Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

14.57 7 May 2019


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The Rehab Group says its in desperate need of urgent funding to save its care services, insisting they'll have to end those operations next year if the situation isn't resolved.

The disability group said it's planning to inform the HSE of 12 months' notice of "termination of its entire care services" due to under-funding.

A final decision on the notice will be made after representatives of the group meet Health Minister Simon Harris over their funding concerns today.

It claims no resolution has been found so far despite two years of negotiations with the HSE.

Around 3,000 people around the country currently benefit from care that the charity provides, such as respite and residential services.

The Rehab Group is calling on Minister Harris to intervene, saying they need €2 million in additional funding per year to continue operations.

They're blaming factors such as higher care costs as their service users age; the 'burgeoning costs' of meeting new HIQA and HSE regulatory requirements; the costs of upgrading property; and a 'massive hike' in insurance costs.

'Unprecedented decision'

Jimmy Tolan, the chairman of the Rehab Group's board of directors, said: "This is an unprecedented decision one we never imagined we would have to make. During the last two years we have done everything in our power to engage with the HSE to secure adequate funding for these services.

"Now, Rehab is no longer in a position to continue to fund the significant losses incurred in providing these services and is in an extremely difficult position where it has no other option but to issue 12 months’ notice of termination to the HSE."

Mr Tolan warned that financial concerns are a "sector-wide issue", and it's their "profound hope" that the services can continue.

However, he added: "This situation can be reversed, the care services could be saved but only if we are provided with urgent additional funding to ensure that these services continue."

According to the charity, the funding problems centre around its RehabCare - noting that the group's other services continue to operate as normal.

'Cool and calm heads'

Speaking this afternoon ahead of his meeting with Rehab representatives, Minister Harris urged the group to not issue the proposed notice of termination.

He said: "What we don't need is termination notices served here - what we need is cool and calm heads.

"I believe a resolution can be found - that resolution probably will require extra funding, and that funding will be forthcoming if we can get to that point."

The Health Minister will be asking Rehab to not issue the letter to the HSE, and to instead take the opportunity to "engage very intensively" with health officials over the next few weeks.

Main image: File photo, picture by Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

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