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Keys Sitting - 30th October 2007 30 October 2007

Oral Question 4 | Oral Question 5 | Oral Question 6 | Written Question 4

The question number refers to the question order specified in the official Tynwald Order Paper. To read the answers, scroll down this page or select a link to a question from above.

Question NumberSubjectQuestion from
Oral 4Petition Kirk Michael SurgeryMr Cannan,MHK
Oral 5Orthodontic Waiting ListMr Henderson,MHK
Oral 6Cost in Nursing HomesMr Karran,MHK
Written 4Aids & AdaptationsMr Karran,MHK

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Oral Question 4

For Oral Answer:The Hon Member for Michael (Mr Cannan) to ask the Minister for Health Social Security –

Having received a Petition in support of the re-instatement in your Department’s Capital and revenue expenditure programme for the provision of a General Medical Practice Surgery at Kirk Michael, what are your intentions in respect of this matter?

Answer

Mr Speaker

I would like to thank The Honourable Member for presenting me with the Petition. I will take the views of the Petitioners and other interested parties into account when making my deliberations.

The Honourable Member is incorrect when he says that I should reinstate the revenue expenditure as it was not in the budget in the first place.

Additionally, whilst budgetary provision for the Capital expenditure had been identified the Department had not received the Clinical Recommendation as to the most appropriate area for a primary healthcare centre.

Oral Question 5

For Oral Answer:The Hon Member for Douglas North (Mr Henderson) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

What hope have patients on the ‘Orthodontic waiting list’ of ever receiving treatment or gaining an appointment?

Answer

Mr Speaker

The waiting lists in many clinical specialities have built up over a number of years. When I took my seat at the Department of Health and Social Security, I was determined to try and reduce the time that many people in our community were waiting for orthopaedic procedures, cataract operations, orthodontic and ENT procedures.

Everyone in my team has worked hard to achieve a situation that is now much more hopeful that most patients will be seen in a timely manner.

With regard to orthopaedics and cataracts those waiting list initiatives are currently due to commence.

Currently, I accept that the waiting times for some treatments are unacceptable and we are all working hard to reduce the waiting times.

So, in answer to the question from the honourable member I am much more hopeful that the appointments will proceed in a more timely manner.

Oral Question 6

For Oral Answer:The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Karran) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

How many residents in nursing homes are having to pay all their entire costs including their pocket money to stay in that accommodation?

Answer

Mr Speaker

I presume the honourable member wishes to know the number of residents in nursing homes who are reliant on social security benefits to assist them with meeting the cost of the home fee and who find themselves in the position of having to pay to the nursing home all of their social security benefits, including any personal expenses allowances (or pocket money as referred to by the honourable member), towards the cost of that fee.

Financial assistance from the State towards meeting the cost of a nursing home fee is provided by way of income support. The 7 commercially operated nursing homes on the Island have 377 registered nursing beds, 187 of which are occupied by persons who receive income support.

Of those 187 residents who receive income support there are 136 whose total social security benefits, including their personal expenses allowance, will be required to be paid to the nursing home to assist in meeting the cost of the accommodation fee. As result of the fees set by the nursing homes the payment, by these 136 residents, of all of their social security benefits to the home will still not be sufficient to meet the full cost of the fee.

Honourable members may recall that the outcome of a review of nursing home fees by the Office of Fair Trading earlier this year concluded a fair price for nursing care on the Isle of Man is between a minimum of £440.85 and a maximum of £678.47 per week. At its meeting on 10th May 2007, CoMIN resolved to accept the “fair price” for nursing care on the Island as being the top end of this scale at £678.47 per week.

CoMIN’s decision was implemented by the Department when determining the levels of benefit which would be made available to persons requiring financial assistance from the State towards meeting the cost of their care home fee, although I accept these commercially operated nursing homes are at liberty to set whatever fees they consider to be appropriate. In the case of 5 of the 7 nursing homes their fees are set at a rate higher than the maximum amount of State benefits which can be paid.

Written Question 4

For Written Answer:The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Karran) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

  1. What is the total amount broken down into categories of the funds available for adaptations for the disabled; and
  2. what is the total needed for these purposes again broken down by category?

Answer

Mr Speaker

The annual budget for Aids & Adaptations is £164,900.00. In addition during this financial year we have accrued £115,000.00 which represents the balance of funds remaining from a supplementary vote given by Tynwald during the financial year 2005/06 as part of the waiting lists initiative. Thus at 01 April 2007 the Department had an available budget of £279,900.00 of which £117,913.00 was committed leaving an available budget of £161,987.00. Against this available budget we have commitments of £118,377.00 and ongoing costs for repairs and maintenance of approx £45,000.00. This leaves 38 cases that have been approved subject to funding with an estimated cost of £172,163.00 that cannot be funded from the present budget.

Funding is not broken down into categories. The funding is allocated according to a scheme of priorities that has been agreed by the Department. Each application for funding is assessed by the relevant professionals for eligibility for funding and for need and then allocated a priority by a multi disciplinary panel in accordance with the agreed scheme of priorities. Available funds are then committed to each eligible applicant according to the priority accorded to their application until the available funds are exhausted. There is also a requirement for repair and replacement of existing equipment. The Department reviewed the position in relation to the scheme at its last meeting on 12 October 2007. A review of the current scheme will be undertaken over the coming months, in consultation with other relevant government departments, to see if there is a more effective way for this matter to be dealt with.

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