Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Long Term Illness Scheme.

5.

asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce a single comprehensive long-term illness scheme for all those suffering from certain illnesses that require permanent use of expensive drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I am at present reviewing both the long term illness scheme and drugs refund scheme to ensure that the needs of those who require expensive drugs on a regular basis are met more equitably.

When does the Minister expect this review to be completed?

Very shortly.

Is it the Minister's intention to extend the long term illness scheme to categories not already covered? Will the Minister further ensure that the drugs are purchased at their most economical price under any new long term illness scheme that might be introduced?

I am looking at all aspects of the long term illness scheme and the drugs refund scheme. What I want to ensure is that there is equity in the system.

We will proceed now to deal with other questions.