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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - TB Special Benefit.

Thursday, 26 May 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 222 No. 15

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Mr. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan Zoom on Richie Ryan asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce legislation to provide for payment of a special benefit similar to that now paid to TB patients, where it is medically indicated that treatment and rehabilitation will be of long duration.

Mr. O'Malley: The Deputy will of course appreciate that, from the point of view of preventing the spread of infection, the encouragement of tuberculosis patients and patients suffering from other infectious diseases to undergo and continue on treatment is of the greatest importance. The special benefits to which he refers were designed to achieve this object in the interests of the community and I am [2439] not prepared to sponsor a proposal to apply them to other classes.

Where, however, following hospital treatment a person is suffering from incapacity as a result of illness which makes it impossible for him to resume his normal employment for a prolonged period, he may be considered for payment of a disabled person's allowance under section 50 of the Health Act, 1953. Under the same section of the Health Act, 1953, provision is made for the payment of special maintenance allowances to persons undergoing rehabilitation training. Disabled persons allowances have been increased in step with increases in other social benefits and I would hope that as the economic situation improves, further increases will be made in the future. I feel that this is the way in which we must continue to deal with such cases in the future.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton Has the Minister anything in mind in the shape of benefit for families that have a mentally retarded child with a normal expectation of life that can be a lifelong charge on the family?

Mr. O'Malley: I think the Deputy knows that this is one of the matters we have under consideration. We discussed it on a previous occasion.

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