Dáil Éireann - Volume 569 - 24 June, 2003
Written Answers. - Nursing Home Subventions.
Mr. P. McGrath Mr. P. McGrath
333. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the details of the hardship fund which is available to persons who are hospitalised in private nursing homes and who, despite receiving the nursing home subvention and old age pension, are unable to pay the additional fees due to the nursing home. [17801/03]
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Callely): I take it the Deputy is referring to what is called an enhanced nursing home subvention.
Under the Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990, a health board may pay a subvention towards the cost of private nursing home care, where a person is unable to meet the cost and where he or she has been assessed as needing nursing home care by a health board and where the person has satisfied a means test. However, it was never intended that nursing home subvention would meet the full costs of private nursing home care.
A health board may pay more than the maximum rate of subvention relative to an individual's level of dependency, for example, in cases where personal funds are exhausted. Articles 22.3 and 22.4 of the Nursing Home (Subvention) Regulations 1993, permit health boards to contract beds in private nursing homes and to pay more than the maximum rates of subvention in such cases. However, the application of these provisions is a matter for the individual health board concerned in the context of meeting increasing demands for subventions within the board's revenue allocation as notified annually in the letter of determination. This is in keeping with the provisions of the Health (Amendment) (No 3) Act 1996.
Dáil Éireann 569 Written Answers. Nursing Home Subventions.