Dáil Éireann - Volume 499 - 27 January, 1999

Written Answers. - Nursing Home Subventions.

77. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children the arrangements, if any, he has made with the health boards to apply the provisions of the Nursing Home Subvention Regulations, 1998 (S.I. No. 498 of 1998); and if he will give a commitment that those who are currently in receipt of a reduced subvention owing to circumstances of relatives will have their situation reviewed and subvention increased from 1 January 1999. [1840/99]

93. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of applicants in receipt of nursing home subventions as at 1 January 1999; and the number of these in receipt of a reduced rate due to the financial circumstance of the relatives of the applicants. [1839/99]

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Dr. Moffatt): I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 93 together.

The Nursing Homes (Subvention) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998, which I made recently have removed the provision which allowed health boards to assess the capacity of adult sons and/or daughters over 21 year of age to contribute towards the cost of nursing home care of their parent. The change is effective from 1 January 1999.

The health boards have been instructed to review the position of all those in receipt of a reduced rate of subvention by virtue of the capacity of a son and/or daughter to contribute towards the cost of nursing home care. While it may take some little time for all such reviews to be completed, I wish to emphasise that any [146] change in the rate of subvention payable will be back dated to 1 January 1999.

As of 31 October 1998, the number of applicants in receipt of nursing home subventions was 6,583. It is estimated that about 500 applicants are in receipt of a reduced rate of subvention due to the assessment of their sons and/or daughters circumstances.