St Michael's House and clients can’t bear more cuts – Ellis
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West Dessie Ellis has called on the Minister for Health to guarantee funding to St Michael’s House services for people with disabilities. He made his comments in light of 666 million euro of cuts announced in the recent Budget 2014 and following years of cuts already placed on disability services.
Deputy Ellis said;
“St Michael’s House provides an amazing service to over 2000 people and their families. It is an essential support for people with disabilities and has already been cut numerous times.
“In the last 5 years 12.3 million has been cut from the funding of St Michael's House. This has dramatically reduced the service's ability to cater for the needs of the people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
“They continue to do great work, but each year have had to cut their cloth closer and closer. They have done all they can to save money, it is now your turn and the turn of the HSE to ensure they save St Michael's House and protect its clients from cuts.
“Due to cuts expected and implied by the HSE the service has had to reduced staffing levels, contract out its residential and respite service, close the service one Sunday of every month, cease rent subsidy in residential services, cease paying trainee allowance and reduce transport services, forcing staff and families to provide their own.
“They can also no longer offer new residential places or long term placement in respite beds and have reduced day service for school and training centre leavers from 2013.
“These cuts are already affecting people and the newly announced obscene cuts to health services it is feared will devastate this service.
“The Minister must act to protect this service and the vulnerable people who depend on it.”