West Cork Fine Gael TD Jim Daly, has offered solutions to ease the pressure on our hospitals, emphasising the need to prioritise real investment in primary care, home help and home care packages.
“Almost half of long stay patients in our acute hospitals do not need to be there. Unless we resource home help and our community hospitals, the queues will get much longer. This week in the Dáil, I offered some solutions to the new Health Minister, Simon Harris.
“During the Dáil debate on health, I highlighted how at a cost of €10 million – less than 0.7% of the Health budget – the HSE could immediately eliminate the current list of almost 1,700 people waiting for home help hours to be allocated to them.
“I also feel very strongly that the service should be provided seven days a week. The elderly, the vulnerable and the sick, about whom we all care deeply, are not sick and vulnerable five days a week; they are in need of care seven days a week.”
It also emerged during the Dáil debate that over 30% of the bed capacity in Cork University Hospital is taken up by less than 3% of patients, most of whom remain in hospital for more than 30 days. Medical managers claim that 50% of these long term patients do not need to be in an acute hospital.
“I know that Minister Harris doesn’t just want to be a Minister for Hospitals; he is far more ambitious for the health service than that, and takes a holistic view of the problem. The Minister confirmed to me that he will prioritise primary care services and outlined that the HSE’s national service plan for 2016 provides for a target of 10.4 million home help hours to support approximately 47,800 people. He did warn that the service is coming under increasing pressure owing to the large increase in demand for those services, however this is a good start and I hope to see it ease some of the pressure on our acute hospitals.”
Link to Deputy Daly’s Dáil Speech: https://www.facebook.com/jimdalytd/videos/1551020495193018/