Senator Robbie Gallagher has backed the call of his colleague and Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Dara Calleary for funding for older peoples services to be a priority for Government. “The revelation that the HSE needs an additional €320M to cover projected expenditure on older people’s services is a wake-up call. There are already gaps in the provision of services to older people, and any funding deficits just make for greater challenges in maintaining their quality of life,” he said.
“Of all the services in the health system, services for older people should be one of the easiest to predict future demand so its worrying that the HSE has not projected demand more accurately. Demand from older people and their families is clearly not being met by the HSE and the Government,” added Senator Gallagher.
“People are finding it difficult to access home help hours, home care packages or a bed under the Fair Deal Scheme. The absence of these services puts pressure on other parts of the health system especially hospital beds. We all know that people are better off in their own homes and home help and home care packages are essential in many cases to support that.” “Census 2016 figures show our population is getting older so planning and providing the funding for an aging population must be a priority.
Minister Harris must fight for the funding needed to provide these services. He will find an open door in Fianna Fáil to delivering these services but a long term plan for older people is needed immediately,” he concluded.