Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Health
Services for People with Disabilities
Dara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
Question 468: To ask the Minister for Health if he will ensure the discontinuation of â‚¬3 charge being imposed under the rural transport initiative for patients and elderly persons who attend day training centres [17016/11]
Kathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
Transport services for people with a disability are generally provided by voluntary service providers that are funded by the HSE under Sections 38 and 39 of the Health Act. However, as a result of the limited public transport service in Co. Donegal, the HSE/North Western Health Board has for many years provided free transport services to day centres, day hospitals and other services.
In the current financial climate, it is not sustainable for the HSE to continue to provide a free transport service in the Donegal area; it is more important that resources focus on continued service delivery. In order to sustain transport services and provide access to HSE services, local HSE Management is working closely with SeirbhÃs Iompair Tuaithe Teoranta (SITT), MFG and Inishowen Development Partnership - community based not-for-profit rural transport companies.
This approach will help to support a local community group as well as ensuring that the transport services that people need to access services will be there in the future. The scheme has been implemented in the rest of the county and has been very successful. It will be commenced in the Inishowen area during the third quarter of 2011.