Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler has welcomed the increase in homecare hours for 2020 announced in the Budget earlier this week.
“I am pleased that an increase has been achieved and I hope it will go some way towards meeting the demand that is out there for homecare. No doubt many Fine Gael TDs will be heading to the plinth to say that this was a reckless demand on our part but I make no apology for it,” said Deputy Butler.
“Fine Gael has allowed a crisis in homecare supports to escalate over the past year, and the issue was always going to be a priority for us in Budget discussions. The service has been unable to keep pace with demand and we have seen a significant increase in the waiting lists as a result.
“Allied to this is the huge rise in delayed discharges in acute hospitals. It would have been reckless not to see action on this matter. I would have liked to have seen a bigger increase, but I am mindful of the overarching Brexit situation facing our country.
“Fianna Fáil has long believed that funding allocated to enable older people remain at home provides not only the best value for money but also reflects the wishes of most older people and their families.
“The Home Care Package was introduced in 2006 when Fianna Fáil was in government and it remains an extremely important part of our health service.
"The government’s own Health Service Capacity Review anticipates an increase in demand of some 120% by 2031. Tuesday’s announcement is a modest step on the road to meeting that.”