Yet another example of Bertie and crew changing their tune. This time its on Mental health policy. I received this from the Fine Gael Spokesman on Mental Health, Dan Neville TD. It says and I quote
“This report (A Vision for Change) states explicitly that a minimum of an additional €25 million is required annually for a six-year period to allow implementation of the mental health service expansion and improvement objectives outlined in the policy.
“In 2006, €17 million and in 2007, €10 million was spent for this purpose. In 2008 no additional funding was allocated.
It is fairly obvious that the Government is not willing to fund the Vision for Change. This report by an expert group, was an excellent report when released in 2006 and if the Government had fully implemented it, Ireland’s Mental Health Policy and institutions would be up with the best of them, but they are not.
To again quote Mr. Neville
In 2006, 3,000 children and adolescents waited an average of 15 months for psychiatric assessment with some families waiting as long as four years. In 2007, waiting lists were even longer with 3,598 children waiting for assessment, a third of whom waited for more than 12 months. With no money allocated for the implementation of ‘A Vision of Change’ in 2008, things are likely to get worse.
Clearly the Government is going blind on this issue. With waiting lists going up, it cannot afford to be putting childrens and adolescents psychiatry on the long finger. This is what they are doing. They are closing there eyes and hoping it will go away.
Children and adolescents should not be in adult wards like they currently are. The Government need to allocate the funding to this sector which badly needs it!