Fair Deal – serious cause for concern – Ó Caoláin
Responding to the replies he received earlier this afternoon (Tuesday) in the course of Questions to the Minister for Health and Children in the Dáil, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has stated that there is now “serious cause for concern” regarding future access to nursing home care under the Fair Deal scheme.
Deputy Ó Caoláin was also critical of the Health Minister’s silence on the issue in the Dáil chamber, relying instead on Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch to respond to Deputies’ questions on the issue.
“I now believe there is serious cause for concern regarding new applicant access to nursing home care under the terms of the Fair Deal scheme.
“The responses of Minister of State Kathleen Lynch to questions I and others put in over the course of Ministerial Questions this afternoon place a major question mark on this Government’s commitment to the Fair Deal scheme for the remainder of 2011 and beyond.
“Assurances that the 22,900 already in the system will not be affected are little comfort to the 4,000 plus whose cases were already being processed before the 16th May suspension of approvals.
“With the report of the ‘two week review’ commissioned by Minister Reilly due this Friday, I have called on the Health Minister to commit again to the restoration of the €100m diverted from the Fair Deal allocation for this year and to securing the additional monies necessary to allow access to nursing home care for those who genuinely need it” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.