Written Answers. - Care of the Elderly.

Michael Ring

Question:

515 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will secure statutory funding towards the operational costs of a nursing unit (details supplied) in County Mayo. [19342/00]

As the Deputy is aware the provision of services for older people in County Mayo is a matter for the Western Health Board. The facility in question is run by a voluntary group and operational costs are met by a combination of voluntary contributions and grant aid from the board. I understand that the board has been in discussion with the voluntary group regarding operational matters and including staffing issues. It will be a matter for the board to decide, following consultation with the voluntary group, what improvements are required and these will be considered in the context of the board's service plan for 2001.

I should mention that £275,000 was provided this year by the Western Health Board for the purchase of a facility – it has been rented for some years – in order to secure its future and to allow for definite forward planning.