6,020 people on home support waiting list

07 November 2023
  • Labour motion to dramatically improve home help support in Dáil tomorrow
  • Demands end to recruitment freeze and investment in home help carers

Tomorrow, Wednesday 8th November, the Labour Party will demand an end to the recruitment ban and an increase of funding for Ireland’s healthcare service.

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has called for the recently announced recruitment freeze on home helps and other care workers to be lifted immediately.

As 6,020 people nationwide are stuck on a waiting list for home support, Deputy Smith said Ireland’s care system just isn’t working under Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party

Deputy Smith said:

“How we care for older people should be a marker of a prosperous society. Home support, delivered by home carers improves outcomes for older people by keeping people well and safe at home for longer, and is essential for freeing up acute hospital beds.

“Yet Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens seem committed to eroding, rather than expanding, Ireland’s care system.

“In July of this year, this Government cut home support by 1.9 million hours.

“This is despite the fact that 6,020 people nationally are waiting for access to home help support.

“This decision is regressive. We already can’t support and care for the people who need it most, and we know that the demand for home help support is ever increasing.

“Comparing the number of those seeking home help support in the first six months of 2022 and 2023, we see a 3.7% increase in people needing care. This recruitment freeze is going to send a creaking care system into utter collapse.

“Government can’t just continue to put its head in the sand. We need to prepare for an ageing population by investing in care, and specifically in care workers.

“Fully funding home help hours is also essential for tackling the crisis in our hospitals.

“There are over 18,000 home carers, but only 5,300 of these are directly employed by the HSE meaning the majority of carers are working in the private sector where wages, terms and conditions are much worse.

“This Government has created an unfair, two-tier approach to care workers meaning that many people are carrying out the same work, for the same hours, but are paid less if they are employed by the private sector rather than the HSE directly.

“It’s wrong. We need to treat our carers fairly and continue to expand our care capacity today for the future. Improved pay and conditions are essential for supporting our older people in the community.

“On Wednesday, Labour will put it up to Government and all members of the Dáil with a simple ask – will you end the ban on recruitment of home helps, and will you commit to increasing the funding for care in this country.

“People who work hard their whole life deserve proper care as they age. If we are to do this, we need to invest in our care workers, improve terms and conditions in the sector and commit to recognising the value of care work in our constitution through a referendum in 2024.”

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