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More help needed for Carers - Gerry Adams TD

13 December, 2017 - by Gerry Adams TD

Sinn Féin President and Louth/East Meath TD Gerry Adams has called on the government to do more to support those living with a disability and those who provide care. He urged the Taoiseach to release the details of the proposals published on Tuesday by Minister McGrath and to ensure that “the new services are put in place go gásta.”

The Sinn Féin leader was speaking during Leaders' Questions this morning in the Dáil where he raised the provision of services for carers and the announcement of an additional ten million euro by Minister McGrath.

Teachta Adams raised the urgent need for additional respite care for Louth which has an estimated 20,000 citizens with a disability.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“On Tuesday Minister Finian Mc Grath announced that he has secured an additional €10 million euro’s for respite services. I welcome this announcement. According to Census 2016 over twenty thousand people in my constituency of Louth /East Meath have a disability.

"At this time there are only 9 available respite beds for adults with intellectual disabilities. There are no emergency services. So there is a lot of work to be done to rectify this.

"The new services involved need to be put in place go gásta, and the details of the plan need to be revealed as quickly as possible. Much more needs to be done to support those living with a disability and those who provide care.

"For example, only 25% of full time carers will be eligible for the free GP card announced yesterday. This is because this card will be given only to carers getting the carers allowance. They should all be allocated Medical Cards.

"The issue of in-home respite hours is crucially important for some families. I reminded the Taoiseach of one case – that of Brendan who has got no in-home respite hours in the last five months.

"I also pointed to a parliamentary response from the HSE received by Teachta Louise O Reilly which revealed that the HSE will be providing 14,293 fewer overnight respite sessions this year and 591 fewer day respite sessions.

"The ten million additional euro announced by Minister McGrath is supposed to provide 19,000 respite nights. That means in effect that the HSE will only be providing an additional 4,707 respect sessions on what it was providing in 2016.

"This is not good enough. Citizens with disabilities and their carers have rights and the responsibility of the government must be to support those rights and to resource them.”

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