A Fair Deal Needed at Last –Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for greater funds to be provided to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme in light of the rise in the ageing population and previous Budget cuts in funding. The ‘Fair Deal’ scheme provides financial support to those who are in need of long-term residential nursing home care.
Speaking in Leinster House today Deputy Ó Caoláin stated:
"We have learnt that Minister Varadkar is in
danger of not being able to properly equip the long promised children’s hospital.
Nor is he able to increase the numbers of care beds for older patients in the
health service despite this Government knowing that a growing ageing population
would lead to an increased demand on services.
“These serious shortcomings are indicative of short-sighted planning, a problem that has beset our health services historically, and one that punishes both young and old alike.
"There has been a significant increase in those waiting for the Fair Deal Scheme. Currently there are 2,182 people waiting 15/16 weeks to get financial approval for ‘Fair Deal’ support. In Budget 2015 we saw €25 million allocated to address the problem of delayed discharges from acute hospitals. I understand, however, that Minister Varadkar cannot provide specific details on how that €25 million is to be utilised.
“We need to know what portion of this funding is to go towards Fair Deal. Is there to be any additional funding for home care packages, and what of additional funding for community intervention teams?
“What needs to happen is that we move entirely from this flawed scheme to a rights based system whereby those vulnerable citizens can receive long term care when they need it and thereby reduce the reliance on acute hospital beds" concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.