Written Answers. - Mobile Health Clinics.

Eric J. Byrne

Ceist:

43 Mr. E. Byrne asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has to expand the system of mobile health clinics to serve the travelling community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8801/96]

,Limerick East): The report of the task force on the travelling community contains a wide range of recommendations for the provision of services, including health services, to the travelling community.

In authorising publication of the report of the task force, the Government decided that the Minister for Equality and Law Reform should convene a group of officials to consider the implementation of the report and to report back to Government. The report of the group was submitted to Government on 26 March 1996. The Government has decided, in principle, to proceed with the implementation of the report.

A group of officials within my Department is examining the implementation of the recommendations of the task force in relation to travellers' health in consultation with the health boards and representatives of the travelling community with a view to publishing an action plan on travellers' health which will take account of the recommendations of the task force and build on successful initiatives already in place.

Initiatives which seek to complement, improve and encourage access to mainstream health care services for travellers will be given priority. In this context, the extension of mobile clinics to serve the travelling community will be examined.