Ongoing closure of day services for older people questioned

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Despite the fact that patients and staff who avail of state funded day services for people with a disability and older people are fully vaccinated, they have yet to fully reopen, Galway TD Denis Naughten said, criticising the delay.

Speaking in the Dáíl, Denis Naughten said that many state funded day services have been closed since March 2020, and others, such as disability training centres, are operating at as little as 20% capacity.

This despite the fact that special needs schools reopened in February, and public transport capacity is set to be increased again to 75% in the next phase of reopening.

Minister Eamon Ryan said in response that he would personally commit that the next phase of the reopening of Ireland will include day services.

“If we can be successful, as we have been doing in our step-by-step and cautious but considered approach, I have every confidence that we will see those services restored.”

“They are critical, not just for the health of individuals but also for their families. There are also all the other knock-on consequences of not having them available.”

Speaking later, Denis Naughten said, “Older people and people with a disability have suffered the most over the last 16 months, so why are they not now entitled to a vaccine bonus.”

“It is completely unacceptable that the doors of these vital days services, for the most vulnerable in our society, remain closed or are only open for part of the week.”