Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Questions (148, 149, 150)

Dan Neville

Question:

210 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of money raised from the sale of psychiatric lands and buildings since January 2006; the amount of this that was retained by her Department; the amount that was reinvested into the development of mental health services in view of the fact that A Vision for Change has been adopted as official Government policy and the Government made a commitment to reinvest all money realised from the sale of such assets into mental health services; the reason all money was not invested in mental health services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11588/08]

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Dan Neville

Question:

312 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children the psychiatric lands and buildings that have been disposed of since January 2006; the amount of money raised from the sale of these assets; the amount of this surrendered to the Department of Finance; the amount of this reinvested into the development of mental health services in view of the fact that A Vision for Change has been adopted as Government policy and that the Government made a commitment to reinvest all money realised from the sale of such assets into mental health services; the reason all money was not invested in mental health services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11590/08]

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Bernard Allen

Question:

382 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount raised from the sale of psychiatric lands and buildings since A Vision for Change was published in January 2006; the amount of the money raised that was surrendered to the Department of Finance on a yearly basis; and the amount of this money that was reclaimed from the Exchequer in order to fund developments in the mental health sector. [11913/08]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210, 312 and 382 together.

‘A Vision for Change' the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, which was launched in January 2006, has been accepted by Government as the basis for the future development of our mental health services. The Report recommends inter alia that a plan to bring about the closure of all psychiatric hospitals should be drawn up and implemented, and that the resources released by these closures should be protected for reinvestment in the mental health service. The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney has made it clear to the HSE in the context of their Service Plan for 2008, that there can be no question of diverting capital or development funds to meet expenditure pressures arising in relation to core services.

The identification and disposal of assets which may be in excess of known HSE requirements is the responsibility of the HSE National Director of Estates. The Executive, therefore, is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.