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Patient admitted to hospital in March still in step-down facility awaiting home care package - Munster

4 July, 2019 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster TD has called on the government to lift the embargo on home help packages.

Deputy Munster highlighted the case of a 50 year old man in Co. Louth who has been waiting for almost seven weeks in a step-down facility due to insufficient funding for home help care. 

He was admitted to hospital originally back in March.

Deputy Munster asked the government to provide additional funding to help this man, and others like him, who are languishing in inappropriate care settings.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Munster said:

“This man wants to go home. His family want him to come home. The stumbling block is that the government has put an embargo on home care packages.

“This has to be reversed immediately. Funding must be released to allow people to live in their own homes, with appropriate supports. 

“This is the human cost of the cost-cutting measures imposed by Fine Gael.

“It’s further evidence of this government’s inability to manage budgets, between the lack of funding arising in the first instance, and also because keeping someone in an acute hospital bed is much more expensive than paying for home help. 

“It costs €5,964 per week to care for someone in an acute hospital bed, while it costs just €160 per week with a home help support package. 

“I hear stories in my clinic every week of people who receiving the bare minimum allocation, and struggling because they don’t have the required support. 

“I also hear of stories like the one I raised in the Dáil today, of people languishing in completely inappropriate settings due to the suspension of home care packages. 

“If the HSE follows through with its plan to suspend the allocation of home help to new applicants until November, this situation will escalate.

“This freeze is bad news for patients who wish to leave hospital, people living at home who need more home help hours, and hospitals who are dealing with a backlog of delayed discharges. 

“This government isn’t fit for purpose. Balancing a budget by cutting home supports to vulnerable and disabled people is not how acceptable.

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