Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Department of Health and Children
Question 27: To ask the Minister for Health and Children if she will consider introducing a national foot screening programme as part of the treatment of diabetic foot disease; the estimated cost of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34777/10]
Question 160: To ask the Minister for Health and Children her plans to introduce a national foot screening programme as part of the treatment of diabetic foot disease; the estimated cost of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35147/10]
Áine Brady (Minister of State with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Children; Minister of State, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Minister of State, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 27, 160 and 169 together.
The National Diabetes Programme, under the governance of the Health Service Executive's Quality and Clinical Care Directorate, was established earlier this year. It has identified three areas of high priority for implementation on a national basis. A national diabetes foot care programme is one of these. It is hoped that this programme will encompass not just foot screening but care of patients with at-risk feet. It will provide for the prevention and management of foot ulcers, thereby reducing the number of hospital in-patients beds occupied by patients with foot problems. It will also help reduce the level of amputations. The programme will establish referral pathways with rapid access to specialised care within a multi-disciplinary foot-care service.
The initiative is currently in an advanced planning stage and several meetings have been held between the various stakeholders, including clinical specialists, podiatrists, diabetes specialist nurses and the Diabetes Federation of Ireland. The programme recognises that foot problems among diabetics are a major cause of reduced quality of life. The cost of implementation of the proposed programme will be met from within current resources.
Question 28: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the current waiting lists for those seeking methadone treatment; the number of clinics now providing this service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34673/10]
As of 31 July 2010 there were a total of 464 people on methadone waiting lists, none of whom were under 18 years of age, and a total of 64 HSE clinics providing methadone treatment nationwide. The total number of people on methadone at the end of July was 9,204. 5,344 people were receiving treatment in HSE clinics, 3,307 people were receiving community based treatment through General Practitioners and a further 553 people were being treated in prisons.
The HSE has prioritised the provision of additional methadone clinics in targeted areas to reduce waiting lists and waiting times. In 2009 and 2010 the HSE provided 2 additional methadone services in Cork City. This reduced the waiting list from 83 people in September 2009 to 14 people at the end of July 2010 and brought waiting times to within a month. Additional services are currently being developed around the country, for example in Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Tralee, Limerick City, Drogheda and Dundalk. Premises for these clinics have been identified and services will be in place before the end of this year. The HSE also plans to provide 2 additional methadone clinics in the Midlands region.