Galway TD Denis Naughten has requested that the Dáil be suspended next week to reverse a move by the HSE to cut home care hours for the elderly and disabled.
It was reported this week that the HSE has decided to put in place strict financial limits that will prevent the allocation of any new home care hours.
Deputy Naughten has submitted a request to the Ceann Comhairle to suspend Dáil Éireann on Tuesday so that this can be discussed, with the goal of reversing the HSE’s decision.
“This action by the HSE undermines the Programme for Government, its own Service Plan for 2019 and the all-party Oireachtas Health Committee report, Slainte Care, on the reform of the health service in Ireland,” stated Denis Naughten.
“There has been a complete lack of political accountability within the HSE but this action goes against the policy of every member of Dáil Éireann and needs to be reversed with immediate effect.”
“This decision by the HSE to close the home help scheme to new entrants will trap carers in their homes and leave them unable to access a break from the vital 24/7 care they provide.”
“It will also lead to a situation where families will have no choice but to admit older people to long term nursing home care.”
The Independent TD said it makes no financial sense for older people to go into nursing homes at a cost to the state of €823 a week, when many only need home care which would only come to around €100 a week.
It’s understood that the HSE’s home care budget was badly hit by efforts to keep trolley numbers low over the winter period and ahead of the local elections.
This decision is not expected to affect the people already receiving home care, but will prevent the Health Service from taking on new applicants.
“But this is not just about money, more importantly it is about quality of life and keeping people in their own community as long as possible,” he concluded.