Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (405)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

405. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if the HSE will be instructed to acknowledge the fact that ME can lead to disability from mild to profound and that the condition should be added to its list of disabilities to reflect recognition by an organisation (details supplied) of ME as a disability code E014; and his views on whether access to assessment for home support and personal assistance services should be through disability services not older persons services. [23215/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

The Department of Health has committed to the enactment of legislation to underpin a stand-alone, statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-care by 2021. The statutory scheme will introduce clear rules in relation to what services individuals are eligible for and how decisions are made on allocating services. The new scheme will help to improve access to the home care services that people need. The system of regulation for home care will help to ensure that the public can be confident that the services provided are of a high standard.

Although much work has been done, a significant amount of work still remains to be undertaken before decisions are reached on the form of the home care scheme and the system of regulation. This is necessary to ensure that the reforms are successful, affordable and sustainable. The matter is however being progressed as quickly as possible.

HSE Disability Services provide personal and social supports based on the needs of the individual, rather than the provision of services based on a specific diagnosis or condition.

As the question relates to services provided by the HSE, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.