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More than 20 nursing homes for elderly face closure by summer

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Pension levy to be abolished

Pension levy to be abolished

Pension levy to be abolished

The Government was today warned that elderly patients in 21 nursing homes across the country could hit by the closure of those homes.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said that up to €300m was required to bring the homes, many of which are up to 100 years old, up to an acceptable standard.

The FF leader, himself a former Health Minister, said the Government allocation for refurbishing these nursing homes this year was a mere €7m.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was well aware of the issue and the Government was working with the Health Services Executive and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) were working on plans to deal with the issue.

Mr Kenny said a total of €36m was provided for the problem last year and €122.34m would be provided in the coming years. He said new and high standards had been set for these homes and these would be gradually implemented.

Mr Martin said these answers were not satisfactory and people - including the elderly depending on these homes, their families and staff working there - required detailed plans on what work would be done, when it would happen and how it would be done.

Public nursing homes at risk of closure include six in Cork, two in Dublin, Tipperary, Cavan, Louth and Clare, and one in Leitrim, Kerry, Monaghan, Waterford and Wexford.

Under HIQA regulations, standards must be met by all nursing homes by next July, or they face sanctions and possible closure.

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