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Fine Gael U Turn On Cuts To Personal Assistant Hours

The Minister for Health James Reilly has been forced, after a storm of protests and debate at Cabinet today, to do a U turn on his proposed cuts to personal assistant hours. This climbdown will come as some relief to many people suffering disabilities here in Thurles & Co. Tipperary. However the Department of Health said the Health Service Executive (HSE) would continue to assess people’s needs “on an individual basis.

The Health Service Executive will now instead, be directed to achieve savings by cutting Administration, Travel Costs & Training, while introducing a better cash management structure in other related agencies.

The cuts to Personal Assistant hours, together with other savage cuts totalling in all an estimated €130 million, had been previously agreed between the HSE and the Department of Health. Following this announcement a group of people with disabilities came out protesting this afternoon outside of Government Buildings, prepared to camp overnight until these plans were reversed. They claimed today that this decision to withdraw Personal Assistant and Home Help services from people will prevent disabled and older people from living independently in their own homes.

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