Seanad debates

Friday, 16 July 2021

Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

9:30 am

Photo of Mary Seery KearneyMary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael)

In spirit, I agree with the amendment. Nevertheless, while the review will be some time away and we will see who is in charge at that point, the Minister of State will have built sufficient protections into the Bill through the work she is doing on capacity and in other areas. Financial abuse of the elderly is certainly something for which we need to be watchful, but with the HSE's safeguarding policy that has been in place since 2014, the requirements are already included in general policy and application. Furthermore, movements are being made in respect of the commencement of legislation including the amending Bill that the Minister of State is bringing through.

Financial abuse is not the only area; other areas, too, need to be considered. To single out one area would be to highlight it disproportionately, given that there are other means by which the elderly and vulnerable need to have the assurance of respect, and not merely in financial abuse. From that point of view, focusing on one would almost elevate it above others, when in fact we need to ensure that any review will deal with everything with regard to respect for, and the well-being of, the vulnerable people at the core of the Bill.

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