Family carer's group calls for budget increase to tackle 'postcode lottery'

Family carer's group calls for budget increase to tackle 'postcode lottery'

Family Carer's Ireland are renewing their call for a €110 million increase in the home supports budget in Budget 2020.

The call comes after new research published by the ESRI today found that there is an unequal supply of community health and social care in Ireland.

The research revealed that the greater Dublin area and the southeast have the lowest levels of community healthcare in Ireland.

The report on the supply of ten primary and community care services in 2014 finds that the “considerable” regional inequalities cannot be explained on the basis of need.

Family Carer's Ireland (FCI) said that the research is evidence that a postcode lottery exists for family carers whereby where you live determines what supports you can or cannot access.

It says that family carers in Dublin South, Clare, Waterford, Kildare, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Mayo are particularly impacted in the provision of home care hours for those aged 65+, with supply at least 10 per cent below the national average.

"We have urgently called on Government to address the postcode lottery that exists for supports and services in the community for family carers by implementing our Carers Guarantee proposal which would provide access to vital supports (including emergency respite) in the community," said Catherine Cox, Family Carers Ireland’s Head of Communications & Carer Engagement.

"We also need to see immediate investment in home care to the tune of an additional €110 million per annum to keep pace with the current demand for home help hours.

"Our recently published research titled Paying the Price shows that the situation has gotten worse for carers in Ireland over the past 10 years – carers’ health, both physical and mental, has deteriorated as has access to respite, home care and vital therapies."

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