Thursday, 8 February 1990
Dáil Éireann Debate
79. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Health if he will publish comparative figures between each of the eight health boards for community care services under the following headings: (a) the number of speech therapists, (b) the number of occupational therapists and (c) the level of child care facilities including social workers and specialist services; whether, relative to the population sizes, he is satisfied that there is inequality and community services and care services across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): It is part of my policy that community care services should be protected and developed in a prioritised way as resources become available and the additional provision of £10 million announced in last week's budget represents the beginning of a programme of action to boost these services. Within this overall policy it is the function of each individual health board to apportion its overall budget between the different programmes having regard to their assessment of relative priorities and overall need.
The information on personnel requested by the Deputy is set down in the following tabular statement. The figures cover services provided by health board staff exclusively in the community and exclude hospital based personnel who are engaged in community care and personnel employed by voluntary organisations providing services in speech therapy, occupational therapy and social work.
|Health Boards||Speech Therapists||Occupational Therapists||Social Workers|
In regard to the provision of child care facilities the following tabular statement sets down by health board the estimated number of residential places for children and the number of foster care placements at end 1989.
|Health Board||Residential Places for Children||Foster Care Placements|
In addition to foster care, residential care and social work support a number of specialist services for children are also available. For example, there are units for the investigation of alleged cases of child sexual abuse at Crumlin and Temple Street hospitals in Dublin and similar services are now being developed in the other health board areas; there are the various child guidance clinics such as the Mater Child Guidance Clinic at Ballymun, Dublin; there are neighbourhood youth projects in Dublin's inner city and at Mayfield in Cork; there are some 40 day nurseries in the Dublin area which receive substantial levels of support from the EHB and there are some 250 playgroups around the country supported by the other health boards.
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