Tuesday 23 July 2019

Home help freeze 'makes no sense'

Deputy Martin Kenny, TD
Deputy Martin Kenny, TD

The government must intervene to reverse the freeze in home help hours.

That's according to Deputy Martin Kenny the freeze made no budgetary sense as it cost €5,964 per week to care for someone in an acute hospital bed, while it costs just €160 per week with a home help support package.

Deputy Kenny said:"In recent weeks we have learned that the HSE has effectively suspended the allocation of home help to new applicants until November.

"This freeze is going to have a major impact on older citizens in need of care, on their families, on people with a disability and on their Carers.

"It will also put huge pressure on hospitals because of delayed discharges and force older people into nursing homes.

"All of this is happening because the HSE says there is a need to balance their budget for 2019.

"The real measure of performance here is that there are over six thousand people on waiting lists and there are countless others who have had their hours cuts.

"Without enough home help hours, patients are forced to remain in hospitals at a huge cost, or else families are forced to pay privately for home care supports.

"The Taoiseach must commit to looking at whether funding can be found in the HSE's budget to fund additional home help hours for the rest of the year."

Sligo Champion