Dáil Éireann - Volume 510 - 11 November, 1999
Written Answers. - Health Board Services.
Mr. Deenihan Mr. Deenihan
39. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the disparity between health boards in the delivery of treatment of people with diabetes who suffer from hypertension and hypercholesteroleamia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22192/99]
Mr. Shatter Mr. Shatter
68. Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason for the apparent disparity between health boards in the delivery of treatment for people suffering from diabetes; the reason some health boards do not recognise the benefit of supporting patients with diabetes by allowing free medication for blood pressure and high cholesterol; and the action, if any, he will take to ensure this free medication is provided to those who require it. [21051/99]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 68 together.
Under the Health Act, 1970, a health board may make arrangements for the supply without charge of drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances to persons suffering from a prescribed disease or disability of a permanent or long-term nature. Diabetes mellitus and diabetes inspidus are among the conditions prescribed under the Act. Drugs which are directly related to the treatment of these conditions are made available free of charge.
The operation of the scheme is primarily a matter for the relevant health board and information on the operation of the scheme with regard to the provision of drugs for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia and hypertension arising from diabetes was sought from each health board. This  information has now been received and is being reviewed by my Department. As soon as this review is completed I will communicate further with the Deputy in the matter.
Dáil Éireann 510 Written Answers. Health Board Services.