crisis” across County Galway is due to “deeply unfair” cuts in home help and support which will only damage “our health services in the long run”.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Michael Kitt, who is demanding the reversal of the “disastrous cuts to home help hours”, introduced by the Minister for Health James Reilly.
Dep Kitt said his office has been “inundated with calls” from older people and people with disabilities who have lost home help hours “without any warning in recent weeks”.
Dep Kitt said despite assurances from Minister Reilly that the cuts would not affect people who are in genuine need of home help, the “most vulnerable elderly and disabled” are the ones being affected.
“Minister Reilly’s assurances clearly mean nothing,” the Galway TD said. “To cover up the mistakes he made with his health budget this year, he has slashed 60,000 home help hours. Hours were cut without warning or explanation and people are struggling to get straight answers from the HSE. Others have appealed and have heard nothing back.”
Dep Kitt believes the cuts will also be damaging to the State’s health service.
“Home help supports allow many people with disabilities to stay in their homes instead of being long-term patients at hospitals and nursing homes,” he said. “The loss of home help hours will push many people onto the already overburdened hospital system at a time when we can least afford it.”
Dep Kitt is calling for a full reversal of the cuts.
“There is absolutely no excuse for how elderly and disabled people have been treated by this Government,” he said, “particularly as ministers continue to approve massive salaries for bank executives at the taxpayers’ expense. These cuts are of the Government’s own making and it is up to the Government to tackle the escalating crisis they have created.”