Press Release

Minister Máire Hoctor welcomes additional funding allocated to health services, and particularly services for older people, in today’s Budget.

Minister Máire Hoctor today, 5th December, 2007 welcomed the additional funding allocated to health services, and particularly services for older people, in today’s Budget.

The Budget provides an additional €396m for the Health Vote Group including €50m for services for people with disabilities, €29m for cancer services, (to bring total new cancer funding in 2008 to €35m), €12m for innovative service delivery projects and €135m for Older People.

Over the last two years, this Government has funded the largest ever expansion in services for older people with over €400m being provided. This year, an additional €135m is being provided for the introduction in 2008 of the new long term residential care scheme, A Fair Deal, (€110m) and €25m for complementary community support services for older people and for Palliative Care;

The additional package of €25m now being provided for community initiatives includes,
•350 extra home care packages, which should benefit over 1,000 people to remain at home or to return home after a period in hospital – €10m;
•216,000 extra home help hours – €5m ;
•1,100 extra Day/Respite places nationally – €3.6m ;
•Enhanced supports at national level for voluntary groups working on delivering services in partnership with the HSE – €2m;
•Improved service provision for Palliative Care – €3m.

These new services build on the successful implementation of last years Budget package. In 2007 the HSE provided:
•11.8 million Home Help hours benefitting around 53,000 clients;
•Over 4,000 Home Care Packages assisting some 10,500 clients
•Over 21,000 Day Care and Respite places

Minister Hoctor said “The focus in this Budget has been to ensure continued improvements in the key area of community and home-based services. Such developments are essential to supporting older people to live in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. This philosophy is not only in line with best international thinking and practice but also addresses the wishes of most older people”.