Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Department of Health
Services for People with Disabilities
85. To ask the Minister for Health why the Health Service Executive's service plan makes no provision for an increase in the number of personal assistant hours for persons with disabilities in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3885/16]
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is committed to protecting the level of Personal Assistant (PA) services available to people with disabilities. In their 2016 National Service Plan, the HSE's priority is to provide 1.3 million hours of personal assistance to more than 2,000 people with a disability. This is the same activity level that was funded in 2014 and 2015. PA hours are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that the service is at all times responsive to client's needs and that the hours available are allocated appropriately and in a timely manner. The HSE has confirmed that in excess of €30 million is spent annually on the provision of PA Services. I have also arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for a more detailed response to be supplied to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, he can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.