Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Islander's Transport Subsidy.

7.

asked the Minister for Health if he will give details of the transport subsidy available to islanders who are required to attend health clinics on the mainland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The provision of transport subsidies for islanders who are required to attend health clinics on the mainland is a matter for the individual health board concerned. The boards mainly involved with the provision of transport services for islanders are the North-Western and Southern Health Boards. The North-Western Health Board pays the transport costs of islanders attending clinics on the mainland. In the Western and Southern Health Boards, a patient who incurrs undue hardship in bearing the cost of transport may receive full or partial refund depending on the circumstances of the case. The health boards will arrange patient transport free of charge in all genuine cases of emergency. I am satisfied, therefore, that these arrangements are adequate to meet the needs of the islanders concerned.