Written Answers. - Private Nursing Homes.

Mary Harney

Question:

43 Miss Harney asked the Minister for Health if he intends that the VHI will provide funding for patients in private nursing homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1022/94]

Mary Flaherty

Question:

120 Miss Flaherty asked the Minister for Health if he intends the VHI to fund patients in private nursing homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1021/94]

I will take Questions Nos. 43 and 120 together.

The VHI already provide benefit to their members for a period of up to two weeks convalescence in a convalescent or nursing home with which VHI have a service agreement. This benefit is provided for up to two weeks following a stay in hospital, when it is medically necessary and subject to confirmation prior to admission to the convalescent facility.

Any changes to the board's benefit in respect of nursing homes is an operational matter for the VHI board to decide. Similarly, it is a matter for the board to decide if it wishes to introduce a new product designed to defray all or part of the costs of long term nursing care, including care in private nursing homes.