As the Government struggle with the return of Day Care Services after 5 long months without them , from the communications and texts we have received it appears that the best people with disabilities can hope for it 1 r maybe 2 hours a week in September if they are lucky .
The Government are support the return of schools to the tune of over @350 million ,however it looks like the budget for day care services is to be cut .
The funds that the HSE failed to spend in Day Care Services over the past 150 days is to be re-assigned to the general HSE Budget to cover over spends in the HSE as a result of COVID 19.
Furthermore as a result of the limited Day Service to be offered by the Use over the last 5 months of the year significant savings will be achieved and these savings will return to the HSE overall budget
This is a remarkable development with the State through the HSE content to force carers and their families to deliver a 24/7 care service while taking assigned funding and using it to bring down the HSE’s overspend.
Home Carers in Ireland are saving the Irish state €6 billion a year and the State and its agencies are happy to outsource caring to family members rather that support carers . During the COVID 19 pandemic the Government have failed to deliver day care and respite services to 1000s of people for over 150 days and no plans are inlace to re-engage these services for the foreseeable future .
Government Ministers are fond of pressing Family carers with hollow words such as “ You are the backbone of society “ it is now time to back-up these hollow words with a comprehensive programme of supports and to deliver these supports in the next budget ,
The list below is the minimum that this Government must do to demonstrate real support for people with ASD and the carers and families ,
. Remove means testing as a criterion for all payments and supports made to Carers
. Carer’s role to be re-classified from a social welfare allowance into a Carer’s Employment Contract resulting in an income at market rates with a salaried wage commensurate to the duties preformed ,hours worked with PSRI and Pensions contributions .
. Abolishment of the Loco Parentis as it relates to in-home nursing respite .
. Respite services to be expanded and set on a statutory basis .
. . Abolish the postcode lottery in carer supports by providing ring fenced ,additional funding to support services across Ireland for carers and their families with special needs .
. Increase Financial assistance for home disability modifications and purchasing disability accessible vehicles
. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities without delay
. Decrease waiting times for all medical and therapy appointments ,procedures and treatments for family carers and people with disabilities to a minimum of 30 days .
The new Government now has 4 Ministers with the title Disabilities in their briefs however it is far from clear who is doing what and when . A very real concern is that this confusion will allow the Government to ” pass the parcel “ between Ministers with no one taking responsibility for disability services .
We are well use to this scenario in dealing with the HSE and it’s myriad of ” Managers ” most of whom fail to accept responsibility for any service as demonstrated by the Day Care and Respite Services that they have failed to deliver to 1000s of people with disabilities for the past 150 days