€23.4 billion for Irish health services in 2023

Stephen Donnelly
Stephen Donnelly TD

Over €23 billion has been invested in health and social care services in Ireland in Budget 2023.

Eligibility for General Practice (GP) access cards is being expanded to cover all children aged six and seven by the end of 2022 and, from April 1, 2023, eligibility will further be extended to people who earn the median household income of €46,000 or less, bringing half a million additional people, into the scheme.  This means almost half of the population will have access to free GP care.  The Department of Health said it was envisaged that these measures would be supported by a significant

All inpatient hospital charges will be abolished from April 1, 2023.

Section 39 organisations, Nursing Homes and hospices will be eligible to receive once off additional support this winter from the once off Health sector fund of €100m. This fund is being allocated by Government to provide specific winter support to these organisations who provide such essential health services in the context of the significant challenges which they are facing currently.

There will be investment in important initiatives relating to Women’s Health, expansion of the free contraception scheme and, for the first time, the provision of IVF services.”

An overall funding increase for 2023 of almost €150m will be spent on mental health and older people. In addition to this additional core funding, there will be an additional investment of almost €12m for new measures in services and social care for older persons, supporting the objectives of the Dementia Strategy and an overall increase of €72.8m (which includes additional funding of €14m) for new measures within mental health services.

An additional €15m in funding will go to Healthy Ireland and social inclusion measures in Budget 2023. This includes an allocation of €1.3m for new measures including social prescribing.

Additional resources will be provided to continue the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy which will enhance access and delivery of drugs and alcohol services in the community and also support the implementation of the forthcoming National Traveller Health Action Plan.”

The overall Budget for disability services in 2023 will be €2.4 billion There will be an overall increase of €177m in funding for Disabilities. This includes €29.5m to build long-term capacity for Specialist Disability Services and other Disability initiatives. For school leavers, additional funding provided in 2023 will provide a placement in adult day services for circa 1,200 mostly young people leaving school, who require ongoing support. An additional once-off funding of €39 million is being provided to reduce the Assessment of Need waiting list and to fund placements in residential centres (costs associated with activity during Covid-19).