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Elderly people won't pay out more under Fair Deal scheme

Minister Kathleen Lynch said an extra €30 million is needed.

Image: Shutterstock/Richard Lyons

OLDER PEOPLE will not be asked to contribute more towards their care under the Fair Deal nursing home scheme.

The project was introduced six years ago, whereby elderly people contribute towards their own care in a home, while the state pays the balance.

Concerns were raised yesterday, when the Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch told the Health Committee that an extra €30 million is needed every year to sustain the scheme.

Extra funds needed 

However, speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke she clarified that she thought the extra funds should come from the Exchequer.

She said that government will not be seeking a payment increase from patients in the lifetime of this government.

Lynch said she would like to see it become a demand-led scheme, because as it stands it is “unsustainable”.

Sean Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer of ALONE said he strongly believes that nursing home care is not always the only option and that there are alternatives that the government are not considering.

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He said other options are more cost effective and preferable for many older people.

“It is a very outdated model to put those who are not entirely dependent on full time care into nursing homes.”

Fianna Fáil was also critical of the ministers remarks today, stating that she was giving “mixed messages”.

“Completely unacceptable waiting lists are putting families under intolerable stress and financial pressure,” said Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher.

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