Written Answers. - AIDS Services Costs.

Ivor Callely

Ceist:

68 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health the total cost to the health services in 1995 in respect of the provision of services for people with AIDS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8823/96]

,Limerick East): It is difficult to give precise details of costs in respect of the provision of services for people with AIDS.

The policy on HIV-AIDS is based on the recommendations of the National AIDS Strategy Committee. HIV-AIDS and drug misuse policies are closely interlinked given that 55 per cent of all HIV positive cases are intravenous drug-use related.

Since 1992 funding has been allocated to all health boards, particularly the Eastern Health Board where the majority of drug misusers reside, for the development of services. Between 1992 and 1995 a total of £10 million was allocated to HIV-AIDS and drug misuse services. A substantial part of the funding available in this area has been used in the provision of services for people with AIDS. These services include the appointment of consultants in infectious diseases in the Mater-Beaumont and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin. A consultant in palliative care has also been appointed in Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross. Other services for which funding was made available include the provision of additional respite beds in the Eastern Health Board area.

In addition, services are provided to persons living with AIDS in acute hospitals which are funded from such hospitals' ongoing revenue allocations. Allied to these services, funding for voluntary organisations involved in the provision of services to people with AIDS has been increased substantially since 1992. I will continue to ensure that services for persons with AIDS are provided as necessary.