Ms McDonald made the call following reports that the HSE has effectively suspended the allocation of home help hours to new applicants until November.
The Sinn Féin President used Dáil speaking time today to recognise the role of carers, who she described as “everyday heroes”, during National Carers Week
Deputy McDonald said:
“The Government must fund additional home help hours in order to ease budgetary pressure and alleviate the trolley crisis.
“We learned recently that the HSE has effectively suspended the allocation of home help hours to new applicants until November.
“Without enough home care support, patients are forced to remain in hospitals at a huge cost to the HSE, or else families are forced to pay privately for home care support. Neither represents value for money and ends up costing more in the long-run.
“We also consistently hear from patients in hospitals who cannot be discharged because of a lack of home care supports. This is turn contributes to the consistently high levels of patients on trolleys.
“Investing in home help care is money well spent. It saves the HSE money in the long-run and at a time when there is rightly a focus on budgetary practices, we need to be focusing on solutions that work.”