Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 470 - Health services [Community drug projects] [45408/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 470 - Health services [Community drug projects] [45408/22]. (20 Sep 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

470. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if he will increase core funding to community drug projects by 10% in Budget 2023 in view of the fact that there has been no increase in core funding since 2013 despite the escalating demands on these projects; if he will consider the substantial increases in energy and fuel costs experienced by drug and alcohol taskforces and commit to this much-needed increase in core funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45408/22]

Minister of State at the Department of Health: The Department of Health provides €28 million for 280 community-based drug and alcohol services annually. In 2019, additional funding of €240,000 for Drug and Alcohol Taskforces was announced. Each of the 24 Drug and Alcohol Task Forces received €10,000 on a recurring basis.

The Department completed a mid-term review of the actions in the National Drugs Strategy, Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery, a health-led response to drugs and alcohol use. Based on the learning from the mid-term review, six strategic priorities for 2021-2025 were identified. 

One such priority is to enhance access to and delivery of drug and alcohol services in the community. This priority seeks to enhance community care for people who use drugs by providing health and social care services at the community level to meet identified health needs.

This will be supported though the development of a drug services care plan formulated on the basis of the new six health regions agreed by Government in 2019. Particular focus will be put on ensuring access to services for women, people in rural areas, ethnic minorities and the LGBTI+ community. This priority will consider models of care for people who use drugs and have co-morbidities. It will also address the stigma linked to drug use and drug addiction and its impact on access and delivery of health services.

In December 2021, I announced a new €2 million fund to enhance community-based drug and alcohol services - the Community Services Enhancement Fund (CSEF). The fund supports the aforementioned strategic priority under the national drugs strategy for 2021-2025.

I acknowledge the additional challenges faced by services because of inflation. The additional operating costs for community-based drug and alcohol services, along with other HSE funded section 39 services, will be considered as part of the 2023 Estimates process.

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