To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if his Department have given any commitment to the Health Service Executive to jointly fund the building of a new health centre in Inishbofin (details supplied).
R E P L Y:
AN tAIRE STÁIT SA ROINN EALAÍON, OIDHREACHTA AGUS GAELTACHTA (DONNCHADH MAC FHIONNLAOICH, T.D.)
I can inform the Deputy that my Department is aware of the proposed development by the Health Service Executive (HSE) of a new health centre on Inishbofin. I understand that my Department has received correspondence from the HSE in relation to the centre a number of times since 2004. However, I am advised that my Department did not agree at any stage to fund this development, either jointly or otherwise.
I am, of course, conscious of the particular challenges faced by island communities in areas such as healthcare, due to their location and travel constraints. However, since my Department’s budget for infrastructure development has been reduced substantially in recent years, it is not in a position to enter into any commitment related to the proposed health centre development. In any event, my Department would view any such development as being the responsibility of the HSE in the first instance.