Nursing home representatives from the Midlands are urging TDs to address what it says are 'fundamental inequalities' in the funding of nursing home care.
Representatives from nursing homes in Laois and Offaly briefed constituency TDs in March in Leinster House as part of a Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) campaign to advance the care needs of residents in private and voluntary nursing homes.
Nursing home representatives claim the last published figures released by the HSE, in March 2018, revealed HSE nursing homes in Co Laois are paid an average 122% more than private and voluntary counterparts in fees under the Nursing Home Support Scheme, commonly known as Fair Deal.
Private and voluntary nursing home representatives want greater fairness Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “Residents in nursing home care deserve equality in the funding of their care. It is unacceptable private and voluntary nursing homes, which are the lead providers of nursing home care, are forced to provide care for fees that are a fraction of those payable to HSE counterparts.
"It is disgraceful the HSE continues this gross inequality in funding for healthcare for our older population. What is now the disparity in the midlands? It is over a year since the HSE published the fees payable to its nursing homes under Fair Deal. Private and voluntary nursing homes have their fees published on a monthly basis but no such transparency is applied for HSE nursing homes.”
The NHI say the fees published in March 2018 informed:
Westmeath: Two HSE nursing homes received an average fee of €2,229 per week. 11 private and voluntary nursing homes received an average fee of €846 per week. (Average disparity: 163%)
Laois: Three HSE nursing homes received an average fee of €2,078 per week. Four private and voluntary nursing homes received an average fee of €935 per week. (Average disparity: 122%)
Longford: One HSE nursing home received an average fee of €1,912 per week. Three private and voluntary nursing home received an average fee of €887 per week. (Average disparity: 115%)
Offaly: Three HSE nursing homes received an average fee of €1,661 per week. Seven private and voluntary nursing homes received an average fee of €846 per week. (Average disparity: 96%)
The representations by NHI Members in Leinster House also call for removal of the role of healthcare assistant from the ineligible categories of employment for employment permits list on a controlled basis.
The campaign also wants TDs to push for for new and revised GP contract to recognise and resource GPs to meet regulatory requirements, obligations and duties to meet nursing home residents GP care needs.