At Monday’s meeting of Donegal County Council, there was all party support for an emergency motion proposed by Sinn Fein Councillor, Mick Quinn, calling on the HSE to reverse the recent cuts in the Home Help Service.
Speaking after the meeting, Quinn said: “I was delighted not only with the support for the motion but also by the justifiable anger voiced by many of those speaking at the meeting regarding the cruelty of these cuts. These cuts cannot be justified and will end up costing the HSE many times the amount they could possibly save.”
Quinn continued: “As Donegal has the highest ratio of people over 66 in the country, it was agreed by the Council to invite the Local Health Officer along with the General Manager of the HSE to a meeting with the Councillors to discuss this issue of vital importance to the people we serve.”
He continued: “Despite assurances from the HSE that Home Help hours were being reduced by 4%,, many people have had their hours reduced by 70%.
“Alongside the cruelty of the speed with which the cuts have been imposed, elderly people, many of whom live alone, face the challenge of struggling with the bureaucracy of appealing the HSE decision.
“It is incredible that the HSE has not provided a ‘fast-track’ Appeals System for our elderly people in view of the fact that we are fast approaching the depths of winter.”
Quinn concluded ” I sincerely hope that common sense will prevail and, in the meantime I would encourage family, friends and neighbours of people who have had their Home Help hours cut, to appeal this unforgivable decision on their behalf.”