Increased funding for Home Care in Budget 2021 is welcome but further highlights the need for regulation of the sector – Burke

-   Colm Burke TD

The provision of additional funding for home care In Budget 2021 is welcome, but further highlights the need for regulation in the area, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Cork North Central TD, Colm Burke, who is the Fine Gael Dáil spokesperson on Health, recently introduced legislation in the Dáil to provide regulation in the area of professional home care.

Deputy Burke said: “Budget 2021 saw significant investment in the area of health with €4 billion allocated to protect, reform and expand health and social care services and implement universal healthcare.

“I was particularly pleased to see that €425 million has been ring fenced to deliver enhanced community and social care services including an additional 5 million home care hours.

“It was a key commitment of Fine Gael in the last election to expand the provision of home care. Everyone should have the option of remaining in their own home for as long as they wish and the provision of appropriate care in the home setting is key to that.

“The move to increase expand home care hours however further highlights the need for regulation of the sector.

“My Private Members legislation, the Health (Amendment) (Professional Home Care) Bill 2020 is designed to do just that. It sets out 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.

“The number of people aged over 65 is expected to increase to over one million by 2030. At the same time the number of people over 80 years of age will increase dramatically. And home care is not just for 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.

“I am meeting with the Department of Health in the near future and I look forward to working with them with a view to progressing my legislation through the Oireachtas,” Deputy Burke concluded.

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