265. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if transplant patients who must take immunosuppressant medication for the rest of their lives following transplantations will be covered under the long-term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19688/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme was established under section 59(3) of the Health Act 1970 (as amended). The conditions covered by the LTI are: acute leukaemia; mental handicap; cerebral palsy; mental illness (in a person under 16); cystic fibrosis; multiple sclerosis; diabetes insipidus; muscular dystrophies; diabetes mellitus; parkinsonism; epilepsy; phenylketonuria; haemophilia; spina bifida; hydrocephalus; and conditions arising from the use of ...

149. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if there is a levy (details supplied) on overnight hospital bed stays; if so, the reason the levy exists; the cost in this regard; the persons who are exempt from the levy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19343/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Hospital Charges)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Act 1970 (as amended) provides that all persons ordinarily resident in the country are, subject to certain charges, eligible for public in-patient hospital services. As provided for by the Health (Amendment) Act 2013, the current public hospital statutory in-patient charge for public in-patient and day-case services is €80 per day, subject to a maximum of €800 in any period of twelve consecutive months. 
This nominal charge represents a contr...

157. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of his plans to add the FreeStyle Libre blood monitoring sensor to the long-term illness or drug reimbursement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19356/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Medicinal Products Supply)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

376. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if the HSE is allowing medical card holders to be charged for the taking of bloods; if the cost of such a procedure is covered under the medical card scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17582/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - General Medical Services Scheme Administration)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the terms of the current GMS contract, GPs are required to provide eligible patients with ‘’all proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a general practitioner and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree or kind which general practitioners cannot reasonably be expected to possess.” There is no provision under the GMS GP contract for persons who hold a medical card or GP visit card to be charged for routine phle...

408. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for outpatient rheumatology appointments; the number of adults and children waiting, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17825/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 408 and 409 together.
Reducing waiting times for hospital procedures is a key priority of this Government. On 12 April 2018, the Minister launched the Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan 2018. This plan was compiled by the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive, and the National Treatment Purchase Fund. 
As part of the plan, the HSE will deliver 1.14 million hospital operations or procedures and the NTPF will de...

409. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the average waiting time for children and adults, respectively, for rheumatology appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17826/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 408 and 409 together.
Reducing waiting times for hospital procedures is a key priority of this Government. On 12 April 2018, the Minister launched the Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan 2018. This plan was compiled by the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive, and the National Treatment Purchase Fund. 
As part of the plan, the HSE will deliver 1.14 million hospital operations or procedures and the NTPF will de...

410. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of full-time consultant paediatric rheumatology posts in the health service; his views on whether this is an adequate number of such posts to provide these services; if this number of posts is in line with World Health Organization guidelines for the population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17827/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Health Services Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 410 and 411 together.
I am aware that there are challenges in meeting the growing demand for rheumatology services, and that the Health Service Executive is working towards improving access to such services. 
In relation to rheumatology service provision, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible. 
 ...

411. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if another consultant paediatric rheumatologist will be appointed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17828/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Health Services Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 410 and 411 together.
I am aware that there are challenges in meeting the growing demand for rheumatology services, and that the Health Service Executive is working towards improving access to such services. 
In relation to rheumatology service provision, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible. 
 ...

37. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his views on whether it is appropriate for endoscopy day beds in Connolly Hospital to be used to cope with emergency department overcrowding. (Question 17096/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospital Overcrowding)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Against a background of growing demand for unscheduled care and high acute hospital occupancy rates, Government provided €30 million in 2017 and a further €40 million in 2018 for measures to increase acute hospital capacity and alleviate overcrowding in Emergency Departments (EDs). Almost 50% of this funding was used to deliver home support packages and transitional care beds to reduce the incidence of delayed discharges. Furthermore, over 200 beds ha...

80. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if his Department monitors the number of general practitioner practices that are unable to take on new patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17097/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - General Practitioner Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to operational matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.
 ...

236. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the capital funding provided for Connolly Hospital in 2017; and the capital funding allocated for projects (details supplied) during 2017, in tabular form. (Question 17167/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospitals Funding)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): My Department has asked the Health Service Executive to provide you directly with the details requested in respect of capital funding at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown during 2017.  
 ...

725. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the overtime rate for interns in each hospital in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15276/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Hospital Staff Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.
 ...

198. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the actions he and the HSE have undertaken following a decision reached at a meeting (details supplied) he attended with representatives from an organisation (details supplied) and others regarding further discussions to take place relating to funding for Translarna; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14324/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Medicinal Products Prices)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.
The Act specifies the criteria to be applied in the making of reimbursement decisions which include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the product, the opportunity cost and the impact on resources that are available to the ...

211. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if there is to be a reduction in service at a day centre (details supplied); the reason this reduction is occurring; his plans to ensure there is no reduction in services for users of this day centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13432/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Health Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

387. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of work by his Department on the provision of funding for the drug Translarna; the negotiations under way with the supplier of the drug; if consideration will be given to a managed access programme as has been negotiated in the UK; if his attention has been drawn to the distress and deterioration this matter is having on those that require access to this drug; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11557/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Medical Products)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.
The Act specifies the criteria to be applied in the making of reimbursement decisions which include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the product, the opportunity cost and the impact on resources that are available to the HSE....

419. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if a matter (details supplied) regarding interns at Beaumont Hospital will be addressed; if his attention has been drawn to this matter; the steps he will take to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9505/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Hospital Internships)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Haddington Road Agreement, for those on salaries (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay) of €35,000 or greater, overtime is paid at the rate of time and a quarter at the individual’s scale point.
The basic salary of Interns, as specified in the health sector salary scales, is set at €36,492 since 1 January 2018, having increased to €36,131 when the Living Out Allowance was incorporated into basic pay with effect from 1 July 2017. 
The r...

138. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if immunocompromised groups of persons in need of immunisation from tuberculosis are being provided with the BCG vaccination; the measures he is undertaking to ensure there is a sufficient supply of the BCG vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8892/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Vaccination Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The Health Service Executive continues to experience on going delays with the supply of BCG vaccine.  BCG vaccine stock in all areas expired at the end of April 2015 and as of today this continues to be a problem for Ireland and other countries in Europe that use this licensed BCG vaccine.  Since this problem became apparent, the HSE National Immunisation Office (NIO) has been in regular contact with the manufacturer of BCG ...

318. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the details of the new day centre opening in Dublin 15 (details supplied); when it will be open; the location of the centre; the contact details for the service provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8203/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

371. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the measures being taken to assist those persons who can no longer avail of pain-relieving medication (details supplied) following its removal from the medical card scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8520/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Medicines play a vital role in improving the health of Irish patients. Securing access to existing and new and innovative medicines is a key objective of the health service. However, the challenge is to do this in an affordable and sustainable manner. The medicines bill for the community drugs schemes – primarily the GMS, Long Term Illness and Drugs Payment schemes and the High Tech Arrangement - was approximately €1.8 billion in 2017. 
To ensure pat...

344. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of his plans to add the FreeStyle Libre blood monitoring sensor to the long-term illness scheme or reimbursement scheme; the details of the report by the expert group set up under the auspices of the health technology assessment group which considered the FreeStyle Libre application by a company (details supplied) for addition to the reimbursement list in line with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6779/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

38. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of the wider roll-out of the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone. (Question 6446/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Addiction Treatment Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

200. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if funding provision for intensive home care packages, IHCPs, will be increased; if the funding structure for IHCPs will be amended in order that they are provided on a needs basis and not limited by budgetary restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6539/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Home Care Packages Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): The Government is committed to promoting care in the community so that people can continue to live with confidence, security and dignity in their own homes for as long as possible. To support this, we plan to establish a new statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home care services. The Department is currently engaged in a detailed process to progress this.
In the meantime, the Department and HSE are continuing effo...

374. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans to expand availability of Naloxone to persons who use drugs as stated in the national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 to 2025; the level of availability for naloxone; the locations in which it is available; the number of occasions it has been used in an emergency situation in 2016, 2017, and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5567/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 
 ...

375. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the measures in place to warn drug users regarding the dangers of a drug (details supplied); the number of drug overdose cases in which this drug has been linked; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5568/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Drugs-related Deaths)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The National Drug Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is an epidemiological database administered by the Health Research Board which records cases of death by drug and/or alcohol poisoning and death among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent. The Health Research Board published a report on the NDRDI in December 2017, which shows deaths up to 2015, the latest year for which data is available. According to the NDRDI, the...

411. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans to include persons with Parkinson’s disease on the long-term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5862/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The LTI Scheme was established under Section 59(3) of the Health Act 1970 (as amended). The conditions covered by the LTI are: acute leukaemia; mental handicap; cerebral palsy; mental illness (in a person under 16); cystic fibrosis; multiple sclerosis; diabetes insipidus; muscular dystrophies; diabetes mellitus; parkinsonism; epilepsy; phenylketonuria; haemophilia; spina bifida; hydrocephalus; and conditions arising from the use of Thalidomide. Under ...