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Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Teams ‘disgracefully understaffed’ – O’Reilly

28 June, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that information released today to the members of the Oireachtas Health Committee ahead of today’s meeting with the Minister for Health and the Health Service Executive have shown mental health and intellectual disability teams are disgracefully understaffed.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“Information received by the members of the Oireachtas Health Committee in advance of today’s meeting has shown how Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Teams (MHID) across the state are disgracefully understaffed.

“It is hard to put into words how utterly scandalous these understaffing levels are, but we have a situation where adult MHID services have only 32% of the staff necessary and child MHID services have on 6% of the necessary staff as set out under ‘A Vision for Change’, the strategy document which sets out the direction for Mental Health Services in Ireland. 

“There can be no mincing of words regarding this situation, it is utterly disgraceful.

“While the problems in the health service and the inability of the Government to adequately tackle them are well versed, I was utterly devastated to see that Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Teams for adults and children are operating with just 32% and 6% of the respective necessary staff.

“This information also comes on the back of a response to a Parliamentary Question I received which highlighted that community teams for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have barely half the necessary staff, 53%.

“How can we as a wealthy state and a compassionate people stand over a situation where child Mental Health and Intellectual Disability teams are operating with only 6% of necessary staff and community teams for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have only 53% of the necessary staff? 

“It is completely and utterly disgraceful, and it behoves us all to speak out about his scandalous situation.

“It is said that part of the moral test of any government is how they treat the sick and those with disabilities, the evidence to date shows that Fine Gael and Minister Harris are failing that test abysmally.” 

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