Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has criticised the Government for failing to properly resource the Home Care Scheme.
Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after obtaining information which shows that 724 people in the CHO 7 Hospital Group, which includes Kildare, West Wicklow and parts of Dublin, are currently waiting for home care supports.
Deputy O’Rourke said, “It’s unacceptable that so many older people are waiting for access to vital home care supports. These people have already been assessed by the HSE and it has been determined that they need additional home care supports. It’s perfectly clear for all to see that the Government simply isn’t providing the necessary resources to ensure people get access to the home care supports that they need.
“I have raised this issue directly with HSE management and have asked for details on how the waiting list for home care supports will be cleared. The replies that I have received to date leave a lot to be desired as the HSE have made it clear that they do not have the funding needed to meet demand. HSE management have said that the matter is in the hands of the Minister for Health Simon Harris for consideration.
“It makes little sense to delay giving home care supports to people that need them. It goes against the Government’s stated aim of ensuring people can continue living in their home if they so choose to do so. It is also leading to unnecessary overcrowding in our hospitals. There are many older people in hospitals that are ready to be discharged but are unable to return home as the necessary home care supports have not been put in place.
“Minister Harris and his Government colleagues need to ensure that the Home Care Support Scheme is properly resourced. We all know that there are limited resources, but the current situation is only leading to increases costs in the long run due to overcrowding in hospitals and a scarcity of beds in nursing homes,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.