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Plans to means-test care are 'an attack on elderly and disabled'

Plans reported on the frontpage of the Sunday Business Post have drawn criticism from Sinn Féin today.

Junior health minister and Labour TD Kathleen Lynch
Junior health minister and Labour TD Kathleen Lynch
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉIN HAS hit out at reported plans by the government to introduce a system of means-testing patients in receipt of mental health or disability care from the HSE or voluntary organisations.

The Sunday Business Post reports that Mental Health, Equality and Disability Minister Kathleen Lynch is considering plans that would see patients above a certain income threshold contributing to the cost of their care.

Lynch tells the paper that the plans would be part of a ‘money-follows-the-patient’ system but Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said such an idea is not acceptable and would be “another attack on older people and people with disabilities”.

“Charging vulnerable people for vital community-based services that, in many cases, are allowing them to remain in their homes and out of residential care, is not acceptable,” he said .

“It would be punitive and counter-productive and should not proceed.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Communications Minsiter said that he had not seen any paperwork that alluded to the story by Susan Mitchell in today’s Sunday Business Post.

But, he said, every government spending programme is under review ahead of October’s budget.

Read: HSE to temporarily pay mobility allowance to ‘prevent hardship’

Read: Watchdog to inspect disability centres for the first time

Read: At least 60% of domiciliary care allowance applications refused

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Hugh O'Connell

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