Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Oireachtas Update 20 May 2013
In the Dáil this week, the Houses of the Oireachtas Inquiries (Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013 will be discussed at second stage.  Statements will be made prior to the meetings of the European Council. EU leaders meet on May 22. this is in relation to competitiveness, job creation and growth.
In the Seanad this week, the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012 will be discussed.  The Bill sets out proposals to allow the substitution of medicines by pharmacists at a patient’s request and to improve and update the statutory basis for the supply of medicines and other prescribed items under the General Medical Services, GMS, and community drugs schemes. It sets out a clear legislative basis for the supply and reimbursement of items to patients under the GMS and community drugs schemes. It also sets out criteria which the HSE must take into account when making reimbursement decisions. This Bill will allow the HSE to attach conditions to the supply of certain items, provided that any restrictions are evidence-based and in the interests of patients and ensuring value for money.  The safety of generic medicines underpins this Bill. Where generic medicines are being proposed they must meet exactly the same standards of quality and safety and have the same effect as the original medicine. All of the generic medicines on the Irish market are required to be properly licensed and meet the requirements of the IMB. To further enhance the safety aspect of generic substitution, section 13 gives a prescriber the option of indicating on a prescription that a branded interchangeable medicinal product should not be substituted, if there are clinical reasons not to do so.
It is important, in the current economic climate, to take every step possible to provide public services efficiently, to limit costs to the greatest extent possible and to involve users of resources in better understanding the value of those resources and their appropriate use.
The Committee on Health and Children will meet on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of this week to discuss the Heads of Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.

Dáil; Thursday 23.05.13 Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill 2012 (Seanad) Order for Report, Report and Final Stages) (Department of Health) Houses of the Oireachtas Inquiries

Seanad; Tuesday 21.05.13
The Seanad Chamber is being used by the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children which is holding on the General Scheme of the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill 2013
 Wednesday 22.05.13 Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012 – Report Stage (Amendments from Dáil Éireann) Minister of State for Primary Care

Committee Meetings: Monday 20.05.13  Health and Children Public Hearings on the Heads of Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013:
Session A: 9.30 am – 12 noon
Psychiatry and Perinatal Psychiatrists Dr Anne Jeffers, Consultant Psychiatrist, College of Psychiatrists of Ireland; Dr Maeve Doyle, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, College of Psychiatrists of Ireland; Dr Joanne Fenton, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist; Dr Anthony McCarthy, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist; and Dr John Sheehan, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist
Session B: 12.15 – 2.45 pm
Psychiatry Dr Yolande Ferguson, Consultant Psychiatrist, Tallaght Hospital; Dr Peadar O’Grady, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist; Prof Veronica O’Keane, Consultant Psychiatrist, Tallaght Hospital & TCD; and Dr Eamonn Moloney, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cork University Hospital
Session C: 3.30 – 6 pm
Psychiatry Prof Kevin Malone, Consultant Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s University Hospital & UCD; Dr Bernie McCabe, Consultant Psychiatrist, Navan Hospital; Dr Jacqueline Montwill, Consultant Psychiatrist, Mayo Mental Health Service; and Dr Sean O’Domhnaill, Consultant Psychiatrist
Session D: 6.15 – 8.45 pm Other Medical Specialities Ms Claire Mahon, President, Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation; Mr John Saunders, Chair, Mental Health Commission; Dr Kevin Walsh, Consultant Cardiologist, Crumlin & Mater Misericordiae Hospital; and Dr Janice Walshe, Consultant Medical Oncologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital
 Tuesday 21.05.13 Health and Children Public Hearings on the Heads of Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013: Legal Hearings
Session A: 9.30 am – 12 noon
Medical Law
Session B: 12.15 – 2.45 pm
Constitutional Law
Session C: 3.30 – 6 pm
Medical Ethics
Session D: 6.15 – 8.45 pm
Members’ Time / Closing Statements

Thursday 23.05.13 Health and Children Update on Health Issues Minister for Health; Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care; Minister of State at the Departments of Health and of Justice, Equality and Defence with responsibility for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People and Mr Tony O’Brien, Director General Designate, Health Service Executive

Management of new public hospital groupings to comprise 6 new roles
Each grouping will also include a primary academic partner
The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD last week announced a reorganisation of public hospitals into six hospital groups, namely: Dublin North East; Dublin Midlands; Dublin East; South/South West; West/North West; and Midwest. Each group of hospitals will work together as single cohesive entities managed as one, to provide acute care for patients in their area, integrating with community and primary care. 

A policy framework will now be devised by the Department of Health and work on the roll-out of the groups will commence immediately. This will be overseen by a National Strategic Advisory Group and driven by the HSE. Group Chairpersons and CEOs will be appointed as soon as possible and preliminary governance arrangements will be put in place. Each hospital will be established on an administrative basis during an interim period and hospital groups will each establish an interim group board to which the management team will report. The Chair of the interim board will be appointed by the Minister. The Chair will then nominate the board membership for Ministerial approval. Each of the groups will be led by a group Chief Executive Officer who will be the accountable officer for the group.

The requirement for individual hospital management teams will be determined by the size of the hospital and the range of services provided at each site. However, the management teams of hospital groups must comprise the following key posts: Group Chief Executive Officer; Chief Clinical Director; Chief Academic Officer; Chief Director of Nursing; Chief Finance Officer; and Chief Operations Officer.  The hospital groups, according to the Minister, “will secure the future of our smaller hospitals. When the new groups are established, services can be exchanged between sites. This will result in the maintenance of activity in smaller hospitals and will allow them to focus on the provision of care that is safe and appropriate”. Each grouping will also include a primary academic partner.

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