I propose to take Questions Nos. 656 to 666, inclusive, together.
People with disabilities may be eligible for medical/surgical aids and appliances from the Health Service Executive (HSE) including prosthetics and orthotics, which facilitate and/or maintain mobility and/or functional independence. The basis for this provision is in the Health Act, 1970. Medical Card holders and Long-Term Illness Card holders received prosthetics and orthotics where it is deemed appropriate and specific to their diagnosed illness or disability. Assessments are carried out by a range of multi-disciplinary staff. Approval is prioritised to ensure that people with the most urgent assessed needs have their needs met first. As with all health services, approvals must remain within the annual budget for prosthetics and orthotics.
The information requested by the Deputy is not available to my Department. However, I have asked the HSE to provide directly to you, the information it has available in relation to prosthetic and orthotic service provision.