Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has said that she has written to the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe asking him to urgently investigate the lack of insurance options for nursing homes who operate with a capacity of less than 40 beds.

Deputy Nolan said that unless the matter is dealt with quickly and decisively the issue has the potential to render a significant number of nursing homes unavailable in the short to medium term.

“This is a profoundly serious and alarming matter and it is one that the Minister must work to immediately resolve.,” she said. “It simply could not come at a worse time.”

“I have been directly informed by a nursing home provider here in Laois Offaly that one of the major insurers has effectively pulled out of the market, leaving nursing homes with under 40 beds totally at the mercy of one insurance provider.  This is completely unacceptable” she said.

Deputy Nolan said that the lack of options had the potential to be devastating for the providers in terms of increased premiums and also for the families and residents who will obviously be impacted by the inability of their provider to pay the insurance quotes that will be demanded by the sole insurer left in the market.

“This is the last thing they need especially at a time when we recognise the importance of shielding our loved ones in nursing homes and at a time when our communities and families are already under enormous stress,” she said.

“Government simply cannot allow this matter to escalate to the point where nursing home providers will be left with no option but to pay up or close down. We need action now,” said Deputy Nolan.