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Government fails to solve Fair Deal problems despite ample time and opportunity - Ó Caoláin

12 February, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has expressed major concerns at the admission by the director general of the HSE that the processing of the waiting list for the Fair Deal scheme could stretch to 18 to 20 weeks by the end of the year.  Tony O’Brien also acknowledged that backlogs in Fair Deal, the scheme that funds nursing home care, have been linked to increased numbers waiting on trolleys in hospitals.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The Government has failed to solve the challenges facing the Fair Deal scheme despite ample time and opportunity. The Minister seems to forget that these are real people, real families and real heart-breaking situations.  We heard today that delays in the scheme are already putting patients’ health at risk.”

“We also see that the €25 million extra provided for the scheme in the budget will run out at the end of this month. I have raised this issue on numerous occasions and called for adequate funding. We can fund other things. The Government had no issue paying for private banking debt but not a scheme that the HSE’s own chief describes as an Achilles heel.”

“The numbers of those on the waiting list are already increasing. The fact that the numbers on this list affect those seeking admission to hospital and the care available for all patients in our acute hospitals, means that it needs to be addressed  urgently so that Emergency Departments and hospitals across the land can focus on giving highest quality care to those who need it. Will the Minister Act?” 

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