Health Cuts Issue Far from Resolved

November 6 2013

economic downturn

Statement from Disability Federation of Ireland

5 September 2012

The Disability Federation of Ireland acknowledges that there is great relief at a personal level to the news that the €10m cut to Personal Assistance (PA) services will not now come out of the €40m annual budget dedicated to this service. This proposed and most unacceptable cut would have effectively closed the service down for the rest of the year.

While the reversal is a welcome relief for those already in receipt of PA hours, there is a feeling of despair amongst the more than 1,600 people who have been on the waiting list for PA.

The €10m PA cut cuts should not have to be found in the disability services budget and we are very concerned that the cuts announced to Home Help and Home Care Packages remain in place.

There are massive levels of unmet needs across the disability area from children right to older people. Both within the HSE and across the voluntary organisations every effort continues to be made to get savings and efficiencies without affecting frontline services.

John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, Disability Federation of Ireland stated

“It is clear that the heavy cuts announced for community services, which are targeted at older and disabled people, should never have been contemplated in the first place. The deficit problem in the HSE arose because measures that should have been implemented in 2012, such as initiatives to reduce drug costs, were allowed to slip. The Government has continually stressed its commitment to strengthen health services in the community. The recent cuts essentially renege on what was a widely accepted health policy.”

John Dolan went on to say.

“Home Help services and Home Care Packages support older people, children with life limiting diseases and people with disabilities in need of home care services. The services enable people to stay at home and retain a degree of independence; they also reduce the burden and stress endured by caring family members”

He added,

“a hospital bed costs between €400 to €700 per night, a nursing home bed cost €1,100 approximately per week without taking into account the additional cost of someone with complex needs. Added to this the cost of unemployment benefit from making the staff unemployed, what will be saved in one area will cost dearly in another. These cuts do not make sense, they should never have been visited on people with disabilities or older people, Government need to go back to their original health Budget and find their savings”

DFI is now calling on Minister Reilly to immediately:

  • reverse all cuts to disabled and elderly budgets as announced last week and
  • invest any possible savings and efficiencies into the waiting lists and unmet needs.


John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer 086 7957467
Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO 086 8502112