Thursday, 16 May 2019

Questions (100)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

100. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the status of talks being held between the HSE and the Rehab Group over funding; his plans to avoid the possible withdrawal of services for persons with disabilities, the contracts for the provision of which are held by the charity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21190/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

This Government’s on-going priority is the safeguarding of vulnerable people in the care of the health service. We are committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives.

Significant resources have been invested by the health sector in disability services over the past number of years. Since this Government took up office, the budget for Disability Services has increased by €314 million. This year alone, the Health Service Executive has allocated €1.9 billion to its Disability Services Programme.

My primary concern is to ensure the continuity of appropriate person-centred disability services is maintained and delivered in an equitable manner consistent with the care and support needs of individuals. I want to acknowledge the important services provided by Rehab and the commitment of the staff of Rehab to people with a disability and their families.

I am informed by the HSE that the total revenue allocation provided by the HSE to Rehab for social services has increased by €8.1 million to €56.1 million in 2019 when compared with the allocation in 2016.

Rehab provides a range of services to young people and adults with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities, mental health difficulties, autism, or acquired brain injury. Services are co-ordinated through Rehab’s three service delivery divisions, RehabCare, the National Learning Network and Rehab Enterprises.

Rehab and the HSE have committed to working intensively together with a view to making substantive progress in reaching a solution to the issues.

Rehab have agreed not to issue a notice of termination, pending the conclusion of this intensive work with the HSE. Both I and Minister Harris had a further meeting with Rehab and the HSE yesterday, Wednesday, 15th May.