacant; the reason for the vacancies; when the posts are due to be filled;...More Button

    As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.More Button

    Was asked: the number of staff vacancies approved both current and new waiting to be filled by grade across all the statutory hospitals for each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018 (details supplied...More Button

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

    Nursing Staff Data

    Was asked: the number of nurses employed in Cavan General Hospital in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018 in tabular form.More Button

    As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly as soon as possible.More Button

    Medicinal Products Reimbursement

    Was asked: the steps he is taking to ensure that the drug Spinraza is made available to persons with spinal muscular atrophy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

    The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria f...More Button

    For a medicine to be considered for reimbursement by the HSE, it must first have a marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HP...More Button

    HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE...More Button

    The NCPE uses a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention. This process ensures that only treatments that are clinical and cost effecti...More Button

    The HSE strives to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible. However, because of the significant monies involved, it must ensure that the best price is achieved, as these commitments ar...More Button

    Nusinersen (Spinraza) is indicated for the treatment of 5q spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disorder characterised by progressive muscle atrophy and weakness. More Button

    In May 2017, the EMA granted market authorisation for nusinersen and in October 2017, the HSE received a reimbursement application for nusinersen. More Button

    In December 2017, the NCPE completed a HTA of nusinersen and did not recommend reimbursement at the price submitted. No decision has been arrived as yet on the application for the reimbursement o...More Button

    Was asked: if access to new treatments for MS patients (details supplied) will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: if the finger test strip utilisation monitoring is indicating a cost or a saving (details supplied); the measures the HSE has determined to be the next steps in the finger test strips utilisation m...More Button

    Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred t...More Button

    Pharmacy Regulations

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

    The Pharmacy Act 2007 established the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) and the functions of the Society are set out in the Act. The functions of the PSI are carried out on its behalf by the ...More Button

    Section 30 of the Act provides for an exception to the general provision in the Act which requires the sale and supply of medicines at a pharmacy to be conducted under the personal supervision of...More Button

    Section 30 also permits the Council to make rules as to:More Button

    1. What may or may not be done by a registered pharmaceutical assistant when acting on behalf of a registered pharmacist; andMore Button

    2. What constitutes the temporary absence of a registered pharmacist.More Button

    On June 21, the Council of the Society approved for issuance for public consultation the proposed draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 201...More Button

    Following completion of the public consultation phase, the Council of the PSI considered the proposed draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules...More Button

    Correspondence outlining the concerns of registered pharmaceutical assistants has been received by my Department. My role in relation to this process is limited to the consideration of any such R...More Button

    I await the receipt of the Rules for my consideration from the PSI and until that time, I am unfortunately not in a position to comment any further on the matter raised.More Button

    Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding pharmaceutical assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Pharmacy Act 2007 established the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) and the functions of the Society are set out in the Act. The functions of the PSI are carried out on its behalf by the ...More Button

    Section 30 of the Act provides for an exception to the general provision in the Act which requires the sale and supply of medicines at a pharmacy to be conducted under the personal supervision of...More Button

    Section 30 also permits the Council to make rules as to: More Button

    1. What may or may not be done by a registered pharmaceutical assistant when acting on behalf of a registered pharmacist; and More Button

    2. What constitutes the temporary absence of a registered pharmacist.More Button

    On June 21, the Council of the Society approved for issuance for public consultation the proposed draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 201...More Button

    Following completion of the public consultation phase, the Council of the PSI considered the proposed draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules...More Button

    Correspondence outlining the concerns of registered pharmaceutical assistants has been received by my Department. My role in relation to this process is limited to the consideration of any such R...More Button

    I await the receipt of the Rules for my consideration from the PSI and until that time, I am unfortunately not in a position to comment any further on the matter raised. More Button

    Medical Qualifications

    Was asked: the position regarding the need for locum consultant post applicants, particularly within psychiatry, to hold specialist registration in the general division; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

    The HSE Policy in respect of consultant appointments including psychiatry, both permanent and temporary, has a requirement that they are on the relevant Specialist Register. In March 2008, the HSE ...More Button

    HSE HR Circular 021/2017 addressed in detail the qualifications required for consultant posts. The effect of this is that applicants who are not registered in the relevant specialist division can...More Button

    The HSE has advised however that there are circumstances where it has been required to continue to appoint doctors who were not on the Specialist Register to fill consultant posts that were vacan...More Button

    Medicinal Products Availability

    Was asked: if the drug niraparib will be made available to a person (details supplied) in view of the fact that they are platinum resistant and due to this were refused access to the drug by the compassionate...More Button

    The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria ...More Button

    In line with the 2013 Act, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE pursuant to the community drugs schemes, the company must first submit an application to the HSE to have ...More Button

    As outlined in the Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines, and in line with the 2013 Act, the HSE will decide, within 180 days of receiving the application (or a longer period...More Button

    HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE...More Button

    I have been informed that the NCPE completed a rapid review on Niraparib (Zejula) on 21 June 2018. They recommended that a full HTA be conducted to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost effe...More Button

    Was asked: when the diet supplement Kuvan will be available to late treated adults with PKU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Health Service Executive (HSE) has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The ...More Button

    Hospital Appointments Status

    Was asked: if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (details supplied) will be called for a MRI scan at University Hospital Waterford; 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital 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

    The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (details supplied) will secure an appointment to see an ENT specialist at the Royal College of Surgeons.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, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (details supplied) will be scheduled for surgery; 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (details supplied) was placed on the public waiting list for surgery.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, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (detail supplied) who is on the waiting list for three years will have hip surgery; 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: if a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will have knee surgery; 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: the status of 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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

    Bullying in the Workplace

    Was asked: the number of complaints in regard to bullying that have been submitted by nurses and midwives via the HSE's new complaints notification process created as part of the organisation's dignity at wor...More Button

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

    Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

    Was asked: the plans in place in order to address the shortage of anaphylactic pens here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has advised that it is aware of the global intermittent supply of certain adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) that has subsequently impacted the Irish m...More Button

    The Medicine Shortages Framework was launched in September. It is a collaborative initiative that brings together key players in the health sector with the aim of developing strategies to mitigat...More Button

    The HPRA provides the platform for, and facilitates the coordination of, all stakeholders to share information in order to prevent or mitigate the impact of medicine shortages when they occur. A ...More Button

    Under this framework, the HPRA has been working closely with all suppliers of AAIs in Ireland to reduce the impact of supply disruptions on patients and healthcare professionals. As a result, whi...More Button

    Due to the general increased demand for AAIs at this time of year individual pharmacies may still be experiencing supply issues, but there are supplies within the system and more are expected in ...More Button

    While the supply situation for individual AAIs is subject to change the HPRA will be maintaining regular contact with all AAI suppliers and other relevant stakeholders, including wholesalers and ...More Button

    Patients and their carers should familiarise themselves with any AAI that has been supplied to them, especially if it is one they have not received previously. If a patient has any questions rela...More Button

    Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans

    Was asked: his plans to reduce the outpatient waiting list for neurology at University Hospital Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Improving waiting times for hospital procedures and outpatient appointments is a key commitment in the Programme for Government. More Button

    In 2018, the HSE expects to deal with a total 3.3m out-patient attendances at an overall ratio of new to return patients of 1:2.5. The HSE also advises that in 2017 almost half a million (479,000...More Button

    My Department is engaging with the HSE and the NTPF to finalise an Outpatient Action Plan. This Plan will aim to reduce the growth in the number of patients waiting for outpatient services throug...More Button

    In relation to the specific query raised in relation to plans to reduce the neurology waiting list at University Hospital Waterford, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond t...More Button

    Medical Card Administration

    Was asked: the way in which applications for medical cards from persons with severe rheumatoid arthritis are considered in the context of their condition; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The HSE's Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility examined the issue of awarding medical cards on the basis of illness and concluded that it was not feasible, desirable, nor ethic...More Button

    Medical card provision is based on financial assessment. In accordance with the provisions of the Health Act 1970 (as amended), eligibility for a medical card is determined by the HSE. The Act ob...More Button

    Every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of the difficult circumstan...More Button

    Was asked: if the medical card application process will be reviewed to assess under discretionary medical grounds before assessing income (details supplied).More Button

    The HSE's Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility examined the issue of awarding medical cards on the basis of illness and among its conclusions was the recommendation that a pers...More Button

    Nevertheless, every effort is made by the HSE, within the framework of the legislation, to support applicants in applying for a medical card and, in particular, to take full account of the diffic...More Button

    It should be noted, in certain circumstances, the HSE may exercise discretion and grant a medical card, even though an applicant exceeds his or her income threshold, where he or she faces difficu...More Button

    Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

    Was asked: the reason for the delay of 34 months in County Wexford for an appointment with a child and adolescent primary care psychologist; the further reason the service is taking no urgent appointments; an...More Button

    Home Help Service Provision

    Was asked: the progress to date in the determination of an application for additional home support in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: when 15 hours of home support will be provided for a person (details supplied).More Button

    Homeless Accommodation Provision

    Was asked: the number of beds in homeless accommodation; if they are supported temporary accommodation, temporary emergency accommodation or other available specifically for homeless persons leaving hospital ...More Button

    Mental Health Services

    Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the waiting times for accessing mental health supports in Dublin 5 (details supplied) is 16 weeks; the steps he is taking in order to address the ma...More Button

    Was asked: the waiting times for an appointment in each of the mental health services in Dublin 5 (details supplied); the average time a patient will wait for an appointment in each of these facilities; and i...More Button

    Dental Services

    Was asked: if changes will be brought forward to the Dentists Act 1985 which would allow dental hygienists to treat patients without the need for supervision by a dentist; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

    My Department is currently developing new legislation to replace the Dentists Act, 1985. The role and the regulation of dental hygienists is being examined in the context of this new legislation. T...More Button

    Dental Services Provision

    Was asked: if a review will be carried out into the dental care provided to long-stay patients at nursing home facilities (details supplied); his plans to amend legislation in this area in order to provide a ...More Button

    A new National Oral Health Policy is currently being finalised by my Department and I expect it will be published later this year. The Policy will replace the Dental Health Action Plan, published ...More Button

    The aim of the policy is to develop a model of care that will enable preventative approaches to be prioritised, improve access, and support interventions appropriate to current and future oral he...More Button

    My Department is also currently developing new legislation to replace the Dentists Act 1985. The regulation and role of dental hygienists is being examined in the context of this new legislation...More Button

    Assisted Human Reproduction

    Was asked: if zygotes stored in Irish or international clinics that are formed prior to the full commencement of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 but are still yet to be implanted will be covere...More Button

    After commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 the provisions of the Act are confined to procedures carried out in the State and where the child is born in ...More Button

    Air Ambulance Service

    Was asked: if a helipad will be provided at Wexford General Hospital in view of the establishment of a service (details supplied) based in Mallow and covering an area including County Wexford; and if he will ...More Button

    Engagement is ongoing between the National Ambulance Service and the Irish Community Rapid Response in relation to a proposed air ambulance service for the South and I await the submission of an ag...More Button

    I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to any plans to develop a helipad at Wexford General Hospital. I should however explain that a process is in place for the agreement a...More Button

    Drug Treatment Programmes

    Was asked: the measures being taken to address the rise in use of crack cocaine in view of the reported increase of this substance in recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: his views on the impact of crack cocaine in Dublin; and the measures being put in place to help persons seek treatment. More Button

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

    Addiction Treatment Services

    Was asked: the number of detox beds available by county; the average length of time a person is waiting to access such a bed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Mental Health Services Staff

    Was asked: if he will report on the lack of trained psychiatrists in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital metabolic unit and the HSE mental health services for late treated adults with PKU; and if he w...More Button

    Was asked: the recommended number of early intervention and prevention counsellor posts in each CHO area; the level of vacancies in these posts; and the detail of counsellor numbers employed between the HSE a...More Button

    Health Services Staff

    Was asked: his plans for an increase in funding for a community based podiatrist for persons with diabetes in County Sligo (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 attention and direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

    Was asked: if funding for an additional community based diabetes podiatrist in County Limerick will be made available in the upcoming budget; the reason Limerick had the second largest year-on-year increase i...More Button

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

      Question No. 375 answered with Question No. 205.More Button

    Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that physiotherapists within the Health Service Executive who have submitted a section 38 registration application to CORU and are awaiting approval have...More Button

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

    Was asked: if the number of physiotherapists within the Health Service Executive who have been downgraded to work as physiotherapy assistants while awaiting CORU registration and the impact it has on patient ...More Button

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

    Was asked: the status of CORU physiotherapist registration processing times; if he is satisfied that processing times are adequate; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The two year transition period for the Physiotherapists in question to register with the Physiotherapists Registration Board (CORU) commenced in September 2016. This means that these physiotherapi...More Button

    During this two year period, CORU met with and continually encouraged physiotherapists to register in a timely manner. This included visits by the CEO and her team to many hospitals and meetings...More Button

    A number of Physiotherapists left it until the closing stages of the two year period to apply for registration, with much of the documentation submitted being incomplete despite extensive informa...More Button

    Hospital Appointments Delays

    Was asked: the reason for the delay in 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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: the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting so long for an appointment in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital; 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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

    HSE Properties

    Was asked: his plans to upgrade the HSE facilities at Erkina House, Rathdowney, County Laois. More Button

    Patient Transfers

    Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to plans to transfer the patients of Erkina House, Rathdowney, County Laois to other facilities; and the consultation that has taken place with the patients or their...More Button

    National Dementia Strategy Implementation

    Was asked: the community supports for persons with dementia here; his plans to expand the support levels for persons with dementia; his further plans to meet dementia advocacy groups to discuss increases in f...More Button

    Medicinal Products

    Was asked: the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) to whom medicinal cannabis has been recommended here and in another EU state as being beneficial but which practitioners here are refu...More Button

    The Department is not in a position to advise or comment on individual cases.

      Medical practitioners and patients may consult the Department of Health website which contains in...More Button

    Was asked: the progress being made to deal with the difficulties in having medicinal cannabis prescribed for patients in cases in which this is recommended; if the matter will be discussed with the Medical Co...More Button

    The Deputy may already be aware already that under the Misuse of Drugs legal framework, it is open to a medical practitioner to apply for a Ministerial licence for medical cannabis for the treatmen...More Button

    Health Services Funding

    Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a recent survey regarding whether funding for extra community based podiatrists in County Kildare to support the diabetes community will be made available in the ...More Button

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

    Was asked: if the general practitioner capital fund will be reinstated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I assume the Deputy is referring to the General Practice Development Fund which was in operation between 1993 and 2010. There are no plans to reinstate this fund. However, the Government is commit...More Button

    The goal is to develop a contractual framework that has a population health focus, providing in particular for health promotion, disease prevention and for the structured care of chronic conditio...More Button

    There is potential for State expenditure on General Practitioner services to increase significantly in coming years if the talks are successful. Engagement with GP representatives on contractual ...More Button

    Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a budget 2019 request; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I am aware that at the recent launch of a research report, DEBRA Ireland made a request for ringfenced funding for care packages for Epidermolysis Bullosa patients.More Button

    All funding requests are considered as part of the Estimates process in the context of competing priorities. However, funding for care packages is not based on specialty, but rather on an indepe...More Button

    Ministerial Meetings

    Was asked: the reason he has been unable to meet with the family of a person (details supplied). More Button

    I would wish to assure the Deputy that my office has been in regular correspondence with the person concerned in order to attempt to arrange a meeting. Unfortunately, it has not yet proved possibl...More Button

    HSE Reports

    Was asked: the progress being made on implementing the recommendations of the HSE report 51449 (details supplied).More Button

    As this is a service matter I have referred the Deputy's question to the HSE and asked them to respond directly to the Deputy. More Button

    Was asked: the status of implementing the recommendations of the 2017 external report on the national screening service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

    Was asked: the status of implementing the recommendations of the 2017 external report on the National Screening Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 271 and 315 together.

      I understand that the report to which the Deputy refers was commissioned by the HSE and that its recommendations are unde...More Button

    Hospital Beds Data

    Was asked: the number of inpatient and day case public patient beds in each public and voluntary hospital in tabular form.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: the number of additional beds to be provided in modular units in 2018 for each relevant acute hospital in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of additional beds provided in each relevant acute hospital to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 and 306 together.

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

    Cross-Border Health Initiatives

    Was asked: the evidence required for the cross-border healthcare directive to prove a person is on a public waiting list here. More Button

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

    Home Care Packages Provision

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

    Health Services Provision

    Was asked: if a person (details supplied) can receive treatment in University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.More Button

    Was asked: if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter.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

      Question No. 314 answered with Question No. 270.More Button

      Question No. 315 answered with Question No. 271.More Button

    Cannabis for Medicinal Use

    Was asked: if the medical cannabis expert reference group has concluded its report on guidelines for the proposed medical cannabis access programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Considerable progress is being made in relation to the Cannabis for Medical Use Access Programme. The Deputy will be aware that an Expert Group has drawn up clinical guidance for healthcare profess...More Button

    These clinical guidelines have been published on the Department of Health’s website, as part of a comprehensive repository of information on cannabis for medical use; including information on the...More Button

    health.gov.ie/blog/publications/cannabis-for-medical-use.More Button

    Vaccination Programme

    Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the HPV vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Health Service Executive is committed to providing accurate information for parents about diseases, the vaccines to prevent them and side effects to allow them to choose whether to give consent...More Button

    As this PQ refers to a service issue, I have referred it to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

    Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a radio campaign is being run stating that the flu vaccine is free for at-risk groups but does not mention that a consultation fee may be charged as...More Button

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

    Hospital Services

    Was asked: if all blood samples that are taken in sexual assault treatment units after a rape has occurred are tested for date rape drugs; his plans to fund and run a pilot study in which all blood samples ta...More Button

    The Deputy's question deals mainly with service-level and operational components of SATU, therefore his question has been referred to the HSE who will respond to these queries directly. The Ministe...More Button

    Was asked: the waiting time for X-rays to be read and advised to the referring general practitioner by hospital; and his views on the unacceptable wait of weeks before the result is advised in so many cases.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

    Bereavement Counselling Services Provision

    Was asked: his plans to extend bereavement counselling services for children under 18 years of age that have been affected by the sudden death of a parent.More Button

    Cancer Screening Programmes

    Was asked: the status of the supplementary report into the CervicalCheck screening programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    On 12 September 2018, the Report of the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, was published following a Government decision. Government has accepted ...More Button

    The Report is unequivocal in stating that the widespread non-disclosure of the results of historical screening audits was a substantial breach of trust for the women and families concerned. It ca...More Button

    However, Dr Scally is clear in his report that the Inquiry is satisfied with the quality management processes in the labs contracted by CervicalCheck. His report presents no evidence that the rat...More Button

    Crucially, he has confirmed that he finds no reason why the existing contracts for laboratory services should not continue until the new HPV regime is introduced. This is very welcome reassurance...More Button

    The report highlights issues with accreditation of some of the laboratories used in the past for CervicalCheck work. In light of this, Dr Scally has undertaken to do further work, on which he wil...More Button

    Was asked: the status of the roll-out of the HPV test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

    I approved the switch to HPV testing as the primary screening mechanism for the CervicalCheck programme in February 2018, with cytology as a reflex test. This will involve a reconfiguration of the ...More Button

    The introduction of the HPV test as the primary screening test is a key priority, which will significantly improve the accuracy of the screening process. My Department is engaging with the HSE to...More Button

    Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 165, 166 and 171 of 26 September 2018, if he will answer the specific questions (details supplied) contained in the original questions which to date his reply...More Button

    As outlined in previous Parliamentary Questions to the Deputy, screening tests are a balance of sensitivity and specificity and therefore include both false negative and false positive results whic...More Button

    The Deputy has asked about the qualifications of screeners employed by laboratories outside of this country which provide services to CervicalCheck, and about a risk assessment in relation to the...More Button

    The Scoping Inquiry, led by Dr. Gabriel Scally, reported in September. Its terms of reference, developed following cross-party engagement, included examination of the tendering, contracting, oper...More Button

    Dr. Scally is clear in his report that the Inquiry is satisfied with the quality management processes in the laboratories contracted by CervicalCheck. All of the laboratories visited by the Scopi...More Button

    Dr. Scally has undertaken to carry out a supplementary report into certain further aspects of the laboratories, including accreditation. He has also made a number of key recommendations in relati...More Button

    Was asked: the efforts being made to reduce waiting times of circa 17 weeks for women participating in smear tests in circumstances in which they have been advised of abnormalities and have had issues with te...More Button

    Following a Government decision on 1 May, I asked CervicalCheck to make the necessary arrangements to provide that any woman who has had a CervicalCheck smear test, and whose GP considers that they...More Button

    The HSE has advised that every effort is being made to ensure that tests are processed as quickly as possible, having regard to the high standards required for testing. In relation to the specifi...More Button

    Question No. 301 answered with Question No. 240.More Button

    HSE Staff Responsibilities

    Was asked: his views on the performance achievement policy for the Health Service Executive; if he is satisfied that full compliance with the policy has been achieved; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

    Was asked: his views on the performance achievement policy of the Health Service Executive; if he is satisfied that full compliance with the policy has been achieved; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 and 314 together.

      Paragraph 2.7.2 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 to 2020 provides that appropriate performance management ...More Button

    Treatment Abroad Scheme

    Was asked: the outsourcing contracts in place regarding hospitals (details supplied).More Button

    Last year, the HSE published the Scoliosis Waiting List Update and Service Development Plan, which addressed treatment of children requiring corrective surgery for Scoliosis. More Button

    The approach set out in the Plan included insourcing of surgical procedures in the Children’s Hospital Group (CHG) and the broader public hospital sector, as well as outsourcing  initiatives, inc...More Button

    In relation to outsourcing contracts in place at CHG, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.More Button

    Was asked: the reason only one child has been forwarded for treatment abroad by the HSE during 2018 even though four month targets have not been met and some children have been left waiting so long for their ...More Button

    Was asked: if children (details supplied) are now discharged from their HSE orthopaedic specialist consultant here; and the person that will routinely follow-up these patients.More Button

    Was asked: the cost in regard to the tendering process of the outsourcing contracts for scoliosis surgeries during 2017 (details supplied); the other costs that were incurred during this process, that is, ren...More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 273, 277 and 278 together.More Button

    Last year, the HSE published the Scoliosis Waiting List Update and Service Development Plan, which addressed treatment for children requiring corrective surgery for scoliosis. The approach set ou...More Button

    In 2017, as part of the outsourcing initiative, families were offered the opportunity to have their child's surgery abroad. CHG advise that in total as part of this initiative 28 patients have ha...More Button

    As a result of the additional €9m provided to the HSE in Budget 2018, the CHG advise that the increased investment has started to see the service stabilise and the current capacity expand to meet...More Button

    Notwithstanding, this year a small number of families were offered the opportunity to have their child's surgery abroad, but did not avail of the offer as they did not want to travel abroad. One ...More Button

    The CHG advise that the investment in paediatric orthopaedics this year, which includes scoliosis services, has already improved access for surgery and outpatient review. The impact of investment...More Button

    The CHG advise that details of the costs associated with outsourcing are subject to confidentiality that applies to the procurement process with regard to information supplied by bidders, includi...More Button

    Hospital Waiting Lists

    Was asked: the reason such a large proportion of children who are clinically listed for spinal surgery have been moved to a suspended category of wait list. More Button

    I am sorry that any child and their family experience a long waiting time for treatment for scoliosis. More Button

    However, the Children's Hospital Group have advised that the clinical criteria for determining a care plan for scoliosis related surgeries and other spinal procedures is complex and is based on e...More Button

    For some children who have additional problems which may require multidisciplinary team management, their treatment plan often requires extensive discussions so that the appropriate surgery can b...More Button

    The Children's Hospital Group advise that all suspensions of scoliosis patients are managed in line with NTPF guidelines. Patients in the suspended category are those that are not clinically read...More Button

    The CHG advise that at the end of September there were 24 patients on the suspended list at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and in reviewing these patients there appears to be a number of ...More Button

    Was asked: if the Children's Hospital Group, CHG, is actively following national protocols as per the National Treatment Purchase Fund, NTPF; and the person or body that oversees the wait lists in the CHG ens...More Button

    The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) is responsible for collecting and validating all waiting lists for public hospitals. More Button

    As part of its statutory responsibilities the NTPF has also developed the National Waiting List Management Protocol, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, d...More Button

    This Protocol, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists. Furthermore, the NTPF also undertakes an annual audit programme o...More Button

    The Children's Hospital Group (CHG) advise that all suspensions are managed in line with NTPF guidelines. Scoliosis patients in the suspended category are those that are not clinically ready for ...More Button

    The CHG advise that at the end of September there were 24 patients on the suspended list at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and in reviewing these patients there appears to be a number of ...More Button

    Was asked: the status of a cataract 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

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

    Question No. 350 answered with Question No. 303.More Button

    Hospital Waiting Lists Data

    Was asked: the wait time for a first scoliosis assessment with a specialist surgeon hospital (details supplied).More Button

    Was asked: the average wait time for spinal surgery once a child has been placed on a surgery list in hospitals (details supplied). More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 275 and 276 together.More Button

    The Children's Hospital Group advise that Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin currently have 247 patients that have been referred to OPD for review under the category of scoliosis or spinal...More Button

    In relation to the average wait times for spinal surgery, I have asked CHG to provide me with this information, and will provide it to the Deputy when it becomes available.  More Button

    Question No. 277 and 278 answered with Question No. 273.More Button

    Home Help Service Data

    Was asked: the number of home help hours assigned in County Kerry for the month of September 2018, in tabular form; the number of hours provided in each month by HSE home help and private company staff, respe...More Button

    Mental Health Services Data

    Was asked: the number of approved CAMHS consultant psychiatrist posts per local area in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility

    Was asked: if a cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken in respect of the provision of the FreeStyle Libre monitoring system for all persons with type 1 diabetes on the long-term illness scheme; his plans t...More Button

    Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred t...More Button

    Organ Donation

    Was asked: his views on introducing an opt-out clause for organ donors; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The General Scheme of a Human Tissue Bill is being finalised at present and will be submitted to Government for approval shortly. The proposed legislation will include provisions for a soft opt-out...More Button

    Disability Support Services

    Was asked: the action which can be taken to ensure legal costs are returned to staff cleared of wrongdoing at a facility (details supplied) which provides services to adults with intellectual disabilities.More Button

    Emergency Departments Services

    Was asked: if the construction and staffing of the 60-bed unit at University Hospital Limerick (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

    As Minister for Health, I am committed to continuing the effort to address overcrowding in our EDs, and in particular, improving the capacity of the system to respond during periods of peak demand....More Button

    Home Care Packages Funding

    Was asked: the estimated full-year cost of providing 5,000 extra home care packages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Medical Consent

    Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 156 to 158, inclusive, of 26 September 2018, if Defence Forces medical officers are excluded from the legal obligation to obtain prior consent from their pati...More Button

    Defence Forces medical officers who are medical practitioners must hold full registration with the Medical Council and are therefore not exempt from the Medical Council's Guide to Professional Cond...More Button

    Cross-Border Health Services Provision

    Was asked: the reason persons on the public waiting list here are being excluded from the cross-border scheme due to the fact an element of their income is an English pension (details supplied).More Button

    Under the Cross Border Directive it is a person's Member State of affiliation which is responsible for the reimbursing of treatment accessed and not the Member State in which they reside.More Button

    A person's Member State of affiliation is the State in which the person is, or has been, an insured person within the meaning of Article 2 of EU Regulation 883/2004. A person who has worked and p...More Button

    As the particular details of any case to which the Deputy is referring is a service matter, this question has also been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to ...More Button

    Was asked: the reason administrative staff are changing the code of procedures carried out under the cross-border scheme which is resulting in patients only recovering a percentage of the money they paid (det...More Button

    Under the Cross Border Directive (CBD) public patients in Ireland can seek to be referred to another EU/EEA country for a treatment that is available in Ireland. The patient pays for the treatment ...More Button

    It is important to note that reimbursement is confined to the costs of the care itself and that the rates of reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of the provision of the care if it were provided ...More Button

    The HSE has an obligation to check and verify the details of any payments it makes including applications for reimbursement under the Directive. In carrying out due diligence on applications for...More Button

    Health Services Data

    Was asked: the full year cost of recruiting an extra 70 mental health intellectual disability posts for children.More Button

    General Practitioner Data

    Was asked: the number of new general practitioners required over the next five years to provide for the replacement of general practitioners retiring over the same period; the number that will be required for...More Button

    General Practitioners play an important role in the primary care system. The number of GPs on the specialist register continues to increase – up from 2,270 in 2010 to 3,670 as of July 2018 and ther...More Button

    Over the past 6 years, an average of 143 GPs per year entered the GMS scheme compared with an average of 111 GPs per year exiting the scheme for the same period. During 2016 and 2017, an average ...More Button

    I would like to assure the Deputy of the Government's commitment to the continued development of GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country continue to have access to GP services and ...More Button

    The Government is aware of the manpower issues facing general practice and has taken steps to increase the number of GP training places. In 2009, there were 120 General Practice training places a...More Button

    Further efforts undertaken in recent years to increase the number of practising GPs include changes to the entry provisions to the GMS scheme to accommodate more flexible/shared GMS/GP contracts,...More Button

    The Government is also committed to engaging with GP representatives on the development of a package of measures and reforms to modernise the current GMS contract. Agreement on the delivery of se...More Button

    Transport Support Scheme

    Was asked: the position regarding the introduction of the new transport support scheme to replace the mobility allowance; the timeframe for the provision of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the position regarding the introduction of the new transport support scheme to replace the mobility allowance; the timeframe for the provision of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Hospital Procedures

    Was asked: if a surgical procedure will be expedited 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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed t...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

    National Treatment Purchase Fund Data

    Was asked: the detail of the allocation of €55 million in 2018 to fund the National Treatment Purchase Fund to address waiting lists for those on same; the amount of this funding which has been spent; the num...More Button

    Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for the Government and €50 million was provided to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) in 2018 to...More Button

    The Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan, published last April outlines the combined impact of HSE and NTPF activity in 2018. The Inpatient Day Case Waiting List figures published by the NTPF for Augus...More Button

    The NTPF advise that in 2017, 9,500 patients accepted offers of treatment, while almost 6,000 patients were treated last year and to the end of September 2018, almost 18,000 patients accepted off...More Button

    In addition, the NTPF are working closely with Hospital Groups inviting proposals to facilitate the trialling of funded interventions for Outpatients, including weekend and out of hours clinics. ...More Button

    Hospitals Data

    Was asked: the number of persons that required in-hospital treatment for diabetes related to foot complications and lower limb loss; the amount allocated to Naas General Hospital in this regard in the past fi...More Button

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

    General Practitioner Contracts

    Was asked: if an organisation (details supplied) will be recognised in negotiations on the new GMS contract; the status of the new GMS contract negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Government is committed to engaging with the representatives of general practitioners on the development of a package of measures and reforms to modernise the 1989 GMS Contract.

     ...More Button

    Was asked: the status of the review of free general practitioner care contract for children under six years of age; when this review will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    A review of the GP Contract governing the provision of care to children under six years of age has not commenced. My first priority is the development of a package of measures and reforms to moder...More Button

    The goal is to develop a contractual framework that has a population health focus, providing in particular for health promotion, disease prevention and for the structured care of chronic conditio...More Button

    Agreement on the delivery of these much needed service improvements and contractual reforms has the potential to facilitate a substantial increase in the resourcing of general practice on a multi...More Button

    Dental Services Expenditure

    Was asked: when the pre-economic crisis budget for the dental treatment services scheme will be reinstated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental treatments to medical card holders. In 2010 the range of treatments provided under the Scheme was reduced in order to cap expenditure at ...More Button

    A new National Oral Health Policy is currently being developed and I expect it will be published later this year. The aim of the policy is to develop a model of care that will enable preventative...More Button

    Autism Support Services

    Was asked: the level of funding being provided to an autism support organisation in each CHO area in each of the years 2011 to 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the provision in 2018 in each CHO area for autism assistance dogs for persons who may require one; the provision made in each of the years 2011 to 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a state...More Button

    HSE Reviews

    Was asked: when the 2017 review of the HSE National Review of Autism Services - Past, Present and Way Forward 2012 will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Assisted Human Reproduction Legislation

    Was asked: the progress made regarding the establishment of a regulatory body for assisted human reproduction, including surrogacy further to the report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction; his p...More Button

    As you will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, which will be based on the published General Scheme, in O...More Button

    Officials in my Department are engaging with the Office of the Attorney General in relation to the process of drafting this Bill. The General Scheme is published on my Department’s website and th...More Button

    The specific provisions relating to surrogacy are outlined in Part 6 of the General Scheme. These provisions outline the specific conditions under which surrogacy in Ireland will be permitted, in...More Button

    Commercial surrogacy raises a number of concerns relating to the welfare and commodification of the children involved as well as the potential risks of coercion and exploitation of financially vu...More Button

    The aim of the AHR legislation is to promote and ensure the health and safety of parents, others involved in the process (such as donors and surrogates) and, most importantly, the children who wi...More Button

    Midwifery Services Provision

    Was asked: the estimated amount it would cost in a full year if 350 extra midwives were recruited; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

    Medicinal Products Prices

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

    The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act specifies the criteria f...More Button

    For a medicine to be considered for reimbursement by the HSE, it must first have a marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HP...More Button

    HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). The NCPE...More Button

    The NCPE uses a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention. This process ensures that only treatments that are clinical and cost effecti...More Button

    The HSE strives to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible. However, because of the significant monies involved, it must ensure that the best price is achieved, as these commitments ar...More Button

    Nusinersen (Spinraza) is indicated for the treatment of 5q spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disorder characterised by progressive muscle atrophy and weakness. More Button

    In May 2017, the EMA granted market authorisation for nusinersen and in October 2017, the HSE received a reimbursement application for nusinersen. More Button

    In December 2017, the NCPE completed a HTA of nusinersen and did not recommend reimbursement at the price submitted. No decision has been arrived as yet on the application for the reimbursement o...More Button

    Two members of the Beneluxa Initiative (Belgium and the Netherlands) completed a joint negotiation for the reimbursement of nusinersen in July 2018. This process began before Ireland joined the c...More Button

    In February I received the Report on Evaluating Orphan Drugs from the Joint Committee on Health. Currently my Department is examining the Committee's Report and its recommendations. The report r...More Button

    Mental Health Services Provision

    Was asked: the sale prices and dates of sale for each lot that comprised the former St. Senan's Hospital and associated lands in Enniscorthy; if the moneys achieved by the sales were ring-fenced for mental he...More Button

    Diabetes Strategy

    Was asked: the next steps as determined by the HSE in finger test strip utilisation monitoring with respect to the management of patients with diabetes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred t...More Button

    Was asked: if the finger test strip utilisation monitoring is indicating a cost or a saving over the six months since the FreeStyle Libre reimbursement scheme was launched on 3 April 2018 to young persons wit...More Button

    Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred t...More Button

    Was asked: the way in which persons who have qualified for the use of the FreeStyle Libre device and now turn 22 years of age are to be treated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred t...More Button

    Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

    Was asked: the progress he has made to develop a performance measurement system which will improve accountability across local and regional drug task forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Hospital Charges

    Was asked: the way in which he will abolish inpatient charges for patients receiving treatment for cancer; when these charges will be abolished; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The Health Act 1970 (as amended) provides that all people ordinarily resident in the country are entitled, subject to certain charges, to public in-patient hospital services including consultant se...More Button

    On this basis, where treatment for cancer is classed as a day case procedure and is not carried out in an out-patient setting, the public in-patient charge applies.More Button

    Patient Data

    Was asked: the number of persons receiving inpatient treatment for cancer who do not qualify for a medical card and do not have private health insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.More Button

    Disease Incidence

    Was asked: if annual data on the number of persons presenting and being diagnosed with Lyme disease is being recorded; the steps he has taken to address any increases in cases; and if he will make a statement...More Button

    The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is responsible for the surveillance of notifiable infectious diseases such as Lyme disease. The HPSC website (www.hpsc.ie) gives extensiv...More Button

    Medical Card Reviews

    Was asked: if a person (details supplied) will be refunded for medication the person purchased while the person's medical card was being reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred t...More Button

    Disability Services Data

    Was asked: the level of unmet personal assistant hours; the level of met personal assistant hours; his plans to undertake research on the matter in order that planning for future budgets can be costed; and if...More Button

    Medical Aids and Appliances Applications Data

    Was asked: the number of children waiting to be fitted for shoes, pedro boots and insoles for same by county (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 HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

    International Programmes

    Was asked: if he plans to continue with Ireland's participation in the human biomonitoring programme DEMOCOPHES; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Ireland's participation in DEMOCOPHES (DEMOnstration of a study to COordinate and Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale) ended in November 2012 when the project came to a conclusion. The ...More Button

    Rare Diseases

    Was asked: the progress of the rare diseases medical product technology review committee; the drugs that have been referred to it by the HSE; the way in which it is scheduling or prioritising the review of ea...More Button

    As the question refers to the National Rare Disease Technology Review Committee it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

    HSE Staff

    Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a HSE position; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I understand that the EB outreach nurse post is currently being funded by the HSE for 3 years, from January 2017 to the end of 2019 and that this post has hugely benefitted families and patients’ a...More Button

    Funding beyond 2019 to support this clinical nurse specialist outreach post will be considered within the HSE in the first instance next year in the context of service prioritisation for 2020 and...More Button

    Nursing Homes Support Scheme Eligibility

    Was asked: when the new contributory assessment conditions under the fair deal scheme will come into practice whereby land and businesses will be excluded after three years; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

    Disability Support Services Funding

    Was asked: if the requested funding of €600,000 will be provided to an organisation (details supplied) to enable a respite facility to open 52 weeks of the year instead of 40 weeks a year; and if he will make...More Button

    Was asked: if the further €600,000 will be allocated to a group (details supplied) for its care centre in Dublin.More Button

    HSE Staff Data

    Was asked: the number of staff across all grades working at the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the full budget allocated to the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the scope of responsibility of the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton; the facilities for which it is responsible for recruitment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of staff vacancies unfilled both new and current across all grades at the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of vacant positions across all grades that are before the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton awaiting final appointment (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

    Was asked: the number of positions across all grades filled by the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton in each of the years 2011 to 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of staff working at the National Recruitment Service, Manorhamilton; the budget assigned to it for each of the years 2011 to 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 353 to 359, inclusive, together.

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

    HSE Agency Staff Expenditure

    Was asked: the expenditure on agency staff by each statutory hospital in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the expenditure on agency staff for all the voluntary hospitals in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 361 and 362 together.

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

    Health Services Staff Recruitment

    Was asked: the average time to finally fill each position across all grades the national recruitment service, Manorhamilton, is responsible for over the years 2011 to 2017 (details supplied); and if he will m...More Button

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

    Maternity Services Provision

    Was asked: when anomaly scans will be available to all maternity patients at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The National Maternity Strategy is very clear that all women must have equal access to standardised ultrasound services. The Strategy is being implemented on a phased basis and this work is being ...More Button

    Furthermore, additional development funding of €4.15 million is being allocated to maternity services this year. The Programme has prioritised improving quality and safety, establishing communit...More Button

    Pending the completion of the requisite recruitment and training processes, I am assured that the Programme will continue to work with the six Hospital Groups to assist in increasing access to an...More Button

    HSE Data

    Was asked: the number of contracts and the accumulated total of all contracts procured for each year to date since the establishment of the HBS procurement service; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

    Was asked: the number of staff across all grades working at the HBS procurement service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the budget allocated to the HBS procurement service versus expenditure for each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of services and contracts awaiting procurement at the HBS procurement service across all hospital groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 367 to 369, inclusive, and 372 together.

      I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you as this is a service matter.More Button

    Health Services Staff Data

    Was asked: the expenditure on agency staff costs in each of the years 2011 to 2017 at the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Was asked: the number of unfilled staff vacancies both current and new across all grades at Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 370 and 371 together.

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

      Question No. 372 answered with Question No. 367.More Button

    Ministerial Communications

    Was asked: if there is a policy regarding ministerial use of private email for Government business in his Department; and if so, if it will be published.More Button

    There is no specific policy regarding Ministerial use of private email for Government business in place in the Department. Such matters are pertinent to the office of the Taoiseach. More Button

    All users on the Department's network must adhere to the ICT acceptable usage policy document which states that “As there is no way of filtering the messages relayed by these providers, they pose...More Button

    Official Engagements

    Was asked: if he or officials in his Department attended the 2018 Ryder Cup; if so, the reason they attended; the days on which they attended; the officials they met from a Ryder Cup organisation or the Europ...More Button

    Neither I nor my junior Minister colleagues attended the Ryder Cup. I have surveyed the Department for details of any officials from the Department attending in an official capacity. I can confir...More Button