Dáil debates

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Other Questions

Disability Services Funding

3:30 pm

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour) | Oireachtas source

There is very seldom an issue on which Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan and I disagree. However, we cannot have separate accident and emergency departments for people with disabilities, for those who are older or for all the different conditions because that would be unrealistic. The Deputy and I know that it would be unaffordable and foolish to promise it. I completely accept, however, that within an accident and emergency department or emergency department there must be somebody with specific knowledge of particular areas, such as, for example, what we are doing in respect of suicide awareness. We should have that for older people and those with disabilities, be they physical or intellectual.

The problem with disabilities is that one is either going to do it or one is not. If one does not take action, the matter is quickly brought to one's attention. In the context of residential services, we are dealing with 9,000 people. Some 22,000 people have access to day services, 35,000 day-only respite sessions have been provided and 180,000 overnights have been granted with regard to respite residential support. In addition, some 1.3 million personal assistance hours have been provided, 2.6 million hours have been provided in the area of home supports and, as pointed out in reply to a question on this matter on a previous occasion, 160 people were moved out of institutions in the past year. It is a slow process about which we need to be careful.


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