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Using health as a test case of junior ministers’ usefulness

Posted in Articles by saraburke on July 22, 2014

See below for article on junior ministers from the Irish Independent on 22 July 2014.

The absence of any real achievement by the vast majority of junior ministers must call into question the very necessity of all junior ministerial posts. They have no power to make decisions or allocate money and are really just there to champion a specific aspect of a government department that is perceived to need public and political attention. Let’s use health as a test case of junior ministerial usefulness.  (more…)

Waiting for others to die – the only way to get a nursing home bed

Posted in Blog by saraburke on September 2, 2011

HSE figures released today (1 September) reveal that 1,100 older people who are medically in need of a nursing home place and have been through a rigorous financial assessment are languishing on a waiting list for that bed. When the Nursing Home Support Scheme (the so-called Fair Deal) was launched less than two years ago it was heralded as “accessible, affordable and anxiety free”. Obviously it is proving to be none of these (it is not accessible for those on the waiting list, it is not affordable for the State as it as run out of money and it is not anxiety free for the older people and their families who wait for a nursing home bed) so what does the Fair Deal waiting list mean for those on it and why is there a waiting list?  (more…)

No surprise that ‘Fair Deal’ has run out of money

Posted in Blog by saraburke on May 20, 2011

Just 20 months old, the nursing home support scheme (named the Fair Deal) has run out of money, so what will happen older people in need of nursing home care and why are we only hearing about this now?  (more…)

The Fair Deal – six months on…

Posted in Blog by saraburke on April 23, 2010

Just six months ago, the ‘Fair Deal’ scheme was introduced which changed the way nursing home care is funded and paid for. According to Minister Mary Harney, the Fair Deal would make residential care “accessible, affordable and anxiety free”. So how is it faring and has it achieved what it set out to? (more…)