Home Help Service in Firing Line

Socialist Party councillor and HSE Forum South member Mick Barry this morning warned that the future of the country’s state-run home help services could be under threat with the Government planning up to a billion euro in health cuts in December’s Budget.
He said: “The HSE’s home help service has been badly cut back in recent years with the traditional one hour visit being cut back to half an hour in so many cases. However, a billion euro of health cuts could pose a question over the very existence of the HSE’s home help service.”
Cllr Barry said that recent years had witnessed “creeping privatisation” of home help services and expressed the view that Health Minister Mary Harney may use the next round of cutbacks to privatise the service entirely.
He said: “Privatisation of home help services would be bad news for the elderly and the sick. Care of the most vulnerable should not be in the hands of those whose priority is to maximise profits.”
Cllr Barry called on all health service unions to unite and fight against all cutbacks in the public health service.
Mick Barry was one of the leaders of the Home Helps Campaign which swept Cork in the late 1990s ending low pay and slave labour conditions for the city and county’s home helps.

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