Dáil Éireann - Volume 378 - 23 February, 1988

Written Answers. - Drugs Costs Refunds.

124. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health if it is his intention to eliminate the need to pay the amounts for drugs of over £28 per month which are currently refunded having regard to a statement made by him in this connection when he was Opposition spokesperson for Health in January, 1987.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): I would refer the Deputy to my speech during the course of the budget debate. I indicated that the operation of the drugs refund scheme and the long-term illness scheme are being reviewed by my Department in conjunction with the health boards. Following the review, I hope that it will be possible to make some improvements in the operation of the scheme.

[614] I would also refer the Deputy to the Press Statement I issued on 16 December 1987 where I stated:—

There is no proposal to change the existing schemes on 1st January 1988. A comprehensive review of the operation of these schemes is being carried out in conjunction with other aspects of community care services.

When this review is completed a statement of policy will be made in the new year.

In the meantime current arrangements remain in place. I deplore the unnecessary anxiety caused to patients by those who have misrepresented the current position.