Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (733)

Carol Nolan


733. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health the status of funding and support being offered to the Midland Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18865/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health allocated funding of almost €100m to the HSE for addiction services in 2019. The HSE National Service Plan 2019 sets out the type and volume of addiction services to be provided, having regard to the funding allocated.

Implementing the health-led national drugs strategy continues to be a Government priority. Task forces have an important role in delivering the strategy at the local level. The Department provides €28m to Drug and Alcohol Task Forces through various channels of funding, including the HSE.

The Midland Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force receives almost €800k of this funding each year.

On 06 March 2019, I announced additional funding of €1 million for implementation of the National Drugs Strategy; "Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery".

This funding, which will be provided on a recurring, multi-annual basis, will address the priorities set down in the Strategy including early harm reduction responses to emerging trends in substance misuse, and improving services for groups with complex needs.

On 26 March, I held a consultation with the Local and Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and the HSE, to hear their views on how best to target the additional funding. The outcome of this consultation process will inform proposals, currently being developed, for the allocation of the funding. Further information on the criteria and proposed allocation of this new funding will be circulated to the Drug & Alcohol Task Forces and the HSE in due course.