Family Carers Ireland urge Health Minister to do more to support home care services

Family Carers Ireland are warning Health Minister, Simon Harris, that more funding is needed to alleviate the issues faced by thousands of Family Carers across Ireland who are currently in crisis.

It follows the Health Minister’s announcement that the Department of Health will issue an extra €5m in funding to increase home care packages, in an effort to ease the current overcrowding crisis being experienced in our hospitals.

Minister Harris made the announcement after the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) revealed earlier this week that the number of people waiting on a hospital bed had surpassed 700, a record high in Ireland.

Speaking following the announcement, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland, said;

“Family Carers are currently propping up the health service by providing care for their loved-ones in their own home; saving the State billions of euro each year. If they were not providing this care, the additional pressure on hospitals and beds would become far worse. We are calling on the Government to go further and commit to providing additional, much needed funding, to adequately support Family Carers across Ireland, to care safely and with confidence in their homes. This funding must include provision for both regular and emergency respite, and eliminate the post code lottery of services and supports that currently exists across the country, whereby where you live determines what support you will or won’t get.”

One in twenty people in Ireland is a family Carer, providing €10 billion in unpaid care to the State each year. By 2030, demographic changes predict that one in five people will take on a caring role and Family Carers are plugging the holes in our inadequate health system.

Family Carers Ireland are calling on the Government to support struggling Family Carers now and start planning for the significantly increasing number of future Family Carers.

Family Carers Ireland provides a range of services for Family Carers through its 26 resource centres nationwide. The organisation is currently running its year-long ‘Carers in Crisis’ campaign to highlight a lack in resources available across the country including home care, respite and the ‘postcode lottery’ of necessary services.