Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (975, 1052)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

975. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure better funding of section 38 and 39 organisations. [14910/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

1052. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health his immediate plans to properly fund section 38 and 39 organisations that provide vital health and disability services; and if extra funding will be provided to them in 2020 [14883/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 975 and 1052 together.

Funding is provided to the HSE for Health services in accordance with the letter of determination which sets out the approved level of overall HSE expenditure for the year in question.

Voluntary organisations which provide health and social care services are funded by the Health Service Executive under arrangements governed by Section 38 or Section 39 of the Health Act, 2004.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government has agreed to allocate substantial additional funding to the Health Vote to meet the costs associated with the implementation of the measures outlined in the National Action Plan in response to COVID-19.

The HSE, through the Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) is actively engaging with any Section 38 and Section 39 providers who are experiencing financial challenges, including access to cash acceleration, where appropriate, to maintain continuity of service provision where cash flow issues arise. Organisations receiving funding from the HSE should raise any concerns in relation to financial issues that may have implications for continuity of service provision with the relevant Community Health Care Organisation (CHO) responsible for the service arrangements.

A critical focus at this time is the assurance of value for money in delivering on the required patient services and population health needs to effectively manage COVID-19 infection within the Irish context. Accordingly, the financial implications of measures taken to mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are matters which the Department of Health will continue to keep under review in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, as the situation evolves.

Organisations providing health and social care services were eligible to apply for the Community and Voluntary Sector €35m Stability Fund, which is now closed to applications. This scheme is intended to be a targeted once-off cash injection for organisations and groups delivering front-line services to the most at need in our society and in danger of imminent closure due to lost fundraising or traded income as a direct result of restrictions to counter the spread of COVID-19. The approval of funding under Tranche One of the Scheme was announced on 26 June. Further tranches will be announced over the coming weeks.