155,165 registered members
Under-funding of disabilty services criticised
[Posted: Thu 10/04/2003 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
Disability services in Ireland are significantly under-resourced, risking the health and safety of thousands of people, disability service providers have said.
According to the Not For Profit Business Association (NFPBA), Health Minister, Micheal Martin and the Department of Health have failed to honour funding commitments, resulting in a deficit of €6.1 million.
Organisations affected by this deficit include the Irish Wheelchair Association, the Central Remedial Clinic, the National Association for Deaf People, the National Association for the Blind and the Cheshire Foundation.
"Of the €12 million promised, just €5.9 million has been allocated. This under-resourcing is causing serious problems and presents increasing risks at a number of levels, including sustaining existing levels of service, health and safety", said Frank Flannery, chairman of the NFPBA.
If the remaining money is not forthcoming, disability organisations will be forced to fundraise 'even more intensely than at present'.
"We will also have to resort to further bank borrowings, something which we are loathe to do", Mr Flannery said.
In early 2002, the NFPBA launched a major campaign to highlight the funding and staffing difficulties in the disability sector. A subsequent meeting with the Health Minister resulted in commitments to alleviate the situation, including:
However none of these commitments have been honoured, a situation which is 'simply unacceptable'.
"We appreciate that the Minister has been under pressure from the Department of Finance on funding, but we maintain that those with disabilities should be given priority treatment. It is just not good enough that many people cannot get out of their homes to go to work, cannot socialise, cannot access vital therapeutic services and cannot play any part in local community life", said Mark Blake-Knox of the Cheshire Foundation.
The NFPBA is calling on the Health Minister to honour all outstanding commitments within this area as a matter of urgency.
|Anonymous Posted: 16/04/2003 15:11|
|Coming from a family with an Autistic child , the funding of disability services is a disgrace, Every single thing in relation to education must be fought for. No Speech Therapist or Occupational Therapist availabel in the school is not acceptable. Surely these children have the same basic right as children in mainstream education. What chance have they got in life when they can't even get the basics at this early stage of their lives|
|Anonymous Posted: 20/04/2003 00:12|
|I am in my 50's,and I am disabled 28 years, as a result of the removal of a Meningioma Benign Brain Tumour. I am struggling to stay as mobile as I can, even though I am confined to a wheelchair with only the use of 1 hand, but T.G. I have got one hand that works for me. My Husband has been fantastic, as he has his own health complaint also. Why I am writing this e-mail is because I fully agree with the writer on the 16th inst., Yes, funding for Disabled people is certainly a disgrace. I also would not recommend people to join the Data Base. I gave 2 hours of my valuable time to a lady who called to my home approx.1 year ago, to give her my personal data, and was told that I would benefit from same, but to my disappointment I was refused physiotherapy, so I requested my name to be taken off the Database. I have a Medical Card,and that is about all I get from the Government, other than false promises when they come to our door canvassing. My Husband took early retirement due to his own health,and mine. He is my legs, and my left hand, and my Carer for the past 28 years,and just because he has a pension from his place of work, and because I have a P.H.I., that I was paying into at work. Neither of the two of us are claiming anything from the Government, yet my Husband, was told he would not be given a "Carers Allowance". My Husband hurt his back digging in the garden and was trying to assist me off the toilet recently, and I fell and was unable to get up for about a half an hour, and between my good hand pulling out of a bar that my Husband errected for me,and my husband assisting me the best he could, I eventually got up on the side of the bed. I am lucky that I am not over weight. As a result of this incident both of us had|
|Anonymous Posted: 21/04/2003 01:49|
|contd/from e-mail posted on the 20th inst...I hit a button by mistake, and could not retrieve my e-mail to finish..Sorry. As a result of this incident both of us had to get physiotherapy, as my Husband had a disc out in his back and I hurt mine. As you know that cost money, and both of us are on pensions. I contacted the Health Board, and told them my story, and it was suggested to me- to use a Hoist,what a crazy solution!!Anything rather than suggest that they would arrange for me to get Physio. I told them that I would not use a hoist,as the one or two steps that I use to get from position A to position B, helps my circulation. Life is Precious, no matter how hard it is at times. I do not Drink or smoke, I try to eat healthy,plenty of fresh veg., and fruit,etc. All that I am not getting is physio-what a shame that the local Hospital can not supply same to me. I actually had to be resusitated during my 9 hour operation 28 years ago. I was given physio for 9 months during my time in Hospital which was very good- but I had no follow up with physio since 1980, except for approx 3 times from the Local Health Board. This does not say much for the Health Strategy!!! I was informed by the Health Board that a local Hospital approx 3 miles from me will not give me physio because I am not over 65!!What about people under 65? As I mentioned I am in my 50's...so am I just one of the many people who are disregarded? Our country needs a Rehabilitation Hospital like Dunlaoghaire-Rochestown Avenue, in every Province-where disabled people can attend as out-patients.If the Government done some thinking about people with disabilities instead of THEIR PRIVATE JET etc....|
|To join the discussion, register by clicking here|