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Roisin Shortall TD

Lack of funding has thrown pay deal into disarray 

Serious questions must be asked about why the HSE has reneged on a deal to increase payments to home care providers and protect service provision, according to Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“The HSE is currently attempting to redesign work patterns across the health service in an effort to tackle hospital overcrowding and record waiting lists. A key element of this will be increasing home care supports – to keep people out of hospital.

“Following an expert review, and validation of the costs involved by Grant Thornton, the HSE offered home care providers an increased rate of €34 per hour.

“Regrettably, this offer was then reneged on – and a sum of €28.50 offered instead. The latter sum is actually a lower hourly rate than the existing tender allows for some providers.

“It appears Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has not been able to secure funding from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and this has thrown the promised deal into disarray.

“There are currently nearly 6,500 people who have been approved for home care supports but for whom there is no carer. Meanwhile, there are 600 patients in our hospitals awaiting discharge, many of whom require home care supports.

“The longer this deal is delayed, the longer waiting lists will grow. Patients and their families will pay the price of this unreasonable penny pinching from government.

“The Minister must explain why a deal, that had been agreed to increase pay rates and ensure the viability of the home care sector, has been reneged on.”

9 May, 2023


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