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Over 30% reduction in Fair Deal beds suggest growing crisis – Ó Clochartaigh

15 April, 2015

An Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin’s General Election candidate for the Galway West-South Mayo constituency has slammed the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar for what he describes as “a deeply worrying reduction” in the number of beds available in the Galway, Mayo and Roscommon region under the Fair Deal scheme.

The figures emerged in a response provided by the HSE to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Sinn Féin Leader, Gerry Adams TD.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said;

“In 2011, there were 730 beds available in counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme. However, this had fallen, quite dramatically, to 607 beds in 2014. There has been a reduction of 70 beds in Galway alone.

“This is a deeply worrying reduction in the number of beds being provided to those who are in dire need of financial support in order to access residential care services.

"We are presented with a state-wide situation whereby in January 2012 there were 325 citizens on the Fair Deal waiting list and by January 2015 that figure had ballooned to 1196.

“There can be no doubt that the Fair Deal scheme is in crisis in many constituencies throughout the state. Fine Gael and Labour have decided to keep Fair Deal as a budget capped scheme despite spiralling waiting lists.  This means that vulnerable individuals and families have to go through weeks of waiting at great personal expense.

“The failure to operate the Fair Deal scheme in an effective manner is putting patients at clinical risk. The government’s haphazard approach to the situation has also contributed to the overcrowding crisis in our hospitals.

“It is unacceptable and it cannot be allowed to continue.

“Sinn Féin is calling on the Minister for Health to take immediate action to ensure that the Fair Deal scheme lives up to its name by providing the required number of beds for those in need long-term care.”

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