Tuesday, 2 October 2007
Dáil Eireann Debate
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): The Government’s sustained high level of investment in healthcare has enabled the completion and commissioning of numerous new facilities in both the acute and the non-acute sectors.
This year, the overall level of capital funding for the health sector is €664m. The Health Service Executive has responsibility for the planning and management of the bulk of health sector capital projects and has been provided with €546m of the available capital budget. While its level of funding uptake to-date this year is behind that projected at the beginning of the year, the HSE anticipates that the capital budget for projects other than those in the Information and Communications Technology area will be fully drawn down by year-end. The HSE’s ICT Directorate, which has this year focused on meeting immediate priority requirements and on strategic planning for investments over the coming years, will not be in a position to fully utilise its €49m capital allocation for 2007.
The capital programmes in health agencies directly funded by my Department and in the Office of The Minister for Children are progressing well. Major initiatives being undertaken this year include the national roll-out of the BreastCheck programme, health research, the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme and the completion of the National Childcare Investment Programme.
257. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children the capital projects in mental health that were completed in 2006 in view of the fact that in both 2005 and 2006 the Health Service Executive underspent its capital vote; and if any of this was in mental health. [21865/07]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Deputy Jimmy Devins): Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004 and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall vote. The Executive, therefore, is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.
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