5 August 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Better home care support can be a positive legacy of the pandemic a Fine Gael TD has said.
Cork North Central Deputy Colm Burke, who is a member of the Oireachtas Health Committee and Fine Gael spokesperson on Health, introduced a Private Members Bill – the Health (Amendment) (Professional Home Care) Bill 2020 – last summer designed to regulate and improve home care support.
Deputy Burke said: “I received an update this year confirming that the Minister for Health supports my moves to regulate the area of home care support.
“Understandably, work in this area was delayed by the pandemic, but it is time to pick up momentum on this issue once more.
“Throughout the pandemic, more people opted to stay at home, rather than enter residential care. Many had to avail of costly private supports in order to do so.
“Minister Butler has confirmed to me that subject to Government approval, it is proposed to develop primary legislation to provide for the regulation of professional home-support services through the licensing of publicly funded, for-profit, and not-for-profit providers of these services.
“The objective of such a licensing system will be to improve patient safety by ensuring that home-support providers do not operate below the minimum requirements set by Ministerial regulations.’
“We must respond to the increased demand for home care. Similar to the way the world of work is changed forever after the success of remote working in the pandemic, we should now be looking at the concept of care with fresh eyes. Better home care support can be a positive legacy of the pandemic and we should be working to regulate and improve it,” concluded Deputy Burke.