QUESTION NO: 104 addressed to the Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West))for WRITTEN ANSWER on 02/04/2009
* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the details of the legal action to which the health repayment scheme is a party in relation to patients who claim to have been compelled to avail of private nursing home care due to the lack of public nursing home places and which is awaiting determination before the High Court; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton T.D.
I understand that the Deputy’s question refers to a legal case which is being taken against the Health Repayment Scheme Appeals Office. This case is being dealt with in the ordinary way in accordance with legal advice that the Appeals Office and the Department is receiving from its legal advisers. It would not be appropriate to make further comment at this time as this matter is currently before the courts.
QUESTION NOS: 49 & 67 addressed to the Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West)) for ORAL ANSWER on 31/03/2009
To ask the Minister for Health and Children the details of the people who are regarded as having full eligibility to repayment of long stay charges under the Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006; if her Department has conducted research into the number eligible for repayments under this scheme and the potential cost of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 31st March, 2009.
To ask the Minister for Health and Children the deadlines which have been set for the repayment of charges to persons or estates of persons under the Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006; the number of claims received under the repayment scheme; the number approved for payment; the number which have been paid to date; the number pending; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 31st March, 2009.
The Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006 provides the framework for the repayment of recoverable health charges to those who were incorrectly charged for publicly funded long stay care. The Act only provides for prescribed repayments to be made in respect of recoverable health charges. Recoverable health charges are charges for in-patient services, imposed on persons with full eligibility, under the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) Regulations 1976, as amended, and the Institutional Assistance Regulations 1954. For the purpose of the Scheme both medical card holders and those entitled to medical cards are deemed to be persons with full eligibility.
The estates of all those fully eligible persons who were incorrectly charged and who died since 9 December 1998 are eligible for repayment under the scheme provided a valid application form was submitted prior to the closing date.
It is anticipated that of the 35,000 applications received under the scheme, approximately 14,200 applications will be rejected and the remaining 20,800 valid applications will result in repayments with a potential cost of approximately €414m. Over 33,400 or 95% of applications have been concluded to date. Almost 19,900 offers of repayment totalling more than €392m have issued and, within this, 16,800 repayments have been completed to the value of €370m.
There are in the region of 1,500 claims remaining to be concluded and it is anticipated that the vast majority of these remaining claims will be processed by the end of April.
QUESTION NO: 56 addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Ms. Hoctor) for ORAL ANSWER on 19/02/2009
To ask the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide details on Health Service Executive plans for long-term residential care beds; and if she will make a statement on the matter. David Stanton T.D.
The Health Service Executive National Service Plan 2009 sets out the HSE’s plan for the management and configuration of public long-term residential care services during 2009. As part of this plan, it will provide for a number of additional and replacement long-term residential care beds over the course of 2009. The latest information from the HSE indicates that 704 additional beds and 492 replacement beds will become operational during 2009. This includes beds being provided under the Capital Plan and beds being provided under the Fast-Track Initiative.
The plan also identifies a requirement to reduce the number of beds in long-term residential care units in some parts of the country, particularly where the standard of facilites is considered inadequate and where it is necessary to addresses infrastrucural deficits in order to meet Health and Safety and Fire Requirements and the planned new standards. I can confirm to the Deputy that 287 beds are currently temporarily closed, primarily due to refurbishment and health and safety requirements. Of these, 126 are expected to re-open over the course of 2009; some will re-open as part of the replacement projects mentioned above. The HSE plans to close a further 145 beds during the remainder of 2009 in the following locations:
HSE DML- 38 beds
HSE South- 102 beds
HSE West- 5 beds
These closures are again necessitated by health and safety and fire requirements.
QUESTION NO: 532 to the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Ms. Hoctor) for WRITTEN ANSWER on 27/01/2009
* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the number of people in receipt of a nursing home subvention; the proportion of same which have been classified as medium, high and maximum dependency; and if she will make a statement on the matter. David Stanton T.D.
According to the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2009, there was an average of 9,079 people in receipt of basic subvention per month in 2008. Of these, 4,883 were also in receipt of an enhanced subvention.
Since the enactment of the Health (Nursing Homes) (Amendment) Act 2007, the level of subvention that a person receives is no longer linked to their level of dependency, i.e. medium, high and maximum. The 2007 Act simply provides for a determination to be made as to whether an individual needs to be maintained in a nursing home or not. Once an individual is deemed to require long-term residential care, they can apply for subvention and may receive any amount up to a maximum basic subvention of €300 per week. This is determined on the basis of a means assessment.
QUESTION NO: 220 for WRITTEN ANSWER on 08/04/2008
* To ask the Minister for Health and Children when she expects to be in a position to finalise and publish legislation to introduce the new nursing home support scheme bill, A Fair Deal; when she hopes that this new scheme will come into operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton
The Bill providing for the Fair Deal scheme is being finalised by the Office of the Attorney General at present.
My colleague, the Minister for Health and Children, intends to publish the Bill as soon as possible following finalisation by the Attorney General and Government approval, and to bring the legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas thereafter.
The scheme will be made available to the public as soon as all the necessary legal and administrative arrangements are in place.