Thursday, 24 March 2005

Questions (89)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

86 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if she has received a full report from the Health Service Executive on the case of persons (details supplied) in County Meath; the action she proposes to take to enhance services for persons with autism as a result of this case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9916/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

The Health Act 2004 provided for the Health Service Executive, which was established on 1 January 2005. Under the Act, the executive has the responsibility to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. This includes responsibility for disability services.

The Minister for Finance, in his 2005 budget, made available additional funding of €55 million for services to persons with an intellectual, physical or sensory disability and those with autism. Additional capital funding of €34 million has also been provided in 2005.

When launching the national disability strategy, the Taoiseach announced the Government's commitment to a multi-annual investment programme for disability services over the next five years, details of which were announced on budget day. The investment programme for disability specific services will have a total cumulative value of €900 million for the period 2006 to 2009. It will be a matter for the Health Service Executive to allocate this funding.

The taking of children into care is governed by the Child Care Act 1991, as amended by the Health Act 2004, and is a matter for the Health Service Executive. While it is not appropriate to comment on individual cases, I understand that the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Brian Lenihan, has asked the Health Service Executive if it proposes to carry out a review of this case and to advise him on the matter.