Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (636)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

636. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health his plans to reverse the cuts of €20 million announced for the intellectual disability sector in January 2020; his further plans to provide extra funding to service unmet needs in this sector (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4653/20]

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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 and provide them with greater independence in accessing and choosing the services and supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. Reflecting this commitment, the 2020 budget for disability services of €2,054.5 million represents an increase of more than 7.2 % over the original 2019 provision

The HSE’s National Service Plan 2020 provides for general efficiencies to support new and existing service costs. The HSE and all of the providers it funds are expected to continually review their cost structures to ensure the best use of resources and a focus on the use of these resources for client care to the greatest extent possible. These efficiencies are to be achieved through the application of a 1% efficiency target to existing budgets across all service areas.

The very significant additional financial resources provided to disability services over the last year, together with the achievement of relatively modest efficiency savings, form part of the financing of the increased service levels set out in the National Service Plan 2020. Against this background, the HSE is required to ensure that the efficiency targets are achieved in a manner that does not impact on the activity levels set out in the National Service Plan.

The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 impact for health and social care services is recognised by my Department and the HSE. As Minister for Health, I wish to commend health and social care providers in the disability sector for what has and continues to be a tremendous effort in supporting our most vulnerable members of society, In relation to disability supports and services, I have been informed that the HSE has confirmed that the budget allocated to each provider funded under Section 38 and Section 39 of the Health Act 2004 by the relevant Community Health Care Organisation (CHO) will remain in place to year end. This is subject to the provisions within the relevant service arrangement and ongoing cooperation regarding the utilisation and deployment of resources to meet priority need within each CHO.