Wednesday, 15 December 2021
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I note the Minister has made no reference at all to the HIQA report I referred to, which was published last night.
It makes for really concerning reading. It calls for a complete overhaul of these services. Clearly, it is not working. The Minister said the waiting time for funding has reduced and that is welcome. Although people are getting their funding, which is also welcome, they are then moving from a waiting list for funding to a waiting list to actually get that care. While the funding may be sorted out and there may be reduced waiting times for that, the issue is in actually getting the care. People are being approved for home care and then they are not getting it. They are moving from one waiting list to another.
The Minister mentioned the additional funding and 24 million home support hours. Again, that is welcome but not if we have nobody to provide those hours. Who is going to provide them? I put forward one example regarding community employment. This would be particularly helpful in rural areas in counties Roscommon, Galway and Mayo where we have 660 people who have got their funding but have not got their care.
At this time of year as we approach Christmas, as the Minister said, older people want to be at home. Their families want them to be at home. We have a crisis here. I am not hearing enough from him about what he is going to do about it. The legislation on oversight is absolutely essential and needs to come to the House very quickly.