Ireland to get a new Government

Enda Kenny is set to make history on today when he is re-elected Taoiseach, the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to do so. Dáil Eireann will meet today at 12pm to vote on the nomination following the successful negotiations with Fianna Fail and Independent TDs.

After first negotiating a Confidence and Supply Agreement in the ‘Trinity Talks’ with Fianna Fáil, a series of deals were then completed with a range of Independent TDs. Some Independent TDs including Dublin South West TD Katherine Zappone, Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughton and Dublin Rathdown TD Shane Ross are also expected to made ministers. Continue reading “Ireland to get a new Government”

A Vision For Change – Ministers Response

Well I got a response last week from Minister Harney’s Private Secretary about my enquiry on funding for Vision for Change. I was basically sent a rewritten press release with my name on the top of it. The part they really want to ram home is this I think

In view of the significant additional investment in 2006 and 2007, it is appropriate, in 2008, to pause and review the situation to ensure consolidation of the investment to date.

That is no excuse, and we should not be taking it for an excuse. The investemnt is needed according to the minister letter over “7 – 10 years” so why are we stopping after two years of not complete investment?

According to the Minister

A total of €51.2 million has been allocated since 2006 which represents over a third of the overall requirement

Yet we know that most of this money was not spent on the investemnt it was earmarked for!

I am not happy with the response. I will now be contacting my Local TD’s and Senators. I do not like being misled, which this response clearly is aiming to do.

Previous Posts:
Last post, actions to follow up
“A Vision For Change” Budget not spent on Mental Health!

Petition – Implemet Fully “A Vision for Change”

"A Vision For Change" Budget not spent on Mental Health!

From my resaerch on the internet I came across this on the Schizophrenia Ireland Website. It turns out that the budget allocated to A Vision for Change was spent on other areas

Almost half of the budget allocated to the HSE in 2006 and 2007 to implement the mental health policy, A Vision for Change, has been spent on deficits in other areas, according to the Irish Mental Health Coalition (IMHC).

The HSE did set aside the €25 million each year, but then went ahead and spent it on other areas.

The HSE had the following excuse:

The balance of the funding from 2006 and 2007 was time delayed to address core deficits in existing Mental Health services

Bollocks says I. The money set aside was raided by the HSE to keep other things floating. Is that how earmarked money should be spent? This is an area that has suffered under investment for a long time and the HSE seams intent on ensuring it dosent get the investment.

I find my self completly agreeing with John Saunders, Chair of the IMHC

This situation is totally unacceptable. On the second anniversary of the plan it is clear it is floundering already due to a lack of Government commitment.

The Government has yet to set out an implementation plan two years into this programme.

Here are the IMHC recommendations:

• The HSE should finalise, adopt and publish an implementation plan for A Vision for Change as a matter of urgency. The plan should include explicit performance targets and indicators, timelines, and specific resource commitments across all recommendations in A Vision for Change

• The HSE should publish quarterly reports on progress in the implementation of A Vision for Change.

• The HSE should finalise the mental health catchment areas, and establish the mental health catchment area management teams.

• The Department of Health and Children and the HSE should publish an annual breakdown of capital and revenue spend (rather than allocation) in mental health, with spends on service expansions and improvements recommended in A Vision for Change clearly flagged.

• The provision of additional Child and Adolescent services and inpatient facilities must be implemented by the HSE in 2008.

The more I look into this the more annoyed I seam to get. Hopefully the Minister or Minister of State will respond later in the week.

IMHC PR: Massive under – spend on mental health by HSE revealed
Petition – Implemet Fully “A Vision for Change”

Previous Posts:
Government set to abandon “A Vision for Change”
Last post, actions to follow up

Last post, actions to follow up

While writing my last post, I decided whats the point it just writing the post if I dont do anything about it. So what will I do.

1. Email both the Minister for Health and Children (Mary Harney TD) and Minister of State with responsibility for Disability and Mental Health (Dr. Jimmy Devins TD). When and if I get a response, I will post them.

2. Email my local TD’s and Senators Cork South Central TDs: Micheál Martin FF, Michael McGrath FF, Deirdre Clune FG, Ciarán Lynch LAB and Simon Coveney FG. Senator Jerry Buttimer FG. Any other suggestions?

3. Write a petition. Done and its online here Please sign it.

I wonder which will get the quickest resposnes.

Stay tuned….

Government set to abandon "A Vision for Change"

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!

A Vision For Change PDF
FG PR: Government abandons introduction of Mental Health Policy – Neville