Dé Máirt, Iúil 14, 2009

Elderly Must Not be Made to Pay
Donegal éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has slammed cutbacks by the Twenty-Six County Health Service Executive (HSE) in the home help support service and has called for them to be reversed immediately.

Mac Giolla Easbuig was speaking as a well-attended protest march against the cutbacks took place in Ballybofey on Saturday [July 11].

Between 25-30,000 home help hours are due to be cut in Donegal alone, with similar cutbacks proposed throughout the Twenty-Six Counties. The draconian move follows a previous reduction in home help hours in 2008 and cuts which were introduced by the HSE earlier this year.

Micheál said: "The provision of home help is an essential service and a vital life-line for many elderly and sick people throughout the country, but particularly in rural areas like Donegal.
“That these services are now being cut back in such a sweeping manner is disgraceful. The people dependent on these services are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They need more assistance, not less. The reality is that we have an aging population in Ireland, which increases the necessity for these services.

“Home help services actually save the state considerable expense – by taking care of those in need within the community it prevents them from being needlessly forced into nursing homes. It prevents the deterioration of their health and their hospitalisation for acute treatment at a far greater financial cost. Proper care within the community improves their quality of life, as they deserve, but also reduces the cost to the tax-payer.

“These cutbacks will hurt the sick and elderly, are unjust and must be reversed immediately. The HSE and their political masters need to invest increased funding and resources into home help support and other similar community services, to expand and improve the service further.”
Micheál concluded: “Our elderly deserve first class public care and must not be made to pay for the greed and corruption of the business people and politicians that led to the current economic crisis.”

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