Press Release

Minister Martin re-affirms Government commitment to people with disabilities; funding of €179m provided since 1997

Since 1997, funding of over €179 million has been provided for the maintenance and development of services for people with physical and sensory disabilities.

In 2002 alone, the Government has allocated additional revenue and capital funding of almost €40 million for investment in services for people with physical or sensory disability.

€15.29 million provided for existing services and the full year cost of 2001 development programme.

€15.24 million allocated to the health boards for the development of services for people with physical and sensory disabilities. €6.5 million has been specifically allocated to address the under-resourcing of the voluntary sector. The Department of Health and Children, working in conjunction with the Agencies and Health Boards, will carry out a detailed review of the activities of the voluntary agencies in each Health Board area with a view to tackling the deficit funding issue facing the voluntary sector.

There is also provision for €9.322 million capital expenditure under the National Development Plan (NDP) in 2002.

Physical and Sensory Disability Database

One of the problems in identifying the health and personal social service needs of people with a physical or sensory disability has been the lack of information on the numbers of people with disabilities and their service requirements. The Department of Health and Children, in conjunction with the Health Research Board, the health boards and the voluntary sector, including the Not for Profit Business Association, is currently developing a National Physical and Sensory Disability Database, which will provide a picture of the specialised health and personal social service needs of people with a physical or sensory disability over a 5 year period. The information from the Database will enable the Department, the Health Boards and Voluntary Agencies to plan appropriate services designed to meet the changing needs of the population of people with a physical or sensory disability.