Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The news that the HSE are curtailing home help hours represents a backward step and this decision will not only result in a loss of more money for the HSE, but it could also mean families will end up having to pay for private care for their loved ones.
“Every single day, we are hearing from patients who are in hospital but cannot be discharged because the HSE are not providing enough home support hours.
“Home help, in particular directly employed home help, is exceptional value for money and it enables elderly people to remain in their home or be safely discharged from hospital.
“Without enough home help being provided, patients have to remain in hospital which is a huge cost to the HSE, or else families are forced to pay privately for home help – both these situations are unacceptable.
“Funding for home support should have been increased in last year’s budget by at least 10%, as Sinn Féin called for, this would have cost in the region of €40m and would have ensured that anyone who needed home help received that support.
“This government talk a lot about value for money, but when it comes to action they fall short.”