May 30, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health the number of medical cards issued to persons by county in 2012. He also asked the Minister for Health the number of general practitioner cards issued to persons by county in 2012.
Reply from the Health Service Executive: The HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) is currently not configured to provide the figures in the format requested. Please see attached document showing the number of eligible persons on Medical Cards and GP Visit Cards as at 31st December 2012 by local health office area.
May 22, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health in relation to the reconfiguration of Waterford Regional Hospital to university Hospital the number of specific academic posts to be allocated, as in Consultant posts and professorships, and the process being used to select the individuals to those posts.
Reply from Minister James Reilly: Following the publication of the report on hospital groups, UCC has confirmed its commitment to putting in place five academic clinical appointments including three at professional level; two at senior lecturer level and one at tutor level with associated administrative support. Discussions within the new hospital group's corporate governance structure and in turn with the Department of Health and the HSE will now commence to give effect to this. An exact time frame cannot be put on this but the appointments will be made as soon as possible.
Tuesday, 7th May, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health if he is concerned at the decision of the Health Service Executive to refuse funding, on economic grounds, for the drug Pirfenidone, which is the only effective treatment for lung fibrosis, a rare and extremely debilitating disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reply from Minister James Reilly: The HSE has received an application for the inclusion of pirfenidone in the GMS and community drugs schemes.
The application is being considered in line with the procedures and timescales agreed last year by the Department of Health and the HSE with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) for the assessment of new medicines.
In accordance with these procedures, the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) conducted a pharmacoeconomic evaluation of pirfenidone and concluded that, at the submitted price, pirfenidone is not cost-effective for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The NCPE report is an important input to assist decision making and informs further discussions between the HSE and the manufacturer of the drug. The HSE is currently in negotiations with the manufacturers of pirfenidone and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further while these negotiations are ongoing.
The HSE assessment process is intended to arrive at a decision on the funding of pirfenidone that is clinically appropriate, fair, consistent and sustainable. The HSE understands that patients and clinicians are very anxious that a decision be made as soon as possible.
Tuesday, 22 January 2012
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health if he will outline the process regarding the provision of new primary care centres; and if Dungarvan, County Waterford will be designated as one of the first ten centres to be put out to tender.
Written reply received from Deputy James Reilly: Progress is being made in the delivery of primary care centres. Primary care infrastructure is being delivered using three mechanisms which are: public private partnership, operational lease and direct build.
With regard to the PPP process, the current position is that the HSE is engaging with the NDFA to progress the programme. The Executive is currently analysing the available sites in each location and engaging with the GPs in each location to determine their interest in participating in the primary care centre development.
Also it has commenced the procurement of design teams and technical advisors to progress the designs and planning submissions and the preparation of the PPP procurement documents. Up to 20 of the 35 locations announced will be offered to the market subject to a) agreement between the local GPs and the HSE on active local GP involvement in the centres and b) site suitability and availability. Using the operational lease mechanism the HSE has delivered primary care infrastructure at 30 locations and is continuing its collaboration with the private sector to progress suitable locations.
The Capital Plan 2012-2016: Year 2012 has been approved and contains provision for the delivery of eight primary care centres. Work is underway on the Executive's multi-annual Capital Plan 2013-2017. My Department is reviewing the proposals and following up with the HSE where further details may be required. The draft Capital Plan 2013-2017 will require my approval with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
Tuesday, 22 January 2012
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health when he will be publicising the Higgins Report into the reconfiguration of hospital groups; and if the South East Hospital Group will be fragmented or affected in any way.
Written reply received from Deputy James Reilly: “Recommendations on the formation of specific groups and arrangements for the management and governance of all groups have been drafted as part of a report on the establishment of hospital groups as a transition to hospital trusts. This report is based on a comprehensive consultation process, as well as a significant number of submissions from stakeholders and individual citizens. These recommendations have been considered and endorsed by a Strategic Board composed of representatives with national and international expertise in health service delivery, governance and linkages with academic institutions. The report on the establishment of hospital groups as a transition to independent hospital trust will be presented formally to me by the Chair of the Strategic Board, Professor John Higgins, in the near future. I will prioritise consideration of that report, which will then be submitted to and presented to Government for decision on the hospital groups’ composition in light of the recommendations of the Report.”
Dáil Éireann allocates a certain amount of time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during which Deputies may ask questions of Members of the Government relating to Public Affairs connected with their Departments, or on matters of administration for whch they are officially responsible. The Taoiseach answers questions on his own Department on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.