Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Questions (117)

Barry Cowen


117. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if his officials have been involved with putting in place a sustainable funding model for section 39 voluntary health organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39609/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Funding is provided to the HSE for Health services in accordance with the letter of determination which sets out the approved level of overall HSE expenditure for the year in question. As the Deputy will be aware, voluntary organisations provide services on behalf of the Health Service Executive, through section 39 service level agreements. These agreements underpin the delivery of health and social care services provided by these organisations.

The HSE works closely with these service providers with regard to setting service delivery levels appropriate to the funding available in planning for overall provision of service levels within the annual National Service Plan.

As the Deputy will be aware, I established an independent review group in 2017 to look more generally at the role of voluntary organisations in health and personal social services and their relationship with the State. The Group reported earlier this year and made a range of recommendations covering areas such as the ownership and governance of voluntary organisations; dialogue and engagement between the State and the voluntary sector; and broader issues related to health system development. These recommendations are being considered and taken forward through a number of mechanisms including the Sláintecare reform programme and a new dialogue forum which will be established before the end of the year.