Partial climb-down on health cuts not enough – Ó Domhnaill

Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has said it is disgraceful that the Government is standing by its savage cuts to home care packages and home help hours for patients with severe disabilities.


Senator Ó Domhnaill said the partial climb-down announced last night falls far short of the mark.  Thousands of high-dependency patients will still be unable to get the treatment they need at home.


“While it is welcome that Government has agreed to reverse its cut to Personal Assistants, this is the tip of the iceberg in the context of a complete slash and burn of supports for patients with disabilities,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.


“It is simply not good enough that the Government is standing by its decision to slash 600,000 home help hours and cut 200 home care packages per month.  Not only is it deeply unfair on the patients who depend on this support, it is an extremely short-sighted decision that will end up costing the health services far more in the long run.


“Without these vital supports, high-dependency patients who are currently treated at home will be pushed into long-stay beds in hospitals.  This will add an enormous burden on our hospitals at a time when they can least afford it.  Minister Reilly has already closed hospital beds and nursing home beds across the North West this year, and we are facing more bed and ward closures in Donegal in the coming months as a direct result of his extra cuts.


“Confidence in Minister Reilly remains at all time low despite the Cabinet’s attempts to take the heat out of the controversy last night. Patients are still facing severe cuts to frontline services in the remaining four months of this year to cover the mess Minister Reilly made with the health budget.  The Minister spent months ignoring the warnings from Fianna Fáil and the head of the HSE about the escalating crisis with the health budget.  Now his is asking the most vulnerable patients to pay for his mistakes.


“Fianna Fáil will persist with motion of no confidence in Minister Reilly when the Dáil resumes this month,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.

Posted: Sep 5, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized