Thursday, 19 November 2020
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Jackie Cahill (Tipperary, Fianna Fail)
I have been contacted by the management of a small to medium sized nursing home in Tipperary. There are approximately 20 residents in the home. Unfortunately, it experienced an outbreak of Covid in early October and five patients died as a result. The nursing home has taken a significant financial hit as a result of the outbreak. The total cost of the outbreak, including hiring agency staff to alleviate the pressure placed on staff numbers and incurring additional Covid related costs, was €72,000. The nursing home received €33,600 in assistance from the State. This leaves a shortfall of €38,000.
The owner informed me that if a second outbreak was to occur, she would be left with no alternative but to have all patients admitted to hospital. The nursing home stuck rigidly to HSE advice and has no complaints about this. However, the cost of managing outbreaks like these are far in excess of the assistance nursing homes receive to do things right. I ask that an invoice system be introduced for the costs incurred for nursing homes like this which are privately operated but have a majority of residents under the public system. Nursing homes cannot be left at risk financially because they have done things right.