Press Release: Older People left in Limbo following suspension of Nursing Home Support Scheme ( Fair Deal) by Fine Gael / Labour Coalition

Fianna Fáil County Councillor, Niamh Smyth has today reacted with anger to the news that the Fine Gael / Labour Coalition have suspended the Nursing Home Support Scheme.

‘Elderly and sick people have been left in limbo following the news that funding for the Nursing Home Support Scheme has been suspended while the Department of Health undertakes a review of the scheme’ said Cllr. Smyth.

‘This has been a wonderfully successful scheme since its introduction by the last government. It has removed the uncertainty many older people feel about their future and ultimately made going into a nursing home a far better experience’

‘This has come out of the blue for many people. As recently as the 3rd May 2011, Minister for Health James Reilly made no mention of a review of the scheme or that funding had been frozen when he said in the Dáil earlier this month that ‘the scheme will continue to apply to long-term nursing home care and, consequently, money will follow the patients’ added Cllr. Smyth.

The Government has gone to ground on this issue. Our Health Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD has twice attempted to get an answer from the Government in the Dáil but no response or clarification has been given. People are hearing about this suspension only because Health Officials are informing them after their financial applications have been rejected.

‘Fianna Fáil in Budget 2011 made a provision of almost €1 Billion for the Fair Deal Scheme and I cannot understand why this scheme is being suspended. People want answers and I with my Fianna Fáil colleagues will be urgently looking for them from the coalition’ concluded Cllr. Smyth

**ENDS**

For further information, please contact Cllr. Niamh Smyth:

 

Office:             042-966 66 66         Mobile:           087-998 22 22

Email:             info@niamhsmyth.ie             

 Web:                www.niamhsmyth.ie

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