asked the Minister for Health whether his Department authorised a contribution towards maintenance charges in respect of a person (name supplied) in County Mayo on the 22nd August last; and why, in view of the circumstance, no action has been taken by the Western Health Board to make this contribution.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Maintenance Charges Contribution.
This is a question of a grant towards maintenance in a nursing home which is not on the list of homes approved by me. My function would relate only to the approval of the home: whether or not assistance towards maintenance in it should be given to any individual person is a matter for the health board. I have no function in relation to that decision.
Would the Minister agree that in this instance many months ago his Department authorised the payment to the patient in this particular home, that a decision was apparently taken that it should be paid but that this decision has not been implemented? Has he made inquiries as to the reasons for non-implementation. It cannot be a question of means because no inquiry has been made about the patient's means. The patient, in fact, has no means. Could the Minister do anything to ensure that the authority given by him will be utilised to carry through the decision which has been taken but which has not yet been implemented?
There is no record of an application for the provision of accommodation for this patient in any one of the Western Health Board's institutions and there should have been an application for the provision of accommodation. There is not any evidence available to the Western Health Board that the costs of the home constitutes a hardship for those responsible for the patients maintenance.
But if the patient has no means—surely that is the test?
Apparently the Western Health Board have not been convinced of this.
They have not inquired about means so how can they be convinced or unconvinced?
The best thing I can do is to draw the attention of the Western Health Board to the Deputy's representations. I can make no decision in the matter. It is entirely a matter for the executive officer of the Western Health Board.