Who cares for the carers?


Sir, – As I watched RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates last night, I was truly angry at how the Department of Health and the HSE have let down carers and their disabled loved ones. The treatment by other departments cannot be overlooked either. I was angry at the Minister for State when all he could do was talk about “his money” and how he was allocating it to people who are disabled. All he could talk about were 114 action plans that are to be initiated in 2018 and excuses as to why the Government of the day fails to ratify parts of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. What absolute balderdash.

Carers of loved ones who are disabled want action now, not later or into the distant future. To see a mother who has been physically assaulted by her disabled son many times, or the woman whose carer’s allowance was reduced to €8 because her husband did extra hours, or the pensioners that are being forced, after decades of love and care, to look after their middle-aged disabled sons or daughters, with no respite care, was shocking. It is a scandal of the highest proportions.

It is time that the HSE was dismantled and broken into workable parts that managed the different sectors of our healthcare. This monolith has had its day.

When I watched this, programme along with members of my family, I was dismayed and angry, hurt and lost. I’m sure that those who care for their loved ones must feel this and 10 times more. How much more are we as a nation to put up with before action is taken? The next time there is an election, ask your local TD or councillor, “What have you done?” and “How have you alleviated the pain and suffering of the most vulnerable in our society?” Demand an answer. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.