Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (457)

Carol Nolan


457. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health when he expects to bring legislative changes in respect of the fair deal scheme before Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26533/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department developed draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.

It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period. The cost of applying the change to existing residents who will qualify from the coming into effect of the provisions has been factored into the overall cost of this proposed legislative change.

The General Scheme of Bill for the NHSS was approved by Government at Cabinet on the 11th June 2019. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the legislative process is successfully complete. I intend to progress this as quickly as possible, however, the timeline for completion of the legislation will also depend on how it passes through the Houses.