Denis Naughten TD has submitted a request to the Ceann Comhairle to suspend Dáil Éireann on Tuesday next to ensure a reversal of the decision by the HSE to slash the allocation of home help hours to those caring for older people and the disabled.
“This action by the HSE undermines the Programme for Government, its own Service Plan for 2019 and the all-party Oireachtas Health Committee report, Slainte Care, on the reform of the health service in Ireland,” stated Denis Naughten.
“There has been a complete lack of political accountability within the HSE but this action goes against the policy of every member of Dáil Éireann and needs to be reversed with immediate effect.
“I have submitted a formal request to the Ceann Comhairle asking him to suspend the Dáil so this urgent matter can be discussed next Tuesday.
“This decision by the HSE to close the home help scheme to new entrants will trap carers in their homes and leave them unable to access a break from the vital 24/7 care they provide. It will also lead to a situation where families will have no choice but to admit older people to long term nursing home care.
“It makes absolutely no sense that an older person is forced to go into a nursing home which is costing the State €823/week when €100/week towards the cost of home help could keep that person in their own home.
“But this is not just about money, more importantly it is about quality of life and keeping people in their own community as long as possible,” concluded Denis Naughten.
Copy of notice submitted to Ceann Comhairle:
Request to suspend Dáil Éireann under Standing Order 34
I’m seeking the adjournment of Dáil Éireann under Standing Order 34 on the specific and important matter of public interest requiring urgent consideration, namely, the suspension of the allocation of new home help hours by the Health Service Executive for the next 5 months which will have a detrimental impact on the care of older people, people with a disability and their carers, in the community while placing further pressure on acute hospital services by compounding the problem of delayed discharges for hospital. There is now an urgent need for the Minister for Health to directly intervene to ensure that the home help hours committed to in the HSE’s 2019 Service Plan, which was approved by Government, is delivered in full.