Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Questions (216)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

270 Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Health and Children if money raised from the sale of psychiatric hospitals will be used for investment in mental health programmes. [4204/09]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

'A Vision for Change' the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy recommended 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 re-invested in the new mental health service infrastructure requirement. The Government has accepted the Report as the basis for the future development of our mental health services.

Responsibility for the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change' including the recommendations relating to the disposal of psychiatric hospital buildings and lands, is a matter for the HSE. However, the arrangements for property disposal require Department of Finance approval in each case, the lodging of the proceeds as Exchequer Extra Receipts and the re-Voting of the funds for approved projects. A submission detailing the priority projects to be funded from disposals to date and planned future disposals is expected to be made by the HSE, for consideration by my Department and the Department of Finance, within the coming months. It is envisaged that this submission will provide an opportunity to achieve overall agreement on the extent and timing of property disposals to facilitate the modernisation of the mental health infrastructure.