Tuesday, 29 April 1947
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. O'Neill: asked the Minister for Health if he is aware that there has  been an ever-advancing increase in the cost of the maintenance of patients in mental hospitals since 1875 when the weekly sum of 4/- per head was fixed as representing one-half of the average cost of maintenance; and if, in view of the fact that the net average weekly cost of maintenance is now 25/- a head, he will approve of an increased capitation grant-in-aid of one-half of this amount.
Mr. O'Driscoll: asked the Minister for Health if representations have been made to his Department in relation to the capitatoin grant-in-aid payable to mental hospital authorities; if he is aware that the present rate of 4/- per head still obtains, although this was the amount of the original grant made in 1875 when it was calculated as representing 50 per cent. of the cost of the maintenance of a patient; and if he will take steps to have this grant increased to 25/- a week, which would represent about 50 per cent. of the present cost of maintenance, having regard to the increased cost of living since the introduction of the grant.
Tadhg Ó Murchadha: asked the Minister for Health if he received, from the Cork Mental Hospital Board, a resolution pointing out the inadequacy of the present capitation grant-in-aid, which was fixed at 4/- per patient per week in 1875; whether he is aware that this grant, when fixed, represented one-half of the cost of maintenance in mental institutions; whether he is further aware that 4/- per head does not now represent one-sixth of the cost of main tenance in these institutions; and whether, in these circumstances, he will give favourable consideration to the demand that the present capitation grant be increased substantially.
Minister for Health (Dr. Ryan): I propose, with your permission, a Chinn Comhairle, to take questions Nos. 13, 14 and 15 together. I would refer the Deputies to the reply given to a similar question by Deputy Eamonn Ó Cúgain on the 3rd October, 1944.
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