Thursday, 7 November 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
There is no home help embargo. We all need to be accurate in what we say in this House, particularly when we are talking about people's health and elder care in the home. The Deputy should reflect on some of his commentary on that. I am not saying that many people are not frustrated, under pressure and on waiting lists, they are. I am also saying, however, that we will have over 19 million hours of home supports funded next year. That is a significant increase on what we have seen.
In respect of investment in healthcare infrastructure in the Deputy's area, there has been significant investment in Bantry hospital, which the Deputy has advocated for at different times. There are sectors and elements within the health service that are under pressure and have had recruitment difficulties but there are also success stories in the health service. We need to continue to focus our investment and prioritise where it is needed most to make sure we have recruitment campaigns where there is pressure. However, we also need to operate within budgets, otherwise parties in this House will rightly criticise the Government for dramatically increased Estimates at the end of the year for money that has not been accounted for. We have to try to balance all of those pressures and provide the best possible health service we can, while spending more money than this country has ever spent on healthcare annually.