Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says continual cuts to home care packages across the Sligo-Leitrim region cannot be allowed to continue. The latest figures reveal a 17% reduction in the number of home care packages available in the region – down from 361 in 2015 to 301 last year.
Deputy Scanlon explained, “Home care packages provide essential services for people across the two counties. The majority of patients who are well enough to be discharged from hospital want to be at home, and home care packages help to make that a possibility. They get the care they need from the comfort of their own home, providing peace of mind for patients and their families.
“The fact that the number of packages has been falling over the past number of years is a cause for concern. Especially when the national figure shows an increase. Why are people in Sligo and Leitrim seeing their packages cut? There is now a situation where even if people are approved for a home care package, they are placed on a waiting list until one becomes available. This is deeply unfair.
“The Health Minister has confirmed that a new statutory scheme is designed and that a report is due to be handed over to Minister Jim Daly in the next few weeks. We need to see an increase in the number of home care packages that are made available and a reduction in waiting lists for patients who have been approved.
“Home care packages are extremely popular because they allow people to receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes. It also frees up beds in hospitals and nursing homes, and reduces the cost of care to the State.
“I am urging Ministers Harris and Daly to ensure that this new scheme is progressed without delay and that the necessary resources are allocated to these packages to ensure that everyone who qualifies for a home care package has access to one and that capacity is substantially increased here in Sligo and Leitrim to cater for the demand”.