Waiting lists for HSE homecare services in the West of Ireland have reached record levels with over 1,500 people in Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon waiting for home help or homecare.
Accusations have been made that a ‘postcode lottery’ has emerged in choosing who receives homecare because services are not sufficiently funded.
The HSE has said the reason for the increased demand for homecare services is because of the aging population, which will continue to increase year on year.
The Irish Independent reports that there are now more than 6,100 people waiting for homecare servoces around the Republic.
Those figures show just how much worse services are in the west with the just three counties making up the HSE’s Community Heathcare Organisation Area 2.
There are 970 people on a waiting list in the HSE area covering Kildare, West Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City and Dublin South West.
While a further 951 people are on waiting lists between Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dublin North West.
The shortest waiting lists are found in the south of Ireland, with just 207 waiting for services between Kerry, north Cork, North Lee, South Lee and west Cork.
The 2018 budget provided a further €18 million for homecare services, but that figure is clearly not keeping pace with demand.
The government will be under pressure to increase support for services in the upcoming budget, but its uncertain where the funding for that will come from.
The HSE has reported that it’s already facing a €100 million funding gap for this fiscal year and an overspend of up to €1 billion.