Written Answers - Health Services.

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 612 No. 72

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  161.  Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the new developments that have taken place in the past ten years at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin; the cost of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39473/05]

Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Deputy’s question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Question No. 162 answered with Question
No. 160.

  163.  Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if her atten[1011]tion has been drawn to the fact that there is a serious shortfall of funding from the Health Service Executive in respect of haematology in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin; the steps she will take to address the shortfall. [39475/05]

Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Deputy’s question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

  164.  Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the growth in the haemoglobinopathy service in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, has not been funded by the Health Service Executive or her Department; and the steps she will take to address the shortfall. [39476/05]

Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Deputy’s question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

  165.  Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the funding for the development of the transitional care unit in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, is significantly short of requirements; and the steps she will take to address the shortfall. [39477/05]

Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Deputy’s question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

  166.  Mr. McGuinness  Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the reason a long stay patient (details supplied) at St. Canice’s Hospital, Kilkenny does not have a medical card; if same will be renewed; if the €300 paid by the [1012]person for glasses will be refunded; and if the matter will be investigated and a response issued. [39510/05]

Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Deputy’s question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have this case investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

  167.  Mr. McGuinness  Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the way in which the assessment was made in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if it is reasonable to ask a patient on €153.30 a week to contribute €119.30 for their keep; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39514/05]

Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The charging for long stay care under the Health (Amendment) Act 2005 is being implemented by way of the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) Regulations 2005. These regulations were signed on 14 June 2005 and reinstated charges for in-patient services and provided for the levying of a charge in respect of the maintenance of persons in receipt of inpatient services. The regulations were prepared following extensive consultation with the HSE and others.

Section 53 of the Health Act 1970 — as amended by the Health (Amendment) Act 2005 — provides inter alia for the levying of a charge where inpatient services have been provided for a period of not less than 30 days or for periods aggregating not less than 30 days within the previous 12 months. In this regard, charging of patients in long-term care commenced on 14 July 2005, which was after the expiration of 30 days after the regulations were signed.

The regulations, in keeping with section 53 of the Health Act 1970 as amended have provided for two different classes of persons on whom charges can be levied. Class 1 refers to people in receipt of inpatient services on premises where nursing care is provided on a 24 hour basis on those premises. In this case, a weekly charge can be levied of €120 or the weekly income of that person less €35, whichever is the lesser. Class 2 refers to people in receipt of inpatient services on premises where nursing care is not provided on a 24 hour basis on those premises. In this situation, a weekly charge can be levied of €90 or the weekly income of that person less €55 or 60% of the weekly income of that person, whichever is the lesser.

These regulations provide for the maximum charge to be levied on either class of person. The HSE has the power to reduce or waive a charge on the grounds of “undue hardship”. Under [1013]section 1 (b) of the Health (Amendment) Act 2005, the HSE can examine a person’s overall financial situation in view of the person’s reasonable expenditure in respect of themselves or their dependants, if any. The management and delivery of health and personal social services are the responsibility of the HSE under the Health Act 2004. It is a matter for the HSE, based on its own legal advice and taking into account the individual circumstances as well as the service being provided, to make a decision on any charges levied.

The Deputy’s question relates to a specific case that involves the management and delivery of health and personal social services and which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy in respect of this case.


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