Minister must give assurances on St Michael's House budget – Ó Caoláin
Speaking following reports that staff at St Michael's House had been informed of a budget crisis, and after residents had been asked to contribute 28% towards the cost of their care, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caolain TD, has called on Health Minister James Reilly to give assurances that services at the North Dublin facility will be maintained and that the true budget for St Michael's House be provided for.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“It has been widely reported over recent days that St Michael's House is experiencing severe budgetary difficulties following a HSE cut of approximately €1m to it's annual budget. Staff have now been informed that the ability to provide services and pay wages for the month of December is in doubt. In the meantime residents have been asked to contribute €125 instead of €90 per week towards the cost of their care and to offset some of the financial difficulties.
“St Michael's House provides an essential service not just for the 1,663 people with an intellectual disability who use the facility, but also to their families and the wider community. Those directly accessing its services include some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Yet again we see them targeted for cuts. Yet again we see the absolute chaos caused by this government's failed policy of austerity and Minister Reilly's failure to deliver on promised savings elsewhere in the health budget.
“I am calling on Minister Reilly to intervene immediately in this case and to give assurances that adequate funding will be provided to secure services at St Michael's House.”