The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation CEO has slammed the Health Services Executive (HSE) budgetary cuts to its charity.
The Johnstown-based charity received formal notification that the HSE is cutting 3.7 per cent of its state funding, which equates to €20,000. According to its CEO Jonathan Irwin: “This type of across the board cut is the most lazy and inefficient way of doing things and it’s hard to stomach the HSE lecturing us about efficiency cuts. Since 1997, we’ve had to raise €35 million privately to provide our critical home nursing care service nationwide while receiving a paltry €4.5 million from the HSE during that time. Now, after presenting all the facts about the efficiency of the Jack & Jill service and how we save the State millions every year, we receive this claptrap about another cut with lots of irrelevant blurb about efficiencies. I’m disappointed and annoyed to say the least about this, as are our families and nurses around the country.” Currently it is running the IPPA Happy Faces campaign where it is hoped more than €100,000 will be raised. “Without this type of creative fundraising and support from the general public and corporate Ireland, we’d be in deep trouble, as we’ve got to raise €2.7 million every year to do what we do.”
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation was set up in 1997 by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Senator MaryAnn O’Brien (MD of Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates) to provide home nursing care to young children in Ireland who have developmental delay as a result of brain damage. They decided to set up Jack & Jill based on their own experience with their son Jack and from their experience evolved the Jack & Jill model of home nursing and respite care that supports nearly 300 families in Ireland today and has helped 1,500 families since 1997.