January 19, 2012 | The Journal
THE IRISH HOSPICE Foundation (IHF) has said that its services may have to be reduced unless there is an increase in donations following cuts to the palliative care budget.
The IHF says that under the Health Service Executive’s National Service Plan announced last week, the budget for palliative care is being cut from €81 million in 2011 to €78 million for the coming year – a cut of 3.7 per cent.
The organisation says that will mean it will have to rely on increased donations to maintain services. ”This cut is happening at a time when the numbers seeking hospice support are increasing.
[su_pullquote]“Our primary concern is with patients and their families who are the most vulnerable patients in our health service”[/su_pullquote]
“Our primary concern is with patients and their families who are the most vulnerable patients in our health service,” IHF CEO Sharon Foley said. ”It is inevitable that hospices will have to appeal to the goodwill of their local communities to keep going.”
Foley said that the cuts will mean that “goodwill is now more vital than ever” and noted that her organisation is funding the newly developed palliative care programme for children with €2.5 million over the next five years.
The HSE’S National Service Plan has committed to developing a specialist palliative care outpatient community nursing at St. Francis’ Hospice in Blanchardstown in west Dublin.