Wednesday, 29 January 1997
Dáil Éireann Debate
84. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Health the areas which will receive funding under the £1 million to be allocated for priority developments as outlined in the report "Towards an Independent Future"; and the number of additional persons who will receive services as a result of this allocation. [2594/97]
85. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Health the specific timetable for establishing co-ordinating committees for physical and sensory disability services; the intended membership of the committees; and the funding that will be available to the committees. [2595/97]
88. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Health the number of people with physical disabilities who will receive personal assistance services supported by or through his Department in 1997; the number who will receive this support for the first time; and the manner in which additional funding for 1997 will be allocated. [2598/97]
90. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Health the amount of money which will be available in 1997 to support new respite care facilities; the number of persons who will benefit from this funding; and the manner in which the funding will be dispersed. [2600/97]
The report of the review group on health and personal social services for people with physical and sensory disabilities “Towards an Independent Future” sets out the requirements for the development of services, including the services referred to by the Deputy. The report has been circulated to health boards and officials of my Department are now in discussion with the boards regarding the process of implementing the report. Also under discussion is the prioritising of services for funding under the additional £1 million provided this year for the development of new services for people with physical and sensory  disabilities. This additional funding will be allocated by the health boards on the basis of the agreed priorities. Consideration will be given in the context of these discussions to the development of respite care and personal assistance services. The Deputy will note that as well as the £1 million provided for development of new services this year, an additional £2.188 million was built into the health board allocations in 1997 to help put existing services on a more secure financial footing. Of this £115,000 has been provided for respite services and £200,000 has been provided for personal assistance services.
There are ongoing discussions between my Department, the Disability Federation of Ireland and the health boards about the modus operandi for the establishment of the co-ordinating committees. It is my intention to set up the committees as soon as possible.
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