Deficiencies in Homecare Sector Must Be Addressed Urgently
15 December 2021
Responding to a HIQA report which calls for the regulation of homecare services, Labour TD for Dublin Bay South Ivana Bacik has reiterated the importance of providing high quality homecare for those who choose it.
Deputy Bacik said,
‘The calls of HIQA for a complete overhaul of homecare services must be heard. Problems with the availability and affordability of services means that many people who need supported living are unable to avail of homecare. As a result, despite the State’s policy to facilitate this, there is a continued overreliance on institutional living.
‘Last month, I was shocked to learn by way of parliamentary question that almost 5,000 people who have been approved for homecare are still waiting to have a carer allocated to them. Poor pay and working conditions, as well as a disorganised public policy, and a visa system which disincentivises workers from pursuing a career in the sector has created a perfect storm.
‘We have become all too used to hearing horror stories about our broken care model, whether that concerns the scandalous practice of inappropriately housing young people in nursing homes, or the tragic loss of life in institutional care settings that we have seen over the past year due to Covid-19.
‘A New Fair Deal scheme is needed. People should be enabled to draw down funds to pay for at-home care and supports, as an alternative to care in a nursing home where that is more appropriate. In the long term, we need a universal care system providing community-based supports from cradle to grave for all, regardless of socioeconomic status. The Government must urgently regulate the homecare sector and must take seriously the deficiencies which currently exist.’