Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that it’s disappointing that the HSE has so far in 2018 failed to publish a Social Care Operational Plan to outline the level of services and supports available to people with disabilities.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after questioning the Minister for Health on why it hasn’t been published yet.

“A full third of 2018 has already gone by and there is neither sight nor sound of such a plan. The Minister for Health has informed me that he will ask the HSE for an update, but it’s clear to me that it’s not a priority for the Government.

“Historically, these sectoral plans from the HSE would have been published by the end of February at the latest.

“Tomorrow is the first day of summer; there is, I believe, an onus on the Government and HSE to ensure that the commitment under the Programme for Government ‘to empower people with disabilities to live independent lives, to ensure greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and to enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives.’

“Without a cross-agency, funded operational plan, there will be gaps in the provision and accessing of services and supports.

“One would have hoped that the Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath would have demanded such an Operational Plan to back up his consistent rhetoric on this issue.

“It’s still not too late for such an Operational Plan to be drafted and put into use. I am calling on Minister McGrath to ensure a plan is put in place for the remainder of 2018, and that work starts soon on the 2019 plan, as part of the overall HSE Service Plan work,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.