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€1b more for HSE in 2017 service plan

Extra funding secured in the 2017 HSE National Service Plan for disabilities will be put to good use, according to Minister with responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath.

The Minister was speaking after the publication of the HSE National Service Plan for 2017, which will see an increased budget of almost €1 billion since last year, bringing the total health budget to over €14 billion.

“I am very pleased that in 2017 the HSE will provide services in line with or in some cases, in excess of the target for services set out for 2016,” Minister McGrath said.“In addition, I welcome that extra funding secured for disability services will be put to good use in important areas.”

Additional funding of €10 million is being allocated to meet the cost of providing day supports and services for approximately 1,500 young adults with disabilities who will complete their education or life-skills training in 2017.

“I am also particularly pleased with the specific provision for 185 new emergency residential placements and new home support and in-home respite for 210 additional people who require emergency supports. This is an issue I have consistently highlighted as a priority for me in my role as Minister of State with responsibility in this area.”

He said his department is currently preparing legislation to give children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) payment automatic entitlement to a medical card.

“I am delighted to note that this new legislation will effectively mean that all children in respect of whom a DCA payment is made will automatically qualify for a medical card and, therefore, no longer be subject to the medical cards means test at any point in the future while in receipt of DCA,” Minister McGrath said.

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