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Written Answers - Primary Care Strategy

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 285.  Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  if there are plans to increase financial support and support services for those suffering from Crohn’s disease and other serious illnesses while the majority of funding is allocated to diabetes type 2; the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3169/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall The Programme for Government provides for significant strengthening of primary care services to deliver universal primary care with the removal of cost as a barrier to access for patients. This commitment will be achieved on a phased basis to allow for the recruitment of additional doctors, nurses and other primary care professionals.

Access to primary care without fees will be extended in 2012 to claimants of free drugs under the Long-Term Illness Scheme and in 2013 to claimants of free drugs under the High-Tech Drugs Scheme. Access to subsidised primary care will be extended to all in the next phase and universal access to care without fees will occur in the final phase. Primary legislation is required to give effect to these commitments. The Health Service Executive National Service Plan 2012 states that the HSE intends to commence a national roll out of chronic disease management for diabetes during 2012 and that it will also progress preparations for the roll out of similar initiatives in relation to other chronic diseases, including stroke, asthma and heart failure.

Any future decisions regarding other chronic diseases will be taken in the context of Universal Primary Care.

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