Disability Specific Health: The Facts DFI Factsheet - Health

Issued on July 4 2017

Between 2008 and 2015, the budget for disability services was reduced by 159.4m[1] which included cuts to disability services and supports such as;

  • Personal Assistant Services
  • Home Support Services,
  • Therapy Services,
  • Community Support Services,
  • Mobility Allowance,
  • And Motorised Transport Grant,

The budget for disability services in 2017 was €1.68bn, and of that, in the order of €1bn is spent on residential services. Community are a small proportion of the overall disability budget. They are currently underfunded, and are essential in enabling people to live independently.

Personal Assistant Services

Personal assistant, or PA, services, continue to be underfunded, with the budget for 2017 providing for fewer PA hours than were delivered in 2016.[2]

Inappropriate Settings

Underfunding of community services meant that younger people have been inappropriately placed in nursing homes.[3]

There are currently in the region of 1,000 younger people with disabilities living in nursing homes across the country. [4]

Waiting Lists

In 2016;

  • more than 15,000 people were waiting for a speech and language assessment,[5]
  • 25,520 people were waiting for occupational therapy services,[6]
  • 5,000 people were waiting for home care services.[7]

Provision for the Future?

There is little evidence of provision for demographic changes that will see a steady increase of people with disabilities.

  • There will be 1.45 million people aged over 65 in 2046 compared to 532,000 in 2011[8]
  • The prevalence of people with disabilities increases as the population gets older

[1] DFI Pre-Budget Submission 2018

[2] HSE Service Plan 2017 Social Care Operational Plan

[3] DFI UN CRPD Implementation: The Triple Lock Report

[4] DFI UN CRPD Implementation: The Triple Lock Report

[5] The Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/over-15-000-people-waiting-for-speech-assessment-1.2632566)

[6] Fianna Fail (https://www.fiannafail.ie/budget-must-address-rising-waiting-lists-for-occupational-therapy-omahony/)

[7] Social Democrats (https://socialdemocrats.ie/2017/03/01/5000-people-waiting-lists-home-care/)

[8] Age Projections (CSO)