Government Must Thaw the Freeze in Home Help Hours – Ferris

Martin Ferris TD – holding up the gulf in costs between keeping people in hospitals and providing a satisfactory home help programme. ©Photographs: John Reidy

Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has said that the Government must intervene to reverse the freeze in Home Help hours.

Deputy Ferris 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.

New Applicants Denied

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

“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.

Pressure on Hospitals

“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.

Remain in Hospitals

“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.”

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