Dáil Éireann - Volume 377 - 02 February, 1988

Written Answers. - Drugs Refund and Long Term Illness Schemes.

125. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health if he will give details of the cost of the drugs refund scheme and the long term illness card in 1987; his provision for these schemes in the estimates for 1988.

126. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health if he will give details of expenditure under the drugs refund scheme indicating the number of monthly claims and the total amount paid in respect of these claims in the following ranges: (1) £28 to £32 (2) £32 to £36 (3) £36 to £40 (4) £40 to £44 (5) £44 to £50 (6) £50 to £60 and (7) over £60.

127. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health if he will give details of the expenditure in 1987 on the long term illness scheme indicating the amount claimed by persons suffering from different illnesses.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): I intend to take Questions Nos. 125, 126 and 127 together.

1987 returns for the Drugs Refund and Long Term Illness schemes are not yet available. The most recent data to hand in respect of the schemes refers to the [747] calendar year 1986. The total cost of each scheme in 1986 is as follows:

Scheme

Cost

(£m)

Drugs Refund

9.62

Long Term Illness

8.62

[748] The global provision for the schemes in 1988 is at the same level as in 1987 i.e. some £19 million in all. The following table indicates the profile of refunds paid by each health board in 1986 under the Drugs Refund Scheme.

Profile of Refunds Paid by each Health Board — 1986.

(as % of all refunds paid)

% rounded

Health Board

up to £10 (incl.)

over £10 less than £10

£20-£30 inclusive

over £30 and less than £40

£40-£50 inclusive

over £50

%

%

%

%

%

%

Eastern

15

19

16

11

38

Midland

17

21

15

12

9

26

Mid-Western

18

20

17

11

9

25

North-Eastern

14

22

14

12

6

31

North-Western

15

18

17

12

10

27

South-Eastern

19

22

17

12

8

23

Southern

15

20

18

13

9

25

Western

29

16

17

11

9

19

The refund profile returns are prepared by health boards on the basis of £10 refund increments, indicating the % of all refunds in each such increment. These cannot be readily recast to the particular increments suggested by the Deputy's question. Similarly, the total amount paid out in each refund increment category is not submitted by Boards. However, I attach a table indicating the total number of refunds paid by each Board, and the cost of the Refund scheme in each health board area, in 1986.

Health Board

Refunds

Cost of Scheme (rounded)

£

Eastern

102,866

4,808,000

Midland

8,003

277,000

Mid-Western

15,728

658,000

North Eastern

14,138

630,000

North Western

7,275

293,000

South Eastern

20,716

730,000

Southern

40,490

1,625,000

Western

13,438

621,000

National

222,654

9,642,000

The following table sets out the estimated expenditure for each condition covered by the Long Term Illness scheme, in 1986.

Condition

Number of patients in Scheme 1986*

Estimated expenditure in 1986 £'000 (rounded)

Mental Handicap

2,666

102,000

Mental Illness

146

13,000

PKU

309

994,000

Cystic Fibrosis

704

645,000

Spina Bifida

1,060

154,000

Hydrocephalus

9,000

Cerebral Palsy

903

60,000

Haemophilia

191

207,000

Epilepsy

11,895

968,000

Diabetes

18,722

4,718,000

Multiple Sclerosis

1,044

238,000

Muscular Dystrophies

258

19,000

Parkinsonism

1,441

401,000

Acute Leukaemia

383

96,000

Total

39,728

8,624,000