Dáil Éireann - Volume 487 - 18 February, 1998
Written Answers. - Health Board Spending.
Mr. Killeen Mr. Killeen
153. Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Health and Children the average per capita spending in each of the eight health board regions in each year since 1990. [4393/98]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen) Brian Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): The information the Deputy requested is as follows:
  Average Non-Capital Expenditure per capita spending in each health board area
These figures include the per head of population in health board voluntary hospitals and mental handicap homes. It should be noted that the expenditure per head of population is an arithmetic average and should be treated with caution. It is an unweighted average and does not take into consideration a number of demographic and geographical factors. Cross-regional comparisons of health expenditure are notoriously difficult.
Based on national policy, people from various areas avail of regional specialities outside their area which would not be reflected in the average for their board. The same applies to patient traffic flows where for historical, clinical or other reasons, patients may travel to other centres for treatment. These movements can be quite significant.
The apparent differences in the cost of health care in each region is also influenced by other factors such as access to higher specialities outside the area, density of population and the present development of the services.
The 1995 and 1996 figures reflect the fact that the responsibility for funding the disabled persons' maintenance allowance was transferred to the then Department of Social Welfare in August 1995.
Dáil Éireann 487 Written Answers. Health Board Spending.