Wednesday, 4 July 2007
Dáil Eireann Debate
89. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps being taken, in view of the strong professional advice that a child (details supplied) in Dublin 6 requires early intervention to address a serious speech and language difficulty, to ensure that they receive an assessment and treatment at an early date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19190/07]
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): As the Deputy may be aware, Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which commenced on June 1 2007 for children under 5, provides people with disabilities with an entitlement to:
This prioritisation reflects the importance of intervention early in life, which can have a significant impact on the disabling effects of a condition or impairment. Part 2 will be commenced in respect of children aged 5-18 in tandem with the implementation of the EPSEN Act. The statutory requirements of Part 2 of the Disability Act will be extended to adults as soon as possible but no later than 2011.
In order to facilitate the Implementation of Part II of the Disability Act an additional sum of €75m, for revenue purposes, was provided to the Health Service Executive for Disability Services in the 2007 Budget. This sum incorporates the 2007 element of the Government’s multi-annual investment programme for the National Disability Strategy. This Strategy is committed to enhancing the level and range of multi-disciplinary support services to adults and children with an intellectual, physical or sensory disability and those with autism.
The Deputy’s question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.
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