Delay in Fair Deal funding is ‘completely unacceptable’

TD says older people and their families are being unfairly targeted again

PAGE 7 Deputy Charlie McConalogueINISHOWEN TD Charlie McConalogue has criticised delays in Fair Deal funding, which he claims is costing families as much as €1,000 a week.

Waiting lists have increased dramatically over the past three months, with older people in Donegal being forced to wait up to four months for nursing home care because of HSE delays in releasing funding under the scheme.

The Gleneely TD says this is ‘completely unacceptable’.

“The deteriorating situation with Fair Deal waiting lists is completely unacceptable.  Older people and their families are being subjected to increased financial pressure with the cost of nursing home fees running into tens of thousands of euro over a four month period.

“Fair Deal was designed to ease the financial strain on older people who need long term care, however they are now being penalised because of inefficiencies in the HSE.”

Deputy McConalogue said the situation has been exacerbated by the HSE’s decision to divert €23m of Fair Deal funding to community and home based care packages. “This decision has resulted in a massive backlog of people in Donegal waiting for a place on the Fair Deal scheme, while being forced to pay fees they can ill afford,” he said.

“Older people and their families have once again been targeted by the Government’s reluctance to allocate a realistic and workable health budget.  The mismanagement of the Fair Deal funding has resulted in unnecessary stress and increased anxiety for older people and their families as they struggle to pay expensive nursing home fees for weeks on end.”