Yes, minister?

Nursing homes waiting list

The Fair Deal nursing home support scheme, which provides financial assistance to people in need of long-term nursing home care, came into effect four years ago. It was designed to make residential home care for older people more affordable and anxiety free.

It has worked well up to now but Government funding cuts have decimated the scheme to such an extent that there is now a waiting list of more than 2,000 people, up from 654 in February. If nothing is done, the likelihood is that there will be a waiting list of 4,000 by 2016.

The €35 million in cuts to this year’s Fair Deal budget have led to a huge increase in the number of older people having to remain in acute hospitals when what they really need is long-term nursing home care.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar says he has a plan to resolve the problem, but has yet to enlighten us.

How about transferring funds from acute hospitals to nursing homes, minister, or is that too much like brain surgery?


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