DFI Response to HSE Service Plan 2015 - 27th November 2014

November 27 2014


Disability Federation Concerned with Lack of Investment in Services

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) today welcomed the publication of the HSE Service Plan and the allocation of an extra €20 million to disability services, however stated that it doesn’t go far enough.

John Dolan, CEO of DFI stated “The allocation of an extra €20 million to disability services is welcome and is a move in the right direction to meet people’s needs. However, it doesn’t even start to plug the gaping hole that has been left by cuts of €159 million since 2008. We fear that the modest allocations announced will only allow service delivery to stand still and not be further developed.”

He continued “The demand for disability services is continuing to increase with our aging population and people with disabilities living longer. Over 4,000 people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every year, one person a week will sustain a spinal cord injury. This modest investment will be quickly subsumed by the increasing demand on disability services and will not allow for services to be advanced.”

He stated “The HSE Service Plan talks about disability services moving towards new models of service delivery that enable people with disabilities to participate in a meaningful way in their own communities. This vision will not be realised unless sustainable funding is provided to services.”

Talking in general about the Service Plan, Mr Dolan stated “The health system is deteriorating at a worrying rate. Ireland’s population is increasing, people are living longer, waiting lists are drastically increasing and there are worrying levels of unmet need. Those providing health services simply don’t have the resources required to deliver to an acceptable standard.”

In conclusion, Mr Dolan stated “The health system is failing to protect people with disabilities and others who need it on an ongoing basis. We await further information on how disability services are going to be developed in the coming year when the Social Care Directorate Operational Plan is published in a few weeks.”