Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (496)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

496. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if he will consider the establishment of a central national budget for sudden onset conditions to be operated independently of regular home care packages in the context of a submission (details supplied) in order to relieve some of the enormous pressures on patients and their families, on hospital capacity and to ensure the effective and equitable operation of home care packages for those with established conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23537/19]

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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 supports 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. In relation to the development of neuro-rehabilitation facilities, the National Neuro-Rehabilitation Policy & Strategy Implementation Framework 2019-2021 was published by the Health Service Executive ( HSE )on 20 February 2019 and this will guide the roll-out and implementation of the national Neuro-Rehabilitation strategy in the years to come. Discussions are ongoing on the identification of the funding required to implement the framework.

In relation to home care, my Department 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.