PALTRY fees of $3,000 a month paid by the Government for each resident are too little to fund old people’s homes that struggle to meet onerous standards in order to be registered, a parliamentary committee learnt yesterday (Wednesday.)
The year-old TT Residential Care Association (TTRCA) took centre stage to defend the record of geriatric homes at the sitting of the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Social Services chaired by Paul Richards, at Tower D, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.
The committee early on established the fact of the lack of registration of homes. TTRCA president Caroline Ruiz said her group had found 239 homes in TT. of which 115 were represented by her association.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram recalled writing to all 219 homes on the database of the Ministry of Health to tell them to apply to register and pay their registration fee. “We got applications from 84,” he said.
Of the 84, the ministry assessed 74 homes, Nineteen were recommended for licences, of which four have been issued.
Otherwise, of the 84 homes, some 30 were red-flagged, to which another 13 homes were also added, each one the subject of a complaint made to the Ministry of Social Development.