Response of Minister to Massive Threat to Disabled in HSE Cuts this Year Welcomed

October 14 2011


Press Release from DFI 14th October 2011.

In responding to draft proposals that surfaced today in the media, John Dolan of the Disability Federation of Ireland, said that

“ these levels of cuts are unprecedented and would be extremely damaging if implemented. We greatly welcome Minister Lynch’s response that the cuts are a “non-runner”.

It has been reported that the draft proposals are part of a HSE internal document and lists items such as cutting 600,000, or 24%, reduction in home help hours, cutting 400,000, or 61%, of personal assistant hours, freezing the issuing of new medical cards – except in emergencies-till the end of the year, and cutting funding to voluntary organisations by 2.5%.

It has also been reported that the HSE document did acknowledge the implications of the proposals. However, John Dolan stated that

“if these proposals were to be implemented they could only be described as a knee jerk reaction by the HSE to balance their books by the end of the year. The reality is that these cuts will come with huge knock on implications for other parts of the HSE own services; what will be “saved” in one aspect of the HSE’s services will cause extra pressures and costs in other HSE’s hospital, respite and residential services”.

“We hear accounts day in and day out of people on the ground, who are struggling to have some level of certainty in their lives. Many people are distressed, not just with the challenge of dealing with their disability, but with the threat of further cutbacks and the uncertainty, which surrounds this.

At the last meeting of the Disability Consultative Fora with the HSE, the partnership arrangement with the voluntary disability sector, DFI specifically raised issues around PA and Home Support services.

“At the meeting with them, the HSE confirmed that the voluntary organisations had worked hard during the year to deal with increased demands for services with reduced funding, the implication being that we stay working together. Today’s leaks don’t encourage that approach,”said John Dolan.

John Dolan
Chief Executive Officer
Disability Federation of Ireland

For further information please contact:
John Dolan
Mobile: 086 8370072

Allen Dunne
Mobile 086 8502112