November 9, 2023
No new funding for Stroke Strategy will have ‘dire consequences for patients’ – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has expressed serious concern that the National Stroke Strategy will not get additional funding for developing new services in 2024.

Teachta Cullinane was reacting to confirmation from the Minister for Health that there is no new measures funding for the strategy in 2024, its second year of implementation.

The Waterford TD said:

“The Minister for Health’s failure to secure new funding for Stroke Strategy in 2024 will have dire consequences for patients.

“A stroke patient in the Midlands is severely disadvantaged compared to the rest of the state due to the lack of stroke units, and many of the existing stroke units are non-functioning.

“Funding is urgently needed to upgrade ailing stroke units and to deliver early supported discharge teams. This must go hand-in-hand with investment in community rehabilitation supports.

“6,000 people have a stroke every year. 2,000 of them do not get to a stroke unit. A further 2,000 are discharged too early. Only half of stroke patients get the full rehabilitation and therapies that they need.

“As a result, hundreds more people die or are severely disabled every year. Many more do not recover to the extent that they could have if the supports were there.

“This strategy is only a year old, and already the Government has dropped its commitments to funding its implementation. It requires €36 million over five years, and only €5 million was allocated to it last year.

“The cost of not funding this strategy is stark. In addition to 12,000 additional hospital bed days which could be saved, there is a significant burden on long-term care and therapies for people who were not supported to make a full recovery.”

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