SIPTU representatives demand that any new home care scheme prioritises people over profit
SIPTU representatives have today (Tuesday, 17th June) said that any plans to introduce a new home care scheme must prioritise people over the profits of private care companies.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Marie Butler said: “Over recent days, it has emerged that the Government will not in a position to meet the demands of the service or to deliver on its promise of an extra 800 directly employed staff and 670,000 home care hours in 2019. The Government claims that investment in home care has increased by 50% since 2015 and that there is €450 million being spenton the service this year. However, our members are asking where is all that money going? The elephant in the room is that tens of millions of euro are being paid into private hands.
The Government pays agencies up to €28 per hour to provide home support. The average wage for non-unionised home care workers is less than €12 per hour. These healthy profit margins should be curtailed and reinvested in the service. Otherwise, we will continue to go around in circles. Any new deal for home care must be run for people, not for profits.”
Secretary of the SIPTU Health Care Support Assistants (HCSA) Committee, Katherine Dowling, said: “Directly employed home care support assistants provide exceptional value for money and enable elderly people to remain in their home or be safely discharged from hospital. The Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that it will not be in a position to allocate hours to new applicants until November. This is an effective freeze on the most vulnerable people in our communities. It’s not acceptable.”
SIPTU Industrial Organiser, Ted Kenny, said: “Any potential freeze is going to have a major impact on older citizens in need of care, on their families and on people with a disability. It will also put major pressure on hospitals because of delayed discharges and force older people into nursing homes. The Government must now move to provide the necessary funding to meet the expectations of the public and the 6,000 people waiting on home care support.”