Covid-19 has demonstrated the weaknesses in how we look after the young and elderly and how we have not appreciated our caregivers, a Dundalk TD has said.
Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú made the comments during a debate on his party’s Private Member’s Motion on childcare in Leinster House last week.
The Dundalk representative said the current system of childcare is ‘failing parents, children and those working in the sector’.
He said: ‘Sinn Féin and others have made arguments and condemned the system we have while offering the economic and societal alternative of a working and sustainable childcare model. Sinn Féin spokesperson on children Kathleen Funchion TD has offered a roadmap for the transition to such a public childcare system, free at the point of use’.
Mr Ó Murchú also highlighted the ‘failing of our outsourced system of care for the elderly’.
He said: ‘The HIQA report (released last week) states nearly 60% of nursing homes inspected after Covid-19 outbreaks were not following proper infection prevention and control measures, possibly with devastating consequences. We need elder care, disability services and childcare systems worthy of all our citizens. We need to deliver for our people from the cradle to the grave.
‘As we open greater parts of our economy and society, I ask the Minister of State to ensure we have and maintain the capacity to test, trace and isolate, particularly following the news that a crèche on the north side of Dublin has become one of the first childcare facilities to report a case of Covid-19. All reports are that all protocols from the HSE and Tusla have been followed.
‘I ask the Minister of State to look into the case of four childcare schemes within County Louth that deal with disadvantaged kids and will close unless exceptions or changes are made to the national childcare scheme.
‘He needs to deal with his ministerial colleagues or we will have a complete disaster.’