Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Department of Health
Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration
621. To ask the Minister for Health the details of the changes to the nursing home support scheme in budget 2017, particularly in respect of farm assets; when the new measures are to be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35191/16]
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS) is a system of financial support for those in need of long-term nursing home care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their income and assets while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings. A financial assessment is carried out by the HSE to determine how much a participant in the Scheme will contribute to the cost of their care. The Programme for a Partnership Government has committed to reviewing the NHSS to remove any discrimination against small businesses and family farms.
When the NHSS commenced in 2009, a commitment was made that it would be reviewed after three years. The Report of the Review was published in July 2015. Arising out of the Review, a number of key issues have been identified for more detailed consideration across Departments and Agencies, including the treatment of business and farm assets for the purposes of the financial assessment element of the Scheme. This work is currently under way and the IFA has made a submission in this context to the Interdepartmental Group which is overseeing the Review. Changes arising from this Review may require legislative implementation.