September 2012: HCCI says: Less talk, more action


HCCI calls for fundamental review of inefficient health service

Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) welcomes the return of Government and calls on all parties to put aside their differences and work constructively to address serious shortcomings in the current health care system.


Commenting on the motion of no confidence tabled by Fianna Fail today, Michael Harty, HCCI Co-Chair said: It is not getting rid of the Minister. It is about working to get the right structures in place to ensure that resources are used efficiently and that frontline services are protected. Despite the safeguarding of Personal Assistant hours, the elderly are still faced with a cut of €12.5 million to home care as part of the recent HSE announcements. This is poorly thought out as a short term fix, which will only serve to put increased pressure on more expensive hospital beds and the Fair Deal Scheme in the medium term entailing a net loss overall.


There are undoubtedly many difficult decisions for the Government in the months ahead, but any decision on cuts need to take into account what is cost-effective and what is in the best interests of vulnerable citizens. HSE's own figures calculate the daily cost of keeping someone in a hospital bed at around €900/day. This is assuming 100% occupancy and also does not take into account depreciation or capital costs. In contrast, with home care it costs about €225/day to keep someone at home. Being at home is also where the majority of patients prefer to be.


We would encourage the Minister to stop ring fencing funds for one type of care over another and look at the bigger picture and work with the private sector to address fundamental inefficiencies, including the current commissioning system. For example, a 2009 PA Consulting Report has calculated that by simply opening up the provision of home help hours and all home care packages to open and transparent competition, over €80m could be saved more than half of the €130m saving the HSE are currently looking to achieve.


ENDS


For more information, please contact:


Edel Bach: 086 045 3821 / edel.bach@humebrophy.com or


Lorna Jennings: 0867909913/ lorna.jennings@humebrophy.com


Note to the Editor:


About Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI):


Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) was set up in June 2012 following a merger of the Home Care Association and the Professional Institute of Care Providers. It is a representative body for private home care organisations in Ireland with the primary objective of promoting the highest professional standards of care in the home, in a cost-effective manner.


At present the HCCI has 28 member companies providing employment to almost 8,000 staff and caring for over 6,000 people across every county in Ireland. Home care is a care alternative that is preferred by the majority of care recipients, contributes to improved quality of life and is a cost-effective treatment option. Our members include operators across the country providing 78,000 hours of care each week at the frontline of health service provision. For further information: www.hcci.ie


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