141. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health if he has engaged with the Department of Justice and Equality on introducing legislation to provide safeguarding officers with access to private settings in view of the reported levels of abuse of vulnerable adults; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44411/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Legislative Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): The safety and protection of vulnerable people in the care of the State is paramount. As the Deputy will be aware, a number of important steps have been taken in recent years to strengthen the protection afforded to vulnerable and adults in the States’s day care and residential care settings.
Within the health sector specifically, the HSE published its national safeguarding policy and procedures, Safeguarding Vulnerable People at R...

142. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health when he plans to introduce the new transport support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44300/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Transport Support Scheme)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the proposed Health (Transport Support) Bill with the Joint Committee on Public Petitions on Wednesday 11th October. The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. Since the closure of the Mobility Allowance, the Government has directed that the Health Service Executive shou...

143. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive an appointment at Letterkenny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44303/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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 Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
 The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing...

144. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) who requires a bone scan cannot receive the scan due to the fact the DXA machine which carries this out in St. Vincent’s Hospital is broken which means that anyone under 21 years of age cannot get the scan carried out; when this machine will be fixed; and if this person can have the required scan carried out elsewhere. (Question 44305/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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 Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which...

145. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health if his designation of two distinct professions, that of counsellor and psychotherapist, in his proposals to regulate counsellors and psychotherapists under the Health and Social Care Act 2005 will introduce minimum standards of education and training; if the regulations will designate psychotherapy as a higher standard than counselling; and if the regulations will require psychotherapists to be qualified to a minimum of masters degree level. (Question 44306/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): It is my intention to have the draft regulations designating the two distinct professions of counsellor and psychotherapist submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas for their approval in late October or early November, 2017. These regulations will also establish the registration board and provide for an increase in the number of positions on Council.
These regulations will not introduce minimum standards of education and training for the professions. T...

146. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 76 of 28 September 2017, if the building will not be replaced pending that review; if so, if the insurance money will remain ring-fenced and safeguarded; when the review started; when it is expected the review will be completed; the stakeholders that are participating in the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44310/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - HSE Properties)

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. 
 ...

147. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the reason the children’s dental services based in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, has been closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44312/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Provision)

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

148. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of children’s dental health services that have closed in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44313/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Data)

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

149. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health his plans to open or reopen children’s dental health services in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44314/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
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150. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the allocation of funding to children’s dental services he has at his disposal; the amount of funding which was allocated to these services in the past five years, by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44315/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
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151. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of school aged children who avail of dental health services, by county, in tabular form. (Question 44316/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Data)

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

152. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the dental services covered by the HSE in the Limerick area for primary school children; if this includes deciduous teeth in addition to permanent teeth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44317/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
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153. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if an appointment to see a consultant in the Mater hospital in respect of a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44319/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Hospital Appointments Delays)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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 Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which...

154. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health when he expects the assisted human reproduction Bill to be published and brought before either House of the Oireachtas for a Second Stage debate. (Question 44328/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): On Tuesday 3 October 2017 the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research. Officials in my Department are engaging with the Office of the Attorney General in relation to the process of drafting this Bill.
In addition, in line with the Government’s decision the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017 has also been referred to the Joint Committee on Health for review....

155. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the procedure a person should go through if they require surgery in another country; the way in which they receive a referral for the surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44347/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Cross-Border Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare provides rules for the reimbursements to patients of the cost of receiving treatment abroad, where the patient would be entitled to such treatment in their home Member State, and supplements the rights that patients already have at EU level. Public patients may access the healthcare they require in either the public or private healthcare system of another Member State under the Cross-Border Di...

156. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if medical card or general practitioner visit card holders are exempt from charges arising from blood tests performed at general practices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44348/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - General Practitioner Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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 phlebotomy services provided by their GP, or the practice nurse on behalf of the GP, which are required to either assist in the diagnosis of illness or the treatment of a condition. The HSE has advised GPs that where a blood test forms part of the investigation or necessary treatment of a patient’s symptoms or conditions, this s...

157. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health if the regulations on health insurance require that a health insurance company here must take into account the number of years that a person returning here has had with an international health insurance company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44353/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Health Insurance Regulation)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Periods of cover on health insurance plans held outside the State are not taken into account for the purposes of waiting periods, as such plans do not comply with health insurance legislation or the key principles of community rating, open enrolment, lifetime cover and minimum benefit on which the Irish private health insurance regulatory system is based.
Community rating is a fundamental cornerstone of the Irish health insurance system and means that p...

158. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans to develop a general mix of a paediatrics allied health services, for example, general practitioner, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, special needs assistant, physiotherapy and so on available in the same location within the community for parents, children and families in the Dublin 15 area in order that they do not have to travel long distances to access each individual service at separate locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44354/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Health Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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.
 ...

159. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 289 of 10 October 2017, when the additional trials will take place; the person or body that will conduct the trials; the steps that have been taken to commence the trial; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44357/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Minor Ailments Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As the HSE has responsibility for this matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this issue. 
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160. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health the number of intestinal failure syndrome patients who are in the care of the HSE or who were in the care of the HSE at the end of 2016; his views on the incidence and prevalence of intestinal failure syndrome here compared with its incidence and prevalence in other countries in western Europe; his or the HSE’s plans for the establishment of a specialist service here; if his Department or the HSE observes potential clinical or logistical and efficiency benefits that would be achieved for persons and for the HSE through the establishment of a tertiary referral centre for persons who develop severe intestinal failure and a single specialist unit to manage adult intestinal failure patients who receive out of hospital parenteral nutrition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44365/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I am aware that a business case for the establishment of a dedicated centre for Intestinal Failure was prepared by St James’s Hospital. Any proposals for the funding for the centre for Intestinal failure in St. James’s, including children with intestinal failure transitioning from the national paediatric unit at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, will have to be considered as part of the Dublin Midland Hospital Group’s overall priorities and with r...

161. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the way in which a newly built mental health unit (details supplied) can now be found to have radon levels exceeding the recommended 200 becquerels per cubic metre; the amount by which the reading exceeded the limit; the measures that have been put in place to rectify the problem; the estimated extra cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44371/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Mental Health Services)

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.
 ...

162. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been refused repayment for hospital services availed of in May and June 2017 in Northern Ireland under the cross border directive. (Question 44409/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Cross-Border Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive operates the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare in Ireland. In line with practice in other EU Member States, the HSE, through the National Contact Point (NCP) office, provides information for patients on the Cross-Border Directive on its website - www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/schemes/cbd/ - and also by phone, 056 778 4551. The principal function of the NCP (which is the mechanism specified under th...

163. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Health if funding for a continuing medical education tutor post for north County Dublin, which is currently vacant, will be approved in view of the fact that general practitioners in this catchment area are missing out on points needed to remain in an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44418/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - General Practitioner Training)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): All doctors on the Medical Council’s register, including GPs, are required to maintain professional competence by enrolling in professional competence schemes and engaging in maintenance of professional competence activities in relation to their practice.
One of the methods used to fulfill part of the professional competence requirements for the Medical Council is small group learning, as seen in the GP Continuing Medical Education National Tutor Networ...

164. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been told that they will be waiting almost a year before treatment can be accessed in the Mater hospital after a referral from their company’s doctor in respect of their chronic knee problems. (Question 44429/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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 Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which...

165. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will meet with a person and a group (details supplied). (Question 44435/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act does not give the Minister for Health any powers in this regard. 
In relation to the access scheme for Respreeza, the operation of such schemes is at the discretion of manufacturers. As Minister for Health I have no role in the operation of th...