Written Answers. - Mentally Handicapped Services Funding.

Theresa Ahearn

Question:

52 Mrs. T. Ahearn asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has to increase the budget for services for the mentally handicapped; if he will ensure that there will be no cutbacks in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [446/94]

Additional funding of £12.5 million was provided by the Government in 1994 for services for persons with a mental handicap. This is in addition to the £8.5 million which was provided for the development of services for persons with a mental handicap in 1993. This additional funding has facilitated a substantial increase in the level of services available to persons with a mental handicap and the Government is committed to the continued development of these services in the context of both the Programme for Competitiveness and Work and the Health Strategy document “Shaping a Healthier Future”.

I am satisfied that the injection of funds in recent years has contributed towards a real improvement in services and I intend to build on this in future years. Apart from current expenditure significant capital funding for the provision of training facilities for persons with a mental handicap is also being provided in 1994.