Press Release

Minister O´Malley opens the European Year of People with Disabilities Conference “Count Me In”

Mr Tim O´Malley, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for disability services, today (13th November 2003) opened the European Year of People with Disabilities Conference “Count Me In” in Dublin Castle.

The conference, which is being hosted by the National Rehabilitation Hospital, in conjunction with the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the East Coast Area Health Board, is regarded by the Minister as being very important to highlight the European Year of People with Disabilities.

“The formal transfer of responsibility for a number of disability services to their “mainstream” Department has enabled them to be planned and delivered in a more inclusive manner” stated the Minister.

The Department of Health and Children will now be concentrating its efforts on a strategic review of the health services for people with disabilities, as provided for in “Sustaining Progress” This will enable the health sector to concentrate on enhancing and improving those services for which it has particular responsibility.

Minister O´Malley also stated that there is a positive momentum of initiatives in motion at present and their aims are to advance the rights of people with disabilities in order to achieve an equality of regard within our society.