Written Answers. - Accommodation for the Elderly.

Ivor Callely

Ceist:

62 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the concern that exists regarding the lack of appropriate long-stay accommodation in the community for elderly people who can no longer reside alone without care and attention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8817/96]

,Limerick East): With the elderly population set to rise, there is a need to provide some additional health board long-stay places and to improve existing accommodation. As the Deputy may be aware, I announced last summer my commitment ot a capital programme over the next few years which will improve and expand long-stay health board facilities for the elderly in each of the eight boards. I would see this as one of a number of priorities which must be addressed within the capital programme on a sustained basis, until the identified needs for additional and improved accommodation have been met.

However, apart from providing additional and improved health board accommodation the Deputy will be aware of the subvention scheme operated under the Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990. This subvention scheme came into operation in September 1993 and currently 8,015 persons have been approved for subventions under this scheme. I provided approximately £15 million for the scheme in 1995 and £16 million in the current year.