Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has challenged the Minister for Health James Reilly on his disgraceful cuts to home help hours.
Speaking on a Fianna Fáil Private Members Motion in the Seanad this week, Senator Ó Domhnaill said; “Older people and those with disabilities are appalled at the HSE plans to cut spending on home help services by €8million between now and Christmas. This amounts to a reduction of up to 450,000 home help hours and when added to the cuts implemented last January, it will result in just under 1million hours withdrawn in 2012 alone.
“These savage cuts are not only deeply unfair, they make absolutely no financial sense. By slashing supports for patients who are currently treated at home, Minister Reilly is essentially pushing more people onto the already overburdened hospital system. Thousands of people who have been facilitated in living independently and with dignity in their own home will no longer be able to do so without home help supports. They will have nowhere else to go but hospitals and nursing homes.
“Enough is enough. From the moment Fine Gael and Labour took up office, they have targeted people with disabilities for a raft of unfair and short-sighted cuts. These people simply cannot endure any more cuts. In the Taoiseach’s own area of north Mayo, Coroner Dr. Eleanor Fitzgerald said that reductions in home help services lead to an increase in deaths from chronic illness. The Government cannot continue to ignore the fact.”