Sunday 22 January 2017

Medb Ruane: Why did it take another scandal for home care to be regulated?

Published 18/12/2010 | 05:00

The symptoms of a society going wrong are painful. On Monday, the Prime Time programme about elder abuse exposed some vicious, unlicensed healthcare providers. It showed political neglect and HSE shilly-shallying. It confirmed, yet again, how regressive ideologies promoted by the defunct PDs and some FF'ers are badly damaging the social fabric.

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In short, a pay-per-care-session system designed to grow a private home care industry has put vulnerable people at unacceptable risk. They are dehumanised and treated as objects by a thinking that sees them primarily as profit units. Shameful doesn't say it.

Adrian Lydon's film sent an undercover reporter into one of the many new home care businesses that sprang up recently. These businesses are unregulated and not monitored. Some staff are untrained and don't have garda clearance. Even those who witness abuse and suffering in their work found it exceptionally disturbing to watch.

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