Sunday, 11 February 2018

Home Help Hours Crash in Wicklow-Brady

Figures recently made available from the department of health show that home help hours in many parts of the country have collapsed at a time when we are supposed to be experiencing an economic recovery, and Wicklow has been one of the hardest counties hit.

Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow East Carlow John Brady said he is stunned by the local figures

Teachta Brady said:

“In 2014 the total home help hours provided in Wicklow was 217,000 but last year that number had fallen to 176,000 which represents a drop of twenty percent. The figures were provided by the health minister Simon Harris following a parliamentary question from my colleague Teachta Louise O’Reilly who is the Sinn Fein spokesperson for health.”

Teachta Brady said that the government’s assertion that it has a reasonable and coherent public care policy is in tatters where Wicklow is concerned:

“We have a rapidly growing ageing population here in Wicklow, yet the number of home help hours provided by the department of health is crashing. Home help is not just about aiding people who require help in their own homes, it is a fundamental part of helping to relieve pressure on our hospitals and to allow people - especially older people - to remain safe and secure in their own homes and communities.”

“Only this week the Irish Medical Times highlighted the recent ‘Health Service Capacity Review’ which is a report commissioned by the department of health itself. The report found that within fifteen years the demand for home care would increase by seventy percent. As it stands today our home help hours are hopelessly inadequate and the prospects for the future of home care look frighteningly bleak.”

Teachta Brady concluded by saying that last year Sinn Fein had offered the government sound proposals in its alternative budget submission:

“Sinn Féin costed a plan that would increase home help hours by 20% resulting in 2.1 million additional home help hours nationally. We also proposed an increase in home care packages of 15% which would mean 2,485 extra home care packages. These measures, costing €72.65 million could have been rolled out immediately. Not only are these measures the fair and decent thing to do, but they make since financially as the knock on effect is that they would alleviate pressure on acute hospital services as beds would be freed up thus reducing the trolley and waiting list crisis. A missed opportunity but I would call on Minister Harris and Fianna Fail to do the right thing and make the corrections now before it is too late.” Ends

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