24 March 2022
By Mary Bermingham
The establishment of the Home Care Providers Alliance and their publication of their report advocating for reform and Statutory Home Support Scheme is a positive step in the drive for home care reform according to Fine Gael’s health spokesperson.
“Home Care Providers Alliance is a group made up of both private and public organisations including Family Carers Ireland, Home & Community Care Ireland and National Community Care Network. Together, these organisations will advocate for a Statutory Home Support Scheme and reform in the sector.”
“This is particularly relevant as the number of people aged over 65 is expected to increase to over one million people within the next 8 years. At the same time the number of people over 80 years of age will also increase dramatically.”
“The majority of older people live active lives. A minority require assistance to live independently and the increase in the older population is likely to result in a greater need for community-based health and social care services. Government strategy signifies a clear preference to maintain old people in their own homes, yet despite this commitment there is an absence of regulatory framework.”
“Home Care is not however confined to older people. It also involves those who develop a chronic illness, those who have a physical or mental disability or those who are recovering at home after a serious car or work accident.”
Deputy Burke continued “I hosted the Home Care Providers Alliance group in a presentation to Oireachtas members in Leinster House today. I believe their views should be heard and that they should be part of the conversation when making decisions on home care going forward”.
“We must utilise the expertise of this group in shaping our future policy”
Deputy Burke concluded “I have a particular passion in this area and in 2020 introduced the Health (Amendment) (Professional Home Care) Bill 2020 to the Dáil, this bill seeks to provide an appropriate regulatory framework and legal standards to be put in place for professional carers (as opposed to informal carers) engaged in the provision of care for people who live in their own home.”
“I believe that the change in legislation is necessary if we want to guarantee safe, secure home care for all members of society who need it. This group will assist in the drive for reform. I look forward to speaking with Minister Donnelly and Minister Butler in relation to the contents of the report produced by the group and I also thank them for their work to date on this issue.