Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 22 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Health Services.

  167. Mr. Wall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the number of places to be provided for disturbed young persons as a result of the Judge Peter Kelly judgment; the location of these centres; the number of beds in use; the number of beds vacant; when the regions will be published following the promise made by [1257] her in Dáil Éireann to promise regional fora; when these fora will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35482/05]

  Mr. B. Lenihan: I assume the first part of the Deputy’s question refers to the judgment of the High Court in the TD case, which, I should inform the Deputy, was overturned by the Supreme Court in December 2001.

Since 1997, €198 million has been provided to the former health boards and the Health Service Executive for the development of child protection and family support services by this Government and the previous Government. An additional €8 million is being provided to the HSE to develop children and family support services in 2006.

The provision of high support and special care services and the community-based alternatives for non-offending children in need of special care and protection under the provisions of the Health Act 2004 and the Child Care Act 1991, as amended, is the responsibility of the Health Services Executive. I have therefore asked the parliamentary affairs division of the executive to arrange to have the detailed information sought by the Deputy compiled and to communicate it directly to him.

As regards the second part of the Deputy’s question, section 42 of the Health Act 2004 provides for the establishment of not more than four regional health forums. Membership of the forums will be based on nominations from city and county councils within the functional area of each forum.

My Department was engaged in a consultation process with the HSE and has now received the HSE’s formal observations on the draft regulations. My Department is now finalising the regulations and the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children will be consulting with the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, as required under the provisions of section 42(1) of the Health Act 2004, prior to making the regulations.

On completion of this consultation, the Tánaiste will make the regulations and have them laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas with a view to establishing the forums as soon as possible.

Question No. 168 answered with Question No. 87.