As the Deputy's question acknowledges, these issues are a matter for the HSE and I have consulted it to provide a relevant reply to the Deputy. I can confirm that the sum of €1.5 million allocated to the HSE for these services in the current year was divided equally between the fields of sudden cardiac death and heart failure.
As for the funding of €750,000 for sudden cardiac death, it was agreed to prioritise the co-ordination and development of first response by employing one national and four regional co-ordinators within pre-hospital care and six pre-hospital resuscitation training officers. The sum of €520,000 was allocated to the National Hospitals Office for this purpose in the current year.
Plans for the remaining sudden cardiac death funding include media campaigns and joint funding of a further module of the medical emergency responders integration and training, MERIT, programme with the pre-hospital emergency care council. MERIT is a managed programme providing automated external defibrillators and relevant training to GP practices in most areas of the country. Areas still to be funded are the former North Eastern, Midlands and Northern Area Health Board regions.
A total of €750,000 was allocated for heart failure. It was agreed to prioritise support of the chronic disease management pilot project at St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin. Further spending was allocated to support heart failure community development projects in the Cavan-Monaghan and Louth-Meath areas. New developments in heart failure services at Beaumont Hospital, St. James's Hospital and Cork University Hospital are also being funded this year. Funding of €421,000 together with approval for the necessary whole-time equivalents were assigned for the implementation of these services in the current year. The availability of this funding is subject to HSE financial restraints. However, it is our policy to ensure these services are rolled out in all parts of the country.
In 2006, a commitment was given to support a three-year heart failure programme in conjunction with the Heartbeat Trust, which supports research and special services in the heart failure unit of St. Vincent's University Hospital. In 2007, the year-two costs of this programme were met from the targeted investment funding allocated for sudden cardiac death and heart failure, which were divided equally.