Rehab will have to withdraw services if they don't get funding

The Rehab Group is warning that it will have to withdraw services as it will run out of money by the end of the year.

Representatives will meet with the Minister for Health this afternoon to seek an extra €2million in funding.

Spokesperson Kathleen O’Meara told RTÉ Radio's News at One that the organisation cannot operate without the required funding.

“Our concern first and foremost is for the people who use our services.”

She explained that during the recession the service grew by 25%, but this was not fully funded. The deficiencies in funding dated from that time, she said.

“We need €2million to break even this year.”

Ms O’Meara said that under Rehab’s service agreement with the HSE they are required to give 12 months notice of withdrawal of service. “We have been in talks with them for three years, this shouldn’t be a surprise to the HSE.”

Last July a resolution was passed by Rehab that this decision would be made if further funding was not made available.

In recent years the group had made efforts to cut costs such as selling their head office in Sandymount, they also closed down the defined pension fund, cut salaries and cut back on procurement costs, she added.

“This is a very difficult decision for the Board to come to. We’re not in the business of walking away from our responsibility to 3,000 people. It’s sad that it has come to this.

We’re committed to our services, we want to hear what the Minister has to say.

Ms O’Meara said that even if notice is issued on Wednesday there will still be time to discuss funding. She said that no more cuts could be made to save money. Rehab had to abide by standards set by Hiqa on behalf of the State. “It is important to do that, but there is a cost attached.”

She pointed out that insurance costs for the Rehab group were €1million this year, “it has jumped a lot.”

“It is unfortunate to have come to the wall, but we have no choice.”

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