The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has written today to Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Service Executive seeking clarification that a budget for specialist palliative care will be unveiled in sectoral budgets published in January 2014.
While welcoming the HSE plan to provide €1m to support the phased opening of specialist palliative care beds in Blanchardstown, the IHF is concerned that there are currently 46 unopened hospice beds that should be opened as a matter of urgency.
Sharon Foley stated: “We believe it is essential that there is a detailed breakdown of all health spending particularly in what is spent by the State on specialist palliative care. The IHF believes there should be a dedicated, trackable budget for palliative care in our health budget and an annual core budget for palliative care within each of the new HSE Directorates. The 2014 budget for specialist palliative care should be maintained at the 2013 levels to prevent further fragmentation of the sector.”
HSE Service Plan 2014 is available HERE