Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke has said that every effort must be made to resolve the funding anomalies with regards to the RehabCare Group. Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as RehabCare, the largest Section 39 organisation in the country, confirmed its intention to terminate its entire care services unless their significant under-funding situation is dealt with.

He explained, “RehabCare Group employ 1,500 staff across the country and provide services for over 3,000 vulnerable clients. I have been in contact with various RehabCare employees and service users in Kildare and the last thing anyone wants to see is the termination of services.

“At the crux of this issue is a shortfall of around €2 million in funding which RehabCare require in order to continue providing care. As I understand the reasons for the shortfall include increased cost of taking care of people as they age, the costs associated with HIQA and HSE regulatory requirements and the rising insurance costs.

“I find it bizarre that despite the fact the RehabCare Group have requested meetings with both Minister Donohoe and Minister Harris for several months, neither Minister has yet to meet with them. As I understand it, their requests have been ignored. This seems to be an extraordinary reaction to genuine requests to explore how the funding gaps can actually be addressed in the interests of the service users.

“I understand RehabCare Group and the HSE will be engaged in talks over the coming weeks and every effort should and must be made to resolve this issue before a decision is made to terminate services. The respective Minister’s shouldn’t be ignoring this”, concluded Deputy O’Rourke.