Written answers

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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232. To ask the Minister for Health his plans to provide extra funding to adult disability services to see them through the Covid-19 crisis and beyond while still supplying a high level of care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17790/20]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Funding allocated in the HSE's National Service Plan 2020 for disability services increased significantly this year to €2,054.5m. This represents an increase of €138.7m or 7.2% more than the 2019 budget of €1915.8m. The additional funding will enhance and expand existing services and enable a range of new service developments this year, including provision for school leavers, more respite services, additional personal assistance hours, more residential places and intensive home support packages.

As the Deputy is aware, the Government has agreed to allocate substantial additional funding to the Health Vote to meet the costs associated with the implementation of the measures outlined in the National Action Plan in response to COVID-19.

The HSE, through the Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) is actively engaging with any Section 38 and Section 39 disability service providers who are experiencing financial challenges, including access to cash acceleration, where appropriate, to maintain continuity of service provision.

The HSE has also given Section 38 and Section 39 providers of disability services and supports assurance that budget allocations confirmed to each provider via the relevant CHO, will remain in place to year end, subject to co-operation with the HSE and compliance with the relevant Service Arrangements

The HSE has put in place a structured governance process through which Section 39 organisations experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, can make submissions for financial and non-financial supports, as appropriate.

Other supports provided by CHOs to Section 38 and Section 39 organisations providing disability specialist services between March and May 2020 include:

- PPE and Infection Prevention and Control support, advice and training;

- Public health advice and support with regard to suspected or positive cases;

- Isolation facilities allied to testing, funding for emergency residential placements and;

- Logistics in the form of transport and accommodation.

In addition, COVID response teams have been put in place to assist and support residential service providers during the pandemic. These teams will now oversee and support the reshaping of disability services as a result of COVID 19.

A critical focus at this time is the assurance of value for money in delivering on the required patient services and population health needs to effectively manage COVID-19 infection within the Irish context.Accordingly, the financial implications of measures taken to mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are matters which the Department of Health will continue to keep under review in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, as the situation evolves.

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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233. To ask the Minister for Health the percentage of devices which have been used to download the Covid-19 tracker application that are able to use the contact tracing functionality of the application by device type in tabular form [17801/20]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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This data is not available to the app stores, the HSE or the Department of Health.

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