Written Answers. - Personal Assistance Services.

Jim Higgins

Question:

603 Mr. Higgins (Mayo) asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has received a submission from the Mayo Centre for Independent Living in relation to the personal assistance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27287/98]

The provision of services, such as personal assistance services, to people with physical disabilities in County Mayo is a matter for the Western Health Board. I am aware that the Mayo Centre for Independent Living is in touch with the board about the matter.

The personal assistance service is part of a range of support services for people with physical and sensory disabilities. The objective of policy is to develop the range of services as a whole, in line with the recommendations of the Review Group on Health and Personal Social Services for People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities in its report, Towards an Independent Future, and in accordance with funding available for the development of the services. Priorities for the allocation of development funding are decided by each health board in consultation with the regional co-ordinating committee for physical and sensory disability services on which voluntary agencies, including the Centre for Independent Living, is represented. Of a total of £13.4 million made available for the maintenance and development of these services in 1999, £3 million revenue, equalling £6 million full year cost in the year 2000, is for development.