Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Health
Medical Aids and Appliances
The Health Service Executive (HSE) provides a wide range of medical and surgical aids and appliances free of charge to eligible persons following assessment by a relevant health professional. These appliances and aids are provided by the HSE through community services known as Community Funded Schemes and play a key role in assisting and supporting service users to maintain everyday functioning, and to remain living in their homes and local community.
Each Community Health Organisations (CHO) operates processes for the allocation of funding for medical and surgical aids and appliances. Each application within a CHO is assessed by the local Resource Allocation Group and a determination is made regarding approval based on clinical priority and the funding available within local budgets.
At times, due to the demand for resources exceeding the available capacity, waiting lists may apply for some categories of items provided through the medical and surgical aids and appliances budget in a particular CHO. CHOs undertake a range of initiatives to ensure optimum use of resources.
A HSE Primary Care led National Service Improvement Programme has the aim of improving the equity of access, value for money, and functional processes of the Community Funded Schemes through the establishment of national guidelines for the provision of medical and surgical aids and appliances. While this work was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as the situation involving the pandemic improves, this Programme will gather pace.
As this question also raises a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.