Dublin West Fianna Fáil candidate, Cllr Jack Chambers, has demanded an explanation from the Health Minister for the sneaky slashing of funding for services provided by the Daughters of Charity.
It’s emerged that the HSE is now to pocket €600,430 in savings achieved by the Daughters of Charity, despite the fact that this funding was promised to the charity for reinvestment in services for children with severe intellectual disabilities.
“Essentially, the HSE is taking €600,430 directly from children with severe disabilities who are waiting months for therapy and support. This money has come mainly from savings on agency staff and it was supposed to be given back to the organisation to allow them to provide more beds and therapies for people who desperately need help,” said Cllr Chambers.
“The buck stops with the Health Minister Leo Varadkar on this. As the boss of the HSE, Minister Varadkar must explain how this cut is justified. This is an extremely short-sighted and dangerous move. The Daughters of Charity provide an unparalleled service to people with severe disabilities in a highly cost-efficient manner as far as the State is concerned. By pulling supports from the Daughters of Charity, the Health Minister is pushing more severely disabled people onto the already overburdened acute health system.
“The reality is that the Daughters of Charity cannot keep up with the level of demand for their services. I know of cases where children with very serious intellectual disabilities are waiting more than 18 months for the treatment they need. Parents have told me that are at their wits end as they watch their children’s muscles waste away while they wait for help, knowing that the wait alone is shortening their child’s lifespan.
“I am calling for an immediate statement from Minister Varadkar explaining how he can justify this cut. I am deeply concerned that this is paving the way for dramatic cuts to the Daughters of Charity budget in the autumn. Minister Varadkar lives in Dublin West and can see first-hand the phenomenal work that the Daughters of Charity do on the Navan Road in his own constituency. We need to know his level of commitment to this service.
“It’s reported this week that the Government’s PR budget has surged by 86%. This raises very serious questions about this Government’s priorities. It seems that Minister Varadkar is happy to oversee cuts to vital health services for people with disabilities while taxpayers’ money is pumped into his own PR and spin agenda.”