Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (976)

Michael McGrath


976. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 720 of 8 May 2019 (details supplied), if the loan referred to of €144,657 million is recouped by the HSE from the Revenue Commissioners or if it is the case that the HSE remains out of pocket for this loan amount; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35558/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as A Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

Where a resident under NHSS has assets including land or property, they may defer their contribution to care based on such assets under Ancillary State support (also known as Nursing Home Loan). This contribution becomes payable on their death.

NHSS is underpinned by primary legislation by way of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act (2009). The legislation sets out that collection and recovery of repayable amounts of the Ancillary State support is a function of the Revenue Commissioners, acting as a collecting agent for the HSE. These monies collected by Revenue Commissioners are paid into the Central Fund.

The exchequer directly funds the NHSS, outside of the assessed contribution paid by nursing home residents. The NHSS budget, which covers all State support for the Scheme, including Ancillary State Support, is allocated on an annual basis based on projected needs and costs.