Homecare Consultation ‘welcome’ – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Older People Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed the launch of a public consultation on homecare. The consultation is being carried out in order to help inform the development of a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home care services.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“I welcome the announcement of this public consultation on the provision of homecare.
“A great positive of the Fair Deal Scheme is that if you qualify for a nursing home place the state is legally obliged to ensure you get a bed. However, the same is not the case for those who require a homecare package. There is no legal obligation on the State to ensure one gets what they require. It all depends on the resources available. This should not be the case.
“The State should be legally obliged to ensure that, where safe, people should have the legal entitlement to a homecare package. Investment in this area needs to be increased dramatically and Budget 2018 will be a telling factor in terms of how serious the Government are in relation to their commitment to alleviate the crisis in homecare supports.
“It has been suggested that the Fair Deal Scheme should be extended to include home supports. Sinn Féin do not believe that this is the way forward. The Fair Deal Scheme was designed specifically for long-term residential care. Currently home supports, though inadequate and under-funded, are provided free of charge based on an assessment of need. Sinn Féin believes that these supports should continue to be provided on that basis.
“We need to urgently move to a rights based system whereby vulnerable citizens can receive long term care in their home, in the community, when needed and thereby reduce the reliance on acute hospital beds and long term nursing home care.”