Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith is demanding action from the Government on what he describes as the ‘escalating home help crisis’ in Cavan and Monaghan.  
 
Deputy Smith says his office has been inundated with calls from people with disabilities and older people who have lost home help hours without any warning in recent weeks due to the latest round of cuts introduced by the Minister for Health James Reilly.
 
“It has become very clear that these savage cuts have hit the most vulnerable elderly and disabled people across Cavan and Monaghan.  This is despite assurances from Minister Reilly and Fine Gael TDs that those people who are in genuine need of home help would not be affected,” said Deputy Smith.
 
“Minister Reilly’s assurances clearly mean nothing.  To cover up the mistakes he made with his health budget this year, he has slashed 60,000 home help hours.  Hundreds of the most vulnerable people in Cavan and Monaghan, who depend on every bit of home help support they get, have fallen victim to the Minister’s slash and burn.  In many cases, their hours were cut without warning or explanation and they are struggling to get straight answers from the HSE.  Others have appealed and have heard nothing back.
 
“Not only are these cuts deeply unfair, they are also damaging to our health services in the long run.  Home help supports allow many people with disabilities to stay in their homes instead of being long-term patients at hospitals and nursing homes. The loss of home help hours will push many people onto the already overburdened hospital system at a time when we can least afford it.
 
“I am repeating my call for a full reversal of the cuts to home help hours. There is absolutely no excuse for how elderly and disabled people have been treated by this Government, particularly at a time when Ministers continue to approve massive salaries for bank executives at the taxpayers’ expense. These cuts are of the Government’s own making and it is up to the Government to tackle the escalating crisis they have created.”