December 2009 Newsletter
Issued on December 6 2009
Difficult decisions nmust be made in Budget 2010. Government has informed us that a savings of €4bn is required in this and subsequent Budgets. The McCarthy report recommends savings of €50m from the funding given to voluntary agencies for disability services in the context of efficiencies and greater effectiveness measures that can be put in place over time. DFI is aware of the massive challenges facing the State and in particular our health services.
But further cuts made in haste now to services will impact on people with disabilities and their families immediately, and they will cost the health services greatly in the medium to long term. Due care must be paid to ensure that decisions made now do not irreversibly dilute services to people with disabilities.
The HSE is committed to expanding its community based supports; in relation to people with disabilities it already has a very valuable and complementary mechanism for achieving this through voluntary disability organisations. The funding given to these groups is matched with voluntary effort and fundraising and an ability to work within the health services and across voluntary groups and the State to address the often complex issues that effect and can compromise the health status of people with disabilities. In approaching the Budget it is critical that the value of what exists is recognised first, and that decisions in relation to the overall budget and the need for greater efficiencies and effectiveness are then made; all of this needs to be done in the context of, and must not compromise or pre-empt, the very significant Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services which is currently underway and which will be reporting next September.