Press Release

Minister Martin announces increased Health Services’ expenditure

Additional £1 billion for 2001

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Micheál Martin, TD announced today (6 December, 2000) that a total amount of £5.3 billion will be available to fund the Health Services in 2001. This represents a sizeable increase of 23%, amounting to £1bn, over the expenditure estimate for last year.

“The increased investment is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to improve the health services and expenditure. Next year will be the first year that total expenditure will exceed the £5bn mark. There are approx. 86,500 employees throughout the health sector and the significant increases in resources should assist them to deliver more effective services. While it is not possible to meet all of the competing demands, I consider that the support now being made available for 2001 which entails knock-on increased expenditure for 2002, will satisfy needs in a strategic and planned manner” said the Minister.

Gross spending on health will increase from just under £4.3 billion in 2000 to approx. £5.3 billion next year. Day-to-day health spending will, in broad terms, be distributed as follows across the major programmes in 2001:

  • £1,750m on public hospitals
  • £800m on services dedicated to the needs of older people
  • £500m on the GMS (Medical Card) Scheme, and a further £200m on Community Drugs Schemes
  • £450m on intellectual disability and autism services
  • £350m on psychiatric services
  • £200m on physical disability services
  • £200m on child support services
  • £200m on community protection measures such as vaccinations, food safety and health promotion
  • £100m on dental and ophthalmic services.

The key areas selected for particular mention by the Minister for the targeting of funding in 2001 include the following:

Intellectual Disability & Autism Services
£83m (incl. capital) for 2001, resulting in an additional total spend of £100m over the next two years

Physical & Sensory Disability Services
£39m for 2001, resulting in an additional total spend of £66m over the next two years

  • This includes £2.5m in 2001, rising to a full year cost of £6m in 2002, for Personal Assistant Services, enabling the recruitment of 312 additional assistants.
  • It includes a doubling of the Mobility Allowance, which currently benefits approx. 2,600 persons, from £45.60 to £90 per month. This will cost a total of £1m in 2001.
  • Included are revisions for eligibility criteria for receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance – abolition of the six month rule and pro-rata payments for children, normally resident in special care institutions, for periods spent at home.

Services for Older People
£72m for 2001, resulting in an additional total spend of £117m over the next two years.

  • This expenditure includes the provision of a free medical card to all those aged 70 years and over.

Acute Hospital Services
£94m for 2001 (excl. capital), rising to £114m full year cost in 2002.

Child Care Services
£52.5m (incl. capital) for 2001, resulting in an additional total spend of £76.5m over the next two years

  • Including child minding, child homelessness and foster care

Other significant areas receiving substantial funding are:

Mental Health Services
£32.6m (incl. capital) for 2001, resulting in an additional total spend of £58.1m over the next two years.

Dental Services
£10m for 2001, rising to £13m for full year costs in 2002.

It is intended that further details of the implications of the budget day initiatives, and other estimates expenditure for 2001 and beyond, will be made available at a Press Conference, on Thursday, 7 December, at 11.30 am, Government Press Centre, Dept. of the Taoiseach, Merrion Street, Dublin 2 .