Dáil Éireann - Volume 458 - 14 November, 1995
Written Answers. - Long-Stay Bed Numbers.
Mr. Hughes Mr. Hughes
92. Mr. Hughes asked the Minister for Health the number of long-stay beds for the elderly in the public sector in each decade from 1970 to date. [16886/95]
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): The numbers of long-stay beds available in health board hospitals-homes are set out in the following table. These figures are based on the annual survey of long-stay accommodation which was first carried out in 1980.
Number of Long-Stay Beds in Health Board Hospitals/Homes 1980-94
Source: Annual Survey of Long-Stay Units.
The Years Ahead — A Policy for the Elderly, which was published in 1988, emphasised that the objective of health services for older people should be to support them in dignity and independence at home and when this is no longer possible to ensure that they have access to high quality hospital care when they require it.
The Years Ahead was adopted as official policy towards the elderly and its recommendations have been progressively implemented. In recent years additional funding has been made available for the elderly and their carers. This extra funding has enabled the health boards to expand home nursing services, to provide day care centres and to increase the number of paramedical staff working with the elderly in the community.
It should also be noted that since the introduction of the Health (Nursing Homes) Act, 1990, on 1 September 1993, a total of 6,876 people have been  approved for health board subventions in private and voluntary nursing homes.
Dáil Éireann 458 Written Answers. Long-Stay Bed Numbers.