Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach to 'give a commitment' over Olivia Harte's case
The Taoiseach has said he will ask Minister for Health Simon Harris to examine the case of a woman with Parkinson's disease, who, it was claimed, has been refused a home care package by the Health Service Executive.
The case was raised during Leaders' Questions by Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald.
She said 41-year-old Olivia Harte from Co Leitrim, a mother of two children aged six and seven, has been on delayed discharge from hospital in Cavan since January.
According to Deputy McDonald she is on a ventilator, and can walk a short distance but is physically very weak.
"She remains in hospital six months after she was ready to go home. The team at Cavan say she should be at home," Ms McDonald said.
The Dáil was told that Ms Harte applied for a Home Care Grant to fund her discharge, however the application was rejected.
Ms McDonald said: "Olivia celebrated her wedding anniversary and her children's birthdays in hospital in Cavan.
"Will your Government give Olivia the dignity by funding the home care package she needs?"
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he did not want to discuss individual cases on the floor of the Dáil.
"There are no patient files on my desk - and it would be inappropriate to discuss individual cases."
He said from his own medical knowledge he knew it was difficult to provide 24/7 care to a patient with respiratory difficulties in a home.
He said the Government had made a lot of progress in reducing delayed discharges, the budget for home help has increased and there were 15,000 home care packages funded this year - "more than last year."
Ms McDonald said she was asking the Taoiseach as head of Government to give a commitment today that he will ensure that the HSE releases the funds required.
"This is a sick woman who has asked me, as a matter of last resort."
Mr Varadkar said he would have the case looked into, and ask the Minister for Health to examine it.
However he said he did not think that just because a matter was raised on the floor of the Dáil that such an order should be made.
"I will endeavour to have the Minister for Health follow up on the case" he said.