Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has called on the HSE to apologise to the farming community. The HSE, according to Fitzmaurice, owes farmers an apology for the ‘wild allegations that they are purposely leaving eldery relatives in hospitals’.
“The HSE should apologise to the farming community after wild allegations which have come to light over the past couple of days that farmers are leaving elderly relatives in hospital because they are fearful about the Fair Deal Scheme and how it might affect their inheritance.
“It is my experience every single day of the week that people are being released from hospital as soon as they are better and the only delays that are being experienced are when there is no Home Care Package to look after people when they are released from hospital which is down to the HSE," explained Fitzmaurice.
The Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway also adds that the allegations, which appeared in one of this week's Irish Times in the form of leaked e-mails from the HSE legal department, are ‘so far wide off the mark that they would be a joke if the issue wasn’t so serious’.
Michael adds that the accusations, which ‘claim that the farming community are leaving elderly residents in hospital on purpose to avoid any possible penalties under the Fair Deal Scheme’, are a disgrace.
“Dealing with people who are desperate to get to hospital to be treated every day of the week, I can categorically say that people who have completed their treatment successfully are released as soon as possible by the HSE. To suggest that anything different is happening whether it be in the farming community or anywhere else is plain wrong," he explained.
"There is a huge problem with people being released from hospital and who cannot access Home Help Packages. People are being approved and allocated hours but on the ground situation is so bad in that regard that unless someone passes away a person will not actually get a Home Help Package.
“Any suggestion that farmers are deliberately leaving elderly relatives in hospital is a gross insult and I am calling on the HSE Director Tony O'Brien to come out and apologise to the farming community immediately for these inaccurate and baseless allegations," he concluded.