Home help cuts hurt the vulnerable

By Councillor Mick Barry CUTBACKS IN the home help service are taking a heavy toll in human misery. Just before Christmas, Eamonn Timmins of Age Action Ireland went public on the story of a 94 year old woman who had been put on a three-year waiting list for home help services.

By Councillor Mick Barry

CUTBACKS IN the home help service are taking a heavy toll in human misery. Just before Christmas, Eamonn Timmins of Age Action Ireland went public on the story of a 94 year old woman who had been put on a three-year waiting list for home help services.

This example exposes the government lie that “cutbacks will not target the vulnerable” and that “frontline health services will be protected.” Despite an ageing population and increased demand for the service, HSE home help hours for January 2009 were less (998,300) than those for January 2008 (1,019,883).

Since then, home help hours were further cut by the HSE on 30 March as part of a package of €72 million in cuts, and the emergency budget is expected to target a further €275 million in cuts in health services, some of which will be passed on to the home help service. These cutbacks are so crazy that they will actually end up costing the state more than what is being “saved”.

Cuts in the home help service will drive thousands of elderly people into nursing homes where the average cost of a one week stay is now more than €1,000.  In fact, some estimates indicate that up to a third of Ireland’s nursing home population (8,000 people) could survive in the community if there was enough support from community services  – a powerful case for increased investment in home help services rather than cuts.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Council projects worth millions under threat

Next Article

Great Gas Give-away

Related Posts
Read More

Feature: Health in Crisis

The crisis in our health service is continuing, and in fact is being made worse by the vicious cutbacks being imposed by this government. In this special feature Socialist Party reporters from around the country give a glimpse not just of the crisis, cutbacks and closures, but also of the fightback.

Read More

Carlow Kilkenny: Health campaigner to run for Dail

Conor Mac Liam is standing in the upcoming General Election for the Socialist Party and the United Left Alliance in the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency. He is known as a defender of public health services and a campaigner for the building of a hospice for Carlow/Kilkenny. He came to prominence with the death three years ago of his wife Susie Long, a public patient, whose diagnosis of bowel cancer was delayed for seven months whilst private patients were getting life-saving diagnoses within days.