I propose to take Questions Nos. 79, 139 and 154 together.
In line with action 36 of the health strategy, my Department has commenced work on a new legislative framework for eligibility for health and personal social services. The aim is to produce a clear set of statutory provisions that ensure equity and transparency. This is a very complex task but my Department is working to prepare proposals without delay.
With regard to action 42, following the publication of the Mercer report on the future financing of long-term care in Ireland, a working group chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach and comprising senior officials from the Departments of Finance, Health and Children and Social and Family Affairs has been established.
The objective of this group is to identify the policy options for a financially sustainable system of long-term care, taking account of the Mercer report, the views of the consultation that was undertaken on that report and the review of the nursing home subvention scheme by Professor Eamon O'Shea. It is hoped that this group will report to both the Tánaiste and Minister for Social and Family Affairs in the near future.