HCCI disappointed by lack of detail for homecare in Budget 2019

Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) is disappointed with the outcome of Budget 2019. Budget 2019 announced an increase in health funding of €1 billion, to €17 billion in 2019.  But there was no detail by the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donoghue T.D. on homecare.

While HCCI appreciates the pressure on resources faced by the Government, Ireland has 6,500 people on a waiting list to receive a homecare package. HCCI is calling on the Government to urgently clarify what the situation is regarding homecare funding in 2019.

Every 15 minutes someone in Ireland turns 65 and every 30 minutes someone turns 80.  And according to the ERSI report, Projections of Demand for Healthcare In Ireland 2015–2030, demand for home care will increase by 50% in the next 11 years.

The Minister did not have to announce significant new funds for homecare, although HCCI would have welcomed this. Instead, the Minister could have been creative and better utilised existing funds. One measure would be to end the ring-fencing of nursing home Fair Deal funds and homecare funds.  Currently nursing home funding is over double that for homecare.

Joseph Musgrave, CEO of HCCI said: “Money should follow the most appropriate care path for a patient, not some arbitrary route determined by politicians.  This Budget was a chance to correct that, and I am disappointed for the sector that the Minister was not more creative today.

“The Budget also failed to address the current social welfare rules, which unfairly penalises care workers.”

HCCI projects that the sector will need 15,000 to 25,000 additional carers over the next decade, and supports a number of solutions to meet this demand.  Partly this is a change to social welfare rules and some of the problems could also be addressed by reforming rules around non-EEA workers.

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