Sunday, July 12, 2009

éirígí demand reversal of home help cutbacks

Tír Chonaill éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig has slammed cutbacks by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the home help support service and has called for them to be reversed immediately.

MacGiolla Easbuig was speaking as a protest march against the cutbacks took place through Ballybofey in County Donegal on Saturday (July 11) in protest at these cutbacks. Between twenty five and thirty thousand home help hours are to be cut in Donegal alone, with similar cutbacks proposed throughout the state. This follows a reduction already in home help hours for 2008 and further cuts which were introduced by the HSE earlier this year. The rally was organised by the Donegal branches of the SIPTU and IMPACT trade unions.

MacGiolla Easbuig said: "The provision of home help is an essential service and a vital life-line for many elderly and sick people throughout the country, but particularly in rural areas like Donegal. That these services are now been cut back in such a manner is disgraceful. The people dependent on these services are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They need more assistance, not less."

He added: "The reality is that we have an aging population in this state, which increases the necessity for these services. However, home help services actually save the state considerable expense. By taking care of those in need within the community it prevents them from being needlessly forced into nursing homes. It prevents the deterioration of their health and their hospitalisation for acute treatment at a far greater financial cost. Proper care within the community improves their quality of life as they deserve but also reduces the cost to the tax-payer."

He concluded: "These cutbacks will hurt the sick and elderly, are unjust and must be reversed immediately. The HSE and their political masters need to invest increased funding and resources into home help support and other similar community services, to expand and improve the service further. Our elderly deserve first class care and must not be made to pay for the greed and corruption of the politicians, bankers and developers that led to the current recession.”

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