SIPTU says government should take control of private nursing homes
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, has called on the Government to bring the private nursing home sector into State control for the period of the Covid-19 crisis as it did with the private hospitals. According to the Department of Health, some 40% of Covid-19 infections have occurred in the nursing home sector.
“The Government has agreed to take over 19 private hospitals, with State funding for a period of three to six months. Meanwhile, an alarming number of the most vulnerable senior citizens in private nursing homes are dying of the Covid-19 virus,” Paul Bell said.
“In response to pressure from a number of advocacy groups, the Government has announced a COVID 19 testing programme for all staff and residents of private nursing homes across the State. Nursing and other public health workers have also been deployed in the private nursing home sector. These initiatives, while welcome, have taken several weeks to sanction and we expect that many more cases of coronavirus will be uncovered in the sector.
“In order to ensure the most effective examination and oversight of the private nursing home sector, the Government must act now to bring the private nursing home sector under its direct control using the provisions of Section 38 of the Health Act.”