Health crisis 'hitting elderly hardest'

Union bosses today warned the elderly were suffering most from the crisis in the health service.

Union bosses today warned the elderly were suffering most from the crisis in the health service.

As Tánaiste and Health Minister Mary Harney prepared to address a forum on care for older people, Siptu general secretary Joe O’Flynn said the problems were continuing unabated.

“The crisis in the health service continues to be a cause of concern to union members and their families, but it is of particular concern to older and retired members,” Mr O’Flynn said.

“Despite the best efforts of healthcare workers to provide a professional service – against a backdrop of insufficient resources – the crisis in the health service remains unabated.”

Siptu has organised the half-day forum in Dublin to address some of the concerns of older people and more than 100 retired union members are expected to attend.

Lawyer Ita Mangan will officially launch the union’s report, Care of Older People, which outlines the problems involved in caring for older people and how Siptu proposes to rectify them.

The union want more resources for home and community care, planned development of nursing homes along with regulation to ensure they are homes and not simply accommodation.

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