Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has condemned the cuts to home-help services which will impact the most vulnerable as the winter approaches.

Deputy Kelleher said: “The absolute failure of Minister Reilly to manage the health budget means severe cuts are now being implemented in a chaotic and ham-fisted way as the Minister and the HSE scramble to save money before the end of the year.

“The HSE is proceeding to cut €8 million from home help services between now and Christmas.  This is on top of 500,000 home-help hours being cut earlier in the year.  It betrays the meaningless of Minister Reilly’s promise of minimising the impact of these cuts on the most vulnerable.

“Home helps provide vital services to families in need and in particular older people all around the country.  These cuts are mean spirited and will have a direct impact on people’s daily lives.

“It is clear that if Minister Reilly had heeded the warnings from Fianna Fáil as early as March this year that the health budget for 2012 was misleading and could not be met then he would not have to resort to savage cuts to frontline services.  The most vulnerable in our society should not be forced to pay for his failure.”