Newsletter March 2013
Issued on March 29 2013
The previous month was a busy one, in terms of health matters. DFI met with the Secretary General of the Department of Health, and the Assistant National Director for Social Care. It was an opportunity to develop and build relationships with the Department, and in this regard, Mr Ambrose McLoughlin invited DFI and its members to meet with him, and / or Geraldine Fitzpatrick once or twice a year. The Secretary General pointed to the very significant savings to accrue to the health system through reducing the pharmacy bill and introducing legislation to make medicines cheaper. This would alleviate funding pressures in other areas of the health system including disability services. He appreciated the role of services and of advocacy which DFI welcomed. I highlighted the need for service planning now and the need to plan for the long-term, to ensure that we do not find ourselves in a situation where disability services and supports are further eroded, when Ireland exits from the austerity programme in two years” time.
We engaged in a widespread media campaign this month to highlight DFI shock at the Government”s decision to withdraw the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant, a vital part of the support infrastructure to help people to live and to be active in the community. Such actions undermine trust in the consultation process that has developed over the past number of years.
In other matters, the Value for Money Implementation Framework has just been published, which is essentially a framework for the VfM recommendations. Finding efficiencies is paramount in the framework and an initial review of the document indicates that there continues to be limited recognition in the Framework for existing person-centred community based services. See (Page 8) below in this newsletter for a review of some key points in the framework.
Chief Executive Officer