§ 96. Mr. T. M. HEALY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the county and city of Cork can now reckon on receiving their share from the Sanatorium Grant on the basis of population stated in October to be approximately £13,000; whether, as the Cork Joint Hospital Board made temporary provision for insured persons suffering from tuberculosis from other counties, they are entitled to receive an additional amount from the 1176 Sanatorium Grant; why are counties which have not joined with the Women's National Health Association kept ignorant of the sum they are to receive and thus debarred from proceeding with their schemes; is he aware that this delay in giving information is availed of by the Women's National Health Association to canvass county councillors to induce support for schemes by which beds are to be taken in their sanatoria; has any of the £25,000 been expended, and, if so, how; do the Local Government Board usually estimate each bed will annually cost about £140; has the Women's National Health Association or its patrons suggested that about half that figure would suffice; and, if not, what are the respective estimates?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The county and city of Cork can reckon on receiving their share of £120,000 immediately their schemes receive the final approval of the Local Government Board. As explained in my answer to the hon. and learned Member's question on 17th October last, such part of the remaining £25,000 as is expended by the Women's National Health Association on behalf of particular counties will be recovered from the shares of these counties, calculated on the population basis, and will be available for distribution on the same basis as the £120,000. The remaining portion of the £25,000 representing expenditure incurred in the interest of the country generally in respect of temporary provision for the counties which are contemplating building sanatoria for themselves and in respect of accommodation, whether for adults or for children, which will be available in the future for any county insurance committee which may apply for it will be a final charge against the £145,000 Grant as a whole. The share of Cork county and city in the Grant will be ascertained in this way, and will not be affected by the fact that the Cork Joint Hospital Board has provided temporary accommodation. County councils have been apprised of their respective shares of the £120,000, and will be informed as to the allocation of the £25,000 as soon as practicable. I am not aware that the Women's National Health Association have taken any steps to obtain support for their sanatorium other than such as might naturally be made by the managing authorities of similar institutions in similar circumstances. By far the larger portion of the £25,000 has been expended, but the exact amount cannot 1177 be made up at present. The Local Government Board do not understand what is meant by the annual cost of beds. The capital cost is arrived at by dividing the total expenditure by the number of beds, but I am not at present in a position to name any figure as the usual cost. The Women's National Health Association, who enter into their own agreements with county councils, have quoted £70 as their charge per bed.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how soon a decision will be come to in the matter?