Press Release

Statement by Mary Harney, T.D. Minister for Health & Children in relation to Budgetary consolidation in 2008

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D. said today (Tuesday 8 July, 2008) : “ The budgetary consolidation measures decided by the Government today will ensure that we can continue on a sound fiscal basis which will support economic growth and provide for improved public services into the future.”

“Within the Health Group of Votes, the 2008 Budget provided for an additional €1.16 billion expenditure in 2008 bringing the total to €16.156 billion.”

“A total of €144.35m is to be saved within the health sector this year.”

“The intention is that this amount will be saved through a combination of the following: •savings of €85m in 2008 arising from the new nursing home support scheme, the Fair Deal, which has still to be implemented. The balance of the Fair Deal provision of €110 will be applied as set out below •savings of €38m in 2008 arising from the slower than expected roll-out of the package of new developments provided for in the December 2007 budget; •savings of €21.35m to be identified in administrative costs across the Department and all agencies other than the HSE to include payroll, advertising, procurement, consultancy; and in other schemes within the Department of Health & Children (Vote 39) and the Office of the Minister for Children (Vote 41).

These savings will not affect the provision of health services to patients and clients or the HSE capital plan in 2008.”

Services for Older People – nursing home support

The Minister intends to submit the Fair Deal legislation, which is currently being finalised, to Government for approval to publish as soon as possible. The cost of the scheme will be provided for in 2009.

Sanction has now been received from the Department of Finance for •the spending of €13m from the Fair Deal provision of €110m on 200 extra contract beds and •the use of a further €12m of these moneys for enhanced subvention arising from increases in the cost of nursing home fees.

These measures will assist older people and their families in advance of the completion and implementation of legislation on the Fair Deal.

The HSE has confirmed that it is aiming to deliver the National Service Plan submitted by the Board last November within its approved pre-Budget allocation.

The HSE has already started to roll out some of the new service developments funded in Budget 2008 and included in the Addendum to the Service Plan submitted by the Board in January 2008. Following a review of its overall financial position it now plans to commence the remaining developments next month.