Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has raised the issue of the lack of available home help hours and extra resources for home help packages in the Dail today.
Deputy Gallagher also told that Tanaiaste about the “inordinate delays” in implementing their approved home help applications.
He said “This is a totally unacceptable situation, one which I am fully determined to have reversed and the waiting time reduced to an acceptable level.
“Home Support Services are crucial, indispensable services which enable our most vulnerable members of society the dignity of staying in their own homes,” he said.
In Donegal, there is currently a 40% increase in the waiting list over a four month period.
The waiting list increased from 161 in Jan to 226 at the end of July 2019. The Government advise that there is a substantial increase in the budget however this is of little comfort to those who are waiting in excess of 24 weeks to have the service provided.
Deputy Gallagher added that the Minster and the HSE state that the budget deficit will be wiped out.
He said this will be at the expenses of the old, the weak and the vulnerable in society.
“The HSE and Government balance the books while the weak and vulnerable suffer,” stated Pat the Cope.
He said there are many in our hospitals that are medically discharged but cannot go home due to no available Home Help hours and the cost of keeping them in hospital is in excess of 8 times the cost of a weekly home care package.
He said “There is no joined-up thinking within the various sections of the HSE and what is further, the Government simply do not understand.”
Pat the Cope gave the Tanaiste numerous examples of constituents who are awaiting the provision of the service for too many weeks and said he is fearful that some of these people will pass on before the service can be provided.
“We are facing into another winter, but unlike any other winter, our health services are facing the winter season challenges from a unprecedented crises position- record waiting lists, massive surgery delays, understaffing and now the non-availability of home help hours,” he said.
He concluded “The elderly, the sick and infirm, those that depend on us for assistance are being hit the hardest by this Government, and this is another example from this Government of how out of touch they are with the realities and struggles of daily living.”