Burke welcomes €55m for Nursing Home Support Scheme

Coalition partners delivering on Programme of Government commitments 

Fine Gael Senator for Cork North Central, Colm Burke, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the budgetary announcement by the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, that the Government is allocating an additional €55 million for the implementation of the Nursing Home Support Scheme, which was a commitment in the Programme for Government.

“The Government’s decision to provide €55m to meet the increased demand under the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal) shows we are committed to prioritising services for older people in our society. It clearly demonstrates the Minister’s commitment to addressing the care of our elderly citizens.

“It is critical that a long term approach for the care of the elderly is addressed in the form of a 20 year national strategy. In Ireland, currently over half a million people are above the age of 65, with 125,000 people over the age of 80. Approximately 4.4% of older people or 24,429 reside in nursing homes. The 2012 budgetary allocation will support and strengthen the existing services for older people.

“As outlined in the Programme for Government, a system of elder care must be developed and implemented to enable our elderly to live in their own homes and communities for as long as they can. Community care, home help, day centres, community homes and nursing homes will all have a role to play to make sure Ireland continues to care for those who have made a valuable contribution to the building of this State.

“I will be following up with the Minister for Health directly to ensure that the allocated budget for nursing homes will be used in an efficient and effective manner.