April 12, 2021

‘It makes no budgetary sense’ – Kilkenny TD urges Taoiseach to end freeze in Home Help hours

KILKENNY TD Kathleen Funchion has called on the Government to reverse the freeze in Home Help hours.

The Sinn Féin TD hit out at the freeze, saying it “makes no budgetary sense”.

Deputy Funchion (pictured) said: “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.”

The Kilkenny TD added: “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.”

Deputy Funchion said that without enough home help hours patients are forced to remain in hospital at a huge cost – or families are forced to pay privately for home care supports.

She added: “The Taoiseach [Leo Varadkar] 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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