Wednesday 19 June 2019

Rehab funding is agreed after last-minute talks

Government agrees €2 million package to save rehab

Mary Fogarty

The Rehab Group's care services will be kept open as agreement was reached on an extra €2 million in funding.

The agreement last week followed discussions between the Rehab Group, Minister for Health Simon Harris, the Minister for Disability Finan McGrath and the HSE.

The group had announced that it would be forced to withdraw services without additional financial support.

'We can now continue to provide these vital services to the people who rely on them,' said Rehab Group chief executive Mo Flynn.

'Every day we see the difference our work makes to the people who use our services and throughout this campaign we heard how much it would affect them were those services to be threatened. Many of people supported us by contacting their TDs, Councillors and Senators, and by holding days of action. We're delighted their voices were heard by the HSE, Minister Harris and Minister McGrath.

'We welcome the fact that we have reached a resolution and that we can now continue to provide these vital services to the people of Wicklow who rely on them. The news will come as an enormous relief to the people in our services, their families and our dedicated staff who have worked so hard to campaign for the continuation of their services.'

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly, welcomed the news that funding had been secured, but said that families and service users should not have had to endure such fear in the lead up to the confirmation of funding.

'It is very welcome news that €2 million has been secured for RehabCare services. The government only sat down with RehabCare after much political and public pressure,' he said.

'Nationwide, in every town and village, people benefit from the dedicated services of RehabCare. Often these services supplement health centre services, particularly in rural Ireland as this sector struggles.

'Without this €2m there was a real concern that services would stop. Fortunately, this is now not the case.

'The Minister for Health and his Department must quickly outline when the money will be issued and ensure an examination of issuing multi-year funding is considered, so we do not have an annual panic for the clients and families of RehabCare,'

RehabCare's services in Bray include Lean Aghaidh day service for people with profound disabilities; Bray Resource Centre, for people aged 30 and over who have mild intellectual disabilities (including autism and asperger's syndrome) and mental health issues, and Phoenix Resource Centre, which offers a vital service to younger people with a dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental ill health.

Bray People