Fine Gael’s Dr. Liam Twomey said that he is concerned about the lack of funding for health services especially mental health. “In July, Fianna Fail announced that health’s capital spending would be slashed by €2.2 billion, with a possible €1billion cut in current spending. Wexford can see the impact of last year’s budget cuts with approximately 25 people having to suffer the indignity of lying on trolleys in the hospital nearly every day during the summer, since the closure of St. Aidan’s Ward.”
“As well as this, the HSE Assistant National Director of Mental Health said yesterday (Thursday) that no new money has been provided for mental health services this year. No new money was provided in 2008 and only €3million was provided in 2009. It is unlikely that any extra money will be provided next year. This is despite Fianna Fail’s promise of giving €21million to Mental Health services each year for a period of seven years in ‘A Vision for Change’ launched in 2006. It was also expected that €50 million would be realised from the sale of old hospital sites. However it is clear that due to the poor property market, this figure will not be reached.”
“I am concerned about these figures as we were told earlier this year that St. Senan’s would close in February 2011. Because of the mess that Fianna Fail has made of the economy, Minister Moloney also told us that there was no money to build a Mental Health Unit at Wexford General Hospital but he did promise that comprehensive Mental Health Community Services would be put in place. However, due to the moratorium on recruitment, over 700 staff left mental healthcare in 2009 and only 65 were replaced. This is putting huge pressure on all services and this, plus the budget cuts, plus the lack of implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ makes me worried about Fianna Fail’s commitment to providing good mental health services in county Wexford. If this government fails to honour their commitments to the Mental Health Services, in County Wexford, the people of County Wexford must stand up for this very vulnerable sector in our county.
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