HSE nursing homes in Wexford paid over 60 per cent more than private counterparts
HSE nursing homes in County Wexford are being paid 61 per cent more than their private and voluntary counterparts, new figures published by the HSE reveal.
After a five-year delay, the HSE, under pressure from Nursing Homes Ireland, has just published the updated costs for nursing home care within its operated nursing homes.
These revealed the two HSE nursing homes operating in County Wexford have an average fee payable by the State of €1,327 per week, per resident.
The HSE nursing home with the highest cost of care was St John's Hospital at €1,385. The only other HSE nursing home in the county, New Houghton Hospital, in New Ross, has an average fee payable of €1,268.
In contrast, the 13 private and voluntary nursing homes in the county have an average fee payable of €822 per week, according to the most recently published cost of care figures.
'The State is discriminating in a scandalous way against private and voluntary providers,' said NHI chief executive Tadhg Daly. Nationally, private and voluntary nursing homes are forced by the State to provide care for half the amount that the HSE pays for its own homes, the figures reveal.
Nursing Homes Ireland said it had taken five years to prise this data out of the HSE.
NHI said it is no surprise it has taken the State so long to publish as it has been operating a system that discriminates against the private and voluntary sector.
'The publication of the costings has laid bare the true cost of nursing home care and the implications of the failure to address this glaring inequity must be addressed by Government, NHI has warned.
'Failure to do so threatens the sustainability of the private and voluntary nursing home sector and the vital services provided,' said the NHI.
It has called on the State to immediately engage with the private and voluntary nursing home sector to provide for the true costs incurred of meeting the high dependency care needs of residents in private and voluntary nursing homes.
NHI said it wanted an equitable system be established for the financing of nursing home care under the Fair Deal, whether HSE, private or voluntary.
It has also called upon the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the level of spending by the State within its own operated nursing homes. There is no requirement for the HSE to negotiate payments for each of its nursing homes. Yet private and voluntary nursing homes are being coerced into accepting fees that do not reflect the true costs of providing nursing home care. 'The State is discriminating in a scandalous way against private and voluntary providers,' said NHI chief executive Tadhg Daly. 'The State is operating a two-tier funding system and has fought for five years not to disclose these figures.
'It is unacceptable that private and voluntary providers are forced to provide care for fees way below those paid to the HSE counterparts,' said Mr Daly. 'It is a case of one law for HSE operated nursing homes and a completely different one for the private and voluntary providers who are squeezed into accepting fees that are not reflective of the true cost.'