News & Media

Delays in Home Help and Fair Deal Unacceptable

29 July 2019

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Health spokesperson Alan Kelly has said it is unacceptable that a cap on sufficient funding for home help supports and the Fair Deal scheme means older people are bearing the brunt of Government cutbacks.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Cutbacks in front line funding for home supports and the Fair Deal scheme is having a drastic impact on elderly and sick people across the country.

“The Fine Gael Government is rationing funding for home help and the Fair Deal and this means people desperately in need of help and support are having to wait longer for weeks on end.

“The failure to properly budget for the Fair Deal Scheme means the waiting lists for nursing home supports continues to grow. As revealed today, the waiting list has grown by 16% in just three weeks, growing to over 850, and likely to hit 1,000 if funding isn’t released.

“This cost cutting will result in higher long term costs, and impact on acute hospitals and Emergency Departments. We know what will happen as more elderly and sick people await home supports and nursing home care. GPs and A&Es will bear the brunt due to a budgetary failure.

“I’m calling on the Government to ensure sufficient funding is in place now so that people can be cared for at home, and that where needed, families can access the Fair Deal scheme.

“This will take the pressure of hospitals and GPs in particular. I hope the Government sees sense on this. We have a growing population that is also ageing at the same time. There is no point releasing the funding after the fact, let’s ensure people get the care they need now.”