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Minister Harris taken to task on Department’s delay in answering questions on Fair Deal beds - Imelda Munster TD

7 December, 2017 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today criticised the Minister for Health Simon Harris his Department's failure to respond to questions she put forward regarding the cost of private nursing homes.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Munster asked if the Minister had lost control of his department and the HSE, given the lack of response received to date.

Deputy Munster initially put the question on the 21st September and has been waiting 11 weeks for a response, a process that usually takes under three weeks.

Deputy Munster said:

“There are a number of ongoing issues around the cost of private nursing homes, and the problem of residents being asked to pay for additional activities and therapies, and even basic items such as toiletries in some cases.

"I asked the Minister a parliamentary question regarding the number and cost of Fair Deal beds in Louth, and across the state, and the annual cost of contracted beds in private nursing homes, and a breakdown of additional costs for contracted beds, county by county. The query was sent to the HSE and 11 weeks later I am still waiting for an answer.

“Is this information that the department does not want to have in the public domain, or is it simply gross incompetence? Is there another explanation as to why an elected member of Dáil Éireann has been made to wait 11 weeks for a response? This is totally unacceptable."

Deputy Munster asked the Minister for Health to address the matter, and has written to the Ceann Comhairle seeking an answer to the question and an explanation for the delay.

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