The Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly has today broken a public pledge to publish the review into the Fair Deal Scheme within two weeks time. The review was due to be published on Friday last and today its publication is still awaited and there is no clarification on when it will be published.
Deputy Kelleher said: “The Minister’s statement in the Dáil today on the Fair Deal Scheme gave no indication of when the review will be published. Dr. Reilly’s reason for this is that he is dissatisfied with the review he received last Friday, in particular the complicated historical data in the review and he says it wasn’t as comprehensive as he would have liked.
“Firstly, the Minister must either publish this review or else give a commitment to have the review published within a week’s time once he receives clarification on the matters he is unhappy with. It is clear that there is an urgent need for an overall review of the scheme but it is unfortunate that the Minister is now delaying this until next year. This is clearly too late and needs to be dealt with sooner.”
“I welcome the Minister’s announcement that approvals under the Fair Deal Scheme will re-commence from Monday next. But approvals for the Fair Deal scheme should not have been frozen in the first place. It is clear that if the Minister can now give the go ahead for funding approvals even though he has yet to retrieve the €100million needed, then approvals did not need to stop in the first place. The Minister has caused unnecessary worry older people and their families around the country.
Deputy Kelleher concluded: “The Minister also failed to provide any clarity on how he intends to address the high cost of care in public nursing homes. Dr. Reilly has so far been the Minister for ‘Health Headlines’, and has consistently levelled serious accusations at the HSE. However it is noticeable that the Minister has yet to back up his public comments in the Dáil. I would respectfully suggest that the Minister focus his energy on improving service delivery and less on personal publicity.”