The long-delayed legislation to pave the way for the so-called "fair deal" scheme on nursing-home funding is expected to be published later today.
Reports this morning say that Health Minister Mary Harney confirmed yesterday that the legislation would finally be published today and that the scheme would come into effect next year.
The initiative will see some of the cost of providing nursing home care recouped from the estates of residents after they have died.
Meanwhile, Ms Harney also told the Oireachtas Health Committee yesterday that the Government had agreed to provide a further €77m to the HSE to cover the cost of nursing home refunds.
The move means the Government has now been forced to allocate €277m to refund nursing home residents with medical cards who were illegally charged for their care between 1976 and 2004.