Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Ceisteanna (161)

Brian Hayes


209 Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Minister for Health and Children if she is satisfied with the rate at which persons who were illegally charged for nursing home care are being refunded; the difficulties that have been encountered in the repayment of these moneys; the date she anticipates the health repayment scheme to complete repayments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18004/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health and Children)

The health repayment scheme was launched in August 2006 and is administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in conjunction with the appointed Scheme Administrator KPMG/McCann Fitzgerald.

The position at 15th June, 2007 was that 3,200 offers of repayment, with a value of approximately €60 million have been issued by the scheme administrator. Arising from these offers approximately 1,800 repayments with a value of approximately €38 million have been made to date. This rate of repayment is lower than had been projected. I understand from the HSE that this is due to a number of factors including the legal and technical requirements, a high level of deficiencies in the application forms submitted to the scheme administrator and complexities in the operation of the probate process.

In accordance with the Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006, priority has been given to repaying living applicants as they were most immediately affected; however repayments to estates have now commenced. A dedicated, an information phone line 1890 886 886 and an e-mail facility have been established by the scheme administrator to assist the public in accessing claim forms and general information on the scheme. The information line operates between the hours of 9.00 am and 6.00 pm Monday to Friday. The helpline has dealt with 50,161 queries to date.

The HSE is monitoring the operation of the repayment scheme and has agreed a range of initiatives with the scheme administrator to speed up the repayment process. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31st December 2007 and I have been informed by the HSE that final repayments should be made by mid 2008.

Question No. 210 answered with QuestionNo. 103.