The Aontú representative for the Laytown Bettystown area has voiced his serious concerns for elderly citizens with the closure of many private nursing homes.

Speaking today, Peter Whelan said: “I raised the serious concerns about widespread closure of nursing homes nearly a year ago when Boyne nursing home in Dowth closed its doors.

“At the time I expressed concerns for the future of privately run nursing homes. Private nursing homes cannot survive on the funding afforded to them under the Fair Deal Scheme.

“Recent figures suggest that HSE nursing homes receive nearly 70% more funding per resident than private nursing homes. As a result, in the past three years, 31 private and voluntary nursing homes have left the sector. This is a loss of over 900 beds. The Government is not putting the needs of our elderly first.”

“I was completely shocked to hear reports that private nursing homes that close, can reopen after a short withdrawal period and operate at a profit if they take in refugees” Whelan continued.

“This is in effect offering incentives to private nursing homes to close their doors and reopen refugee centres. This shows the government’s complete disregard for our elderly citizens and their families.”

“Aontú is calling on the Government to treat all nursing homes equally so that our elderly can have access to the services and support that they need.” concluded Mr Whelan.