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Nursing Homes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 June 2022

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Ceisteanna (1692)

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

1692. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce a requirement for nursing homes to publish a schedule of fees showing all costs associated with being a resident; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29972/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The NHSS covers the cost of the standard components of long-term residential care which are:

- Nursing and personal care appropriate to the level of care needs of the person

- Bed and board

- Basic aids and appliances necessary to assist a person with the activities of daily living

- Laundry service

A person's eligibility for other schemes, such as the medical card scheme or the drugs payment scheme, is unaffected by participation in the NHSS or residence in a nursing home. In determining the services covered by the NHSS it was considered very important that the care recipient and the taxpayer would be protected and would not end up paying for the same services twice.

Although the NHSS covers core living expenses, residents can still incur some costs in a nursing home, such as social programmes, newspapers or hairdressing. In recognition of this, anyone in receipt of financial support under the NHSS retains at least 20% of their income. The minimum amount that is retained is the equivalent of 20% of the State Pension (Non-Contributory). An operator should not seek payment from residents for items which are covered by the NHSS, the medical card or any other existing scheme.

The Department of Health is currently reviewing the available evidence and considering various policy options with relation to nursing home charges.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is an independent statutory body with a dual mandate to enforce competition and consumer protection law in Ireland. CCPC’s mission is to promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. The CCPC has published consumer protection guidelines for contracts of care in long-term residential care services for older people. The guidelines set out the obligations and responsibilities that providers must adhere to under consumer protection law and are aimed at providing greater transparency, clarity and certainty for consumers.

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