Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Department of Health and Children
Health Service Staff
Question 236: To ask the Minister for Health and Children if there are plans to increase the resources for the public health nurse service to deal with an expanding workload in view of the increasing number of carers providing home care for family members. [29770/07]
The Primary Care Strategy aims to increase health service capacity through the development of services in the community to give people direct access to integrated multi-disciplinary teams of occupational therapists, general practitioners, nurses, home helps, physiotherapists and others.
It has been estimated that up to 95% of people's health and social services needs can be properly met within a primary care setting and the establishment of new Primary Care Teams can contribute greatly to enhancing community based health services. The HSE received funding totalling â¬32m in 2006 and 2007 for the establishment of 200 Primary Care Teams, which altogether will involve the appointment of some 600 additional front-line professionals. The development of these teams will facilitate a significant increase in capacity, including public health nursing service capacity, to meet people's health and social care needs in the community.
The Government is committed under the Towards 2016 agreement to the establishment of 300 Primary Care Teams by 2008; 400 by 2009; and 500 by 2011. A review of these targets will be undertaken in 2008. As the Health Service Executive has the operational and funding responsibility for Primary Care services, it is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.