Dáil Éireann - Volume 448 - 26 January, 1995
Written Answers. - Residential Care Services.
Mr. N. Treacy Mr. N. Treacy
18. Mr. N. Treacy asked the Minister for Health the total number of places available in residential care centres for mentally handicapped persons; the number of such persons in need of care; the priority this area of health care has in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1604/95]
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): The most recent statistics available regarding the number of persons with a mental handicap indicated at 31 December 1992 that 13,399 persons were in receipt of services of whom 6,582 were in receipt of residential services. However, when account is taken of the additional services put in place during 1993 and 1994, it is estimated that approximately 6,950 persons are in receipt of residential services.
My Department is in the process of putting in place a national database on the needs of persons with a mental  handicap. The database will provide information, on an ongoing basis, on the number of people with a mental handicap in each region, the number in receipt of services and those awaiting services, their current and future needs and the level of support which is required to meet those needs. Up-to-date information on numbers awaiting residential care will be available from the data base later this year.
I would like to assure the Deputy that the provision of additional services for persons with a mental handicap has a very high priority within my Department. In line with the commitment contained in the policy agreement “A Government of Renewal”, the Government is committed to eliminating waiting lists and to maximising the quality of life and right of participation of every citizen with a mental handicap.
Dáil Éireann 448 Written Answers. Residential Care Services.