Fianna Fáil TD for Kerry John Brassil has called on the Health Minister to review the amount of money being allocated to the HSE for residential services for people with disabilities.  He made the call after Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, which is a local HSE service, criticised the level of funding for these services.

In a PQ reply to Deputy Brassil in relation to the extension of residential services at Woodbrook in Tralee, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare stated, “It is clear at this stage that sufficient funding has not been provided to the HSE at National Level to meet the level of needs that exist among people with disabilities for residential care.  Information on the numbers who need services has been given to the Department of Health and the Department of Expenditure and Public Reform [sic] in recent years”.

Deputy Brassil said, “It has been clear for some time that funding for disability and residential services in Kerry is nowhere near what it needs to be to meet demand, and I am grateful that the local HSE organisation is now expressing its frustration with the allocation of funding by the government.

“In this instance I was making representations to extend the availability of residential services at Woodbrook in Tralee from its current 5 day operation to a full 7 day service.  The funding application has been recommended locally and had been sent to the senior management team for consideration.

“In its reply to me, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare was critical of the lack of funding, not only for local services, but also at a national level.  Put simply, despite the government’s repeated claims that it is increasing its health budgets year on year, it is not managing where the money is being spent, and services – like disability and residential services – are losing out.

“Vulnerable people are being denied vital health services and decisions are being put on hold because of budget mismanagement.  Minister Harris and Minister Donohoe presided over the massive overspend on the National Children’s Hospital when disability services cannot even afford to operate seven days a week.  The fact that they allowed the budget for the NCH spiral so far out of control when many other parts of the health service are so badly in need of additional funding is shocking and I am urging both of them to ensure that the money needed for disability and residential services will not be cut further as a result”, concluded Deputy Brassil.