With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 6, 7 and 8 together.
I am not aware that there is a link between central heating and increased incidence of upper respiratory tract illnesses. I am not aware of any survey carried out abroad by any official body which would indicate such a link nor, indeed, am I aware of an unusually high incidence of respiratory tract illnesses in the Ballymun housing development. Moreover, the chief medical officer of the Dublin Health Authority who has responsibility for the public health in the Dublin area is not aware of an increase in illness in the Ballymun flats as alleged. I do not feel called upon, therefore, to take any special action in the matter.
Regarding the Deputy's reference to considerable expenditure on drugs by the people affected I would remind him that people who are not eligible for general medical services cards may be given drugs and medicines, free of charge if, in the health authority's opinion, it would cause them undue hardship to meet the cost privately.