Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy has called on the Health Minister to substantially increase the number of home care packages available to people in Roscommon and Galway to help reduce waiting times for these essential services.
New figures published this week reveal that more than 400 people were on a waiting list for a home care package – According to the Roscommon Herald this week one person has been waiting for a package since June 2015.
Deputy Murphy commented, “Home care packages provide essential support services to people who are well enough to be discharged from hospital but who still need some medical assistance. They’re extremely popular because it means that people can be treated at home rather than having to spend a prolonged period of time in a hospital setting. They also provide peace of mind for families, and reduce the pressure on our acute hospital system.
“Despite some increases in the number of packages available in Roscommon over the past two years, there are still not near enough to cope with demand. There were only 27 additional packages rolled out between 2016 and 2017 – well short of what’s needed. In fact, the average increase over the past year is less than half of the national average increase.
“I have had numerous families contact my office, frustrated that their loved one cannot be discharged from hospital because they are waiting on a home help package. Likewise, there are people in nursing homes who would much prefer to be in their own home with adequate home care support.
“Additional packages need to be rolled out as a matter of priority – I understand the Health Minister is due to hand over a report on a new statutory scheme to Minister for Older People & Mental Health Jim Daly in the coming weeks. I am urging both Ministers to act on this report swiftly and to ensure that additional packages are rolled out as a matter of urgency”, concluded Deputy Murphy.