Wednesday 29th October 2014
payment until 13th March 2015
An older person applying for the Fair Deal nursing home support scheme today will have to fund their nursing home care until 13th March 2015 when they can finally expect to receive payment, claims Denis Naughten TD.
At present there are 2,100 people waiting over 15 weeks for payment under the scheme, with approximately 60 older people a week being added to the waiting list.
In the interim the older person, or their relatives, have to find funds to meet a bill of €13,000 to fund their nursing home care before the Fair Deal financial support kicks in, claims Denis Naughten.
“Older people are waiting over four months to access a bed under the nursing home support scheme, which in some cases is forcing them to occupy beds in hospitals already struggling to cope with emergencies and planned surgeries,” stated Denis Naughten.
“There are currently just short of 700 patients who are deemed ‘fit’ for discharge in hospitals costing €850/night, yet the HSE won’t release nursing home beds under the fair deal scheme because they are costing €850/week. As a result it is costing the health service €4m every week in order to save €600,000.
“With 700 hospital beds effectively taken out of commission, is it any wonder that waiting lists have soared by 1000%? This is resulting in people being sicker when they receive their treatment, leading to longer stays in hospital thereby increasing the cost of each procedure.
“This is yet another example of health policy which is penny wise and pound foolish. If we are to a have an effectively run health service then we need to get the basic things right. By providing step down options for those who no longer need to be in hospital, then we release beds for those who need urgent medical care thereby improving the health service for all,” concluded Denis Naughten.