Written Answers. - Health Board Allowances.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

392 Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children the health boards which pay top-up subvention to people in nursing homes; the criteria used in deciding who should qualify; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8138/01]

The Nursing Homes, Subvention, Regulations, 1993, are administered by the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority. There are three maximum rates of subvention payable – £70, £95, £120 – in accordance with three levels of dependency, medium, high, maximum, which are eligible for subvention. However, it is the intention to increase the rates by 25% to £90, £120 and £150 from 1 April next.

A health board may pay more than the maximum rate of subvention relative to an individual's level of dependency, for example, in cases where personal funds are exhausted. Sections 22.3 and 22.4 of the Nursing Home (Subvention) Regulations, 1993, permit health boards to contract beds in private nursing homes and to pay more than the maximum rates of subvention in such cases. I understand from information received from the health boards/health authority that enhanced subventions are paid is some cases in each board/authority area. However, the application of these provisions is a matter for the individual health board concerned in the context of meeting increasing demands for subventions within available resources.