Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Department of Health
The Department of Health and the HSE provide specialist disability services, including Day Services and Rehabilitative Training, to people with disabilities who require such services. The HSE has no statutory obligation to provide transport services and no funding is allocated for this. Transport is not considered a core health service and as such Day Service funding does not include transport.
Some transport supports are provided by the HSE or funded agencies on a discretionary basis, and a variety of transport solutions are pursued in different CHO areas. These include travel training by to enable public transport to be used upon commencement of a day programme (where applicable), local transport such as Local Link, private bus transport providers and taxis, funded via a combination of service provider, HSE funding, service user contribution, and / or combined funding; and some service providers provide transport where capacity exists
In general, day service users are in receipt of disability allowance and are automatically entitled to the Free Travel Pass.
There are improvements in access to a range of transport supports available to persons with disabilities in the State, for example the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme, operated by the Revenue Commissioners; the Free Travel Scheme operated by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection; and CLÁR funding, approved by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, to voluntary organisations providing transport for people with significant mobility issues.
Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 - 2021, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of accessible public transport.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.