Dáil Éireann - Volume 665 - 30 October, 2008

Written Answers. - Voluntary Sector Funding.

Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Health and Children the impact that various cutbacks will have on voluntary organisations providing services, such as centres for independent living and so on across the State; when the organisations will be notified of their budgets; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37679/08]

  Deputy Mary Harney: Following the recent Budget, I have notified the Health Service Executive (HSE) of its allocation for 2009. In my letter of the 15th October 2008 to the Chairman of the HSE, I indicated the budget was framed in the context of the fiscal challenges facing the country. I also indicated a number of cost saving measures which the HSE would need to achieve to ensure it remained within its overall expen[685] diture limit. I further emphasised the need to meet these targets so as to protect front line services and I have requested the HSE to submit, for my approval, a National Service Plan, which will indicate how the Executive proposes to allocate its funding and the levels of service it will provide for that funding in 2008.

The Health Service Executive funds a wide range of agencies and the Executive will notify these agencies of their funding regarding their allocations after the Service Plan is approved. My Department also directly funds a wide range of agencies which provide a diverse range of services such as cancer screening, health research, enforcing standards in health care, medicines and food and I hope to be in a position to notify them of their allocation soon.