Leitrim TD challenges Taoiseach on lack of home help hours

Leitrim Observer reporter


Leitrim Observer reporter



Leitrim TD challenges Taoiseach on lack of home help hours

Home help hours have been cut

Martin Kenny, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, North Roscommon and South Donegal has said that the government must intervene to reverse the freeze in Home Help hours.

Martin Kenny said that this freeze makes no budgetary sense as it costs €5,964 per week to care for someone in an acute hospital bed, while it costs just €160 per week with a home help support package.

Deputy Kenny said: "Yesterday Pearse Doherty raised the matter at Leaders’ Questions. I brought it up myself some weeks ago and do so at ever opportunity because I know the reality on the ground.

“In recent weeks we have learned that the HSE has effectively suspended the allocation of home help to new applicants until November.

“This freeze is going to have a major impact on older citizens in need of care, on their families, on people with a disability and on their Carers.

“It will also put huge pressure on hospitals because of delayed discharges and force older people into nursing homes.

“All of this is happening because the HSE says there is a need to balance their budget for 2019.

 “The real measure of performance here is that there are over  six thousand people on waiting lists and there are countless others who have had their hours cuts.

 “Without enough home help hours, patients are forced to remain in hospitals at a huge cost, or else families are forced to pay privately for home care supports.

 “The Taoiseach must commit to looking at whether funding can be found in the HSE’s budget to fund additional home help hours for the rest of the year,” Deputy Kenny concluded.

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