Over three thousand people are waiting anxiously as the row between the HSE and Rehab escalates. Rehab has threatened to close its services unless it gets extra funding. The HSE points to huge salaries of its top executives in the past.
The root of the problem lies in the way that the Irish state treats services to its disabled citizens as a charity.
Instead of openly acknowledging that disabled people have a right to proper public support, the HSE goes through an elaborate strategy of ‘funding charities’.
The charities in turn argue that they have had to take on more responsibilities due to cutbacks in state services that were made after the Celtic Tiger crash. They also complain or high insurance costs.
The solution is to take Rehab into full public ownership and provide proper funding that matches a philosophy that disabled people have rights and are not just recipients of charity.