11.10.2018 NAI reaction to Budget 2018

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The Neurological Alliance of Ireland welcomes some aspects of Budget 2018 but is disappointed overall with a "more of the same" approach to reform of healthcare.

The umbrella representing over 30 neurological charities welcomes the announcement of investment in 1,800 frontline staff in the health services, a critical requirement to address the shortages caused by the recruitment ban and other measures including funding cuts in recent years.

More detail is required in relation to the "Access" funding announced yesterday which will facilitate patients to be treated in the most appropriate setting. There must be a real commitment to building capacity in the community in order to address the pressure on acute hospitals in the longer term. While the NAI welcomes the announcement of extra funding for home care and transitional beds, this must not be used a short term fix for a long term crisis caused by lack of community infrastructure. One of the significant factors in delayed discharges and the pressure on acute beds continues to be the lack of neurorehabilitation services nationwide, as identified by the National Clinical Programme for Rehabilitation Medicine. The NAI has called for investment of €7m in neurrehabilitation services in 2018 to begin to address the critical underdevelopment of neurorehabilitation services that are taken for granted throughout the rest of Europe.

The failure in yesterdays budget to provide specific funding for dementia services, a neurological condition which affects over 40,000 people in Ireland, is a major disappointment. 

The NAI shares the concerns of the Disability Federation of Ireland that the budget did little to target the needs of people with disabilities, a group that continues to be marginalised in terms of the economic recovery to date.

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