All adult hospices in Ireland now state-funded 

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Four voluntary hospices are being state funded from last February.

Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly has redesignated four voluntary hospice providers –  Marymount Care Centre, Milford Care Centre, Galway Hospice and St. Francis Hospice (Raheny and Blanchardstown), from Section 39 service level agreements with the HSE to Section 38 agreements.

The Department of Health said the redesignation would provide a sustainable model of care for adult specialist palliative care services in Ireland and ensure the provision of these core services into the future. The Government is providing a total of €18.6 million to achieve this.

Minister Donnelly said, “I am delighted to announce the redesignation.  It means that all adult hospices in our country are now fully state-funded. This is a significant step towards our goal of providing universal access to palliative care. 

“There has been excellent progress made since the HSE established a National Implementation Group to carry out this transition. I’d like to thank all members of the implementation group for their commitment and hard work. We are rightly very proud of our palliative care services in Ireland.

“The voluntary hospice sector has worked tirelessly down through the years, in partnership with local communities, to expand the network of hospice services around the country. The redesignation will provide financial and staffing sustainability to ensure that these providers of adult specialist palliative care services can continue their vital work. It will strengthen their core services and mean, for example, that fundraising by the hospices will no longer be required to cover payroll or other operational costs such as electricity and heating.

“I acknowledge the essential adult specialist palliative care services provided by these four organisations and the benefits the care they provide give to people with life limiting illnesses and their families. I commend the staff in these four hospices for the vital services they provide and for striving to ensure that patients under your care have the best quality of life.”

Currently, approximately 70% of inpatient and 74% of community adult specialist palliative care services are provided by voluntary hospices. 

There are approximately 1,300 staff employed across the four hospices.