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Written Answers - Health Services

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 576.  Deputy Emmet Stagg Information on Emmet Stagg Zoom on Emmet Stagg  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the reason for the delay in awarding speech and language therapy and occupational therapy to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare [16430/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As the Deputy’s question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

 577.  Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  his views on the effects of budget cuts on persons with disabilities trying to achieve independent living which has resulted in a reduction in services with serious consequences; his further views on the value for money of the services provided by the Centre for Independent Living; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13965/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Health Service Executive (HSE) National Service Plan for 2012 provides for a reduction of 3.7% in funding [948]to specialist disability services. However, the Service Plan states that at least 2% of this should not impact on services and needs to be generated from other savings and increased efficiencies.

As part of the ongoing work of the HSE’s National Consultative Forum on disability services, the HSE in conjunction with representative organisations, service providers and service users, has begun a process to identify and agree a framework for identifying and implementing cost efficiencies. The goal is to minimise the impact on services.

The HSE provides a range of assisted living services, including Personal Assistant services, to support individuals to maximise their capacity to live full and independent lives. In 2011, a total of 1.68 million personal assistant / home support hours were provided to 11,571 persons with a physical and/or a sensory disability. Although the funding allocated to disability services has decreased by 3.7%, the HSE aims to minimise the impact this will have on services users and their families as much as possible. The HSE is in the process of negotiating with agencies providing personal assistant services around the unit cost of providing this service.

I am concerned to ensure that the State receives value for all monies invested in public services on behalf of the taxpayer. In the context of the current Value for Money Review of Disability Services we are seeking to work with all providers to further improve processes of accountability in the sector, with a view to achieving the most cost efficient and effective delivery of services for people with a disability.


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