January 21, 2021

Wicklow’s new Health Minister extends assistance scheme to most vulnerable in society

Wicklow’s new Minister for Health has announced an extension to a Covid-19 assistance programme which will greatly aid 30,000 of the most vulnerable members of our society.

In the first major act in his new role as Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly announced an extension to the COVID-19 Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme available to people living in nursing homes, will be extended until the end of September.

The original programme, which assists more than 30,000 people currently reside in nursing homes, was due to expire today. The Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme was established as a temporary support mechanism to contribute towards costs associated with COVID-19 in nursing homes. The Scheme provides support payments to applicant nursing homes for April, May and June.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, these people have, through no fault of their own, become the most vulnerable in society because of their age, underlying medical condition, often as a result of care needs involving close physical contact.

The extension of the scheme allows the ongoing preparedness in managing and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19, while supporting and protecting residents. It also provides certainty as to the conclusion of this temporary Scheme.

Speaking while announcing the scheme’s extention, Minister Donnelly said: “While great strides have been made in the response to COVID-19, including further suppression of the virus in the community, I believe we must continue to provide support to nursing homes and contribute towards their continued planning, preparedness and response to COVID-19.

“I am pleased to announce that I am extending the Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS) for 3 months, until the end of September.

“This support, along with the broader package of supports provided by the State and its agencies to private and voluntary nursing homes aim to further contribute towards the range of public health measures required to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens,” he concluded.

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