Change to nursing home scheme is punitive – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as 'punitive' the change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme revealed in the media today (Friday).
The change means that older people who have to enter nursing homes while their applications for payments under the scheme are being considered will have to pay the full cost of care. Up to this approval was backdated to the time they entered the home, covering their costs in the interim.
Deputy Ó Caoláin accused Health Minister James Reilly of hiding behind the HSE.
“This is a very significant and punitive change to the Nursing Home Support Scheme, the so-called 'Fair Deal', and it is a change that will impose very significant costs on many older people and their families.
“This far-reaching change was not signalled by Health Minister James Reilly but is being brought in as an administrative change by the HSE, despite Minister Reilly's claim that he would be taking a hands-on approach. In fact Minister Reilly is now hiding behind the HSE in the same way as his predecessor Mary Harney who brought in the so-called 'Fair Deal' scheme. This change should not go ahead.”