Ó Caoláin demands Ministerial intervention to stop “savage mental health cuts” in Co. Monaghan
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has revealed that the HSE is planning to close the 12-bed Admissions Unit and the Day Centre for patients with mental illness at St. Davnet’s Psychiatric Hospital in Monaghan town.
The Sinn Féin Dáil leader has called on the Minister of State for Mental Health, John Moloney TD, to intervene immediately to prevent what Deputy Ó Caoláin described as “savage cuts to mental health services” in County Monaghan.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“It was disclosed within the HSE North East this week that the HSE is planning to close the 12-bed Admissions Unit at St. Davnet’s Psychiatric Hospital in Monaghan and to move the unit to Cavan General Hospital. This would be a severe blow to services for people with mental illness in Co. Monaghan. It would also mean further pressure on already over-stretched services in Cavan.
“I understand that a second severe blow is planned by the HSE with the proposed closure of the Day Centre at St. Davnet’s. This Centre caters for people living in the community and it is a vital facility. Its closure would run totally contrary to Government policy as set out in A Vision for Change which encourages care in the community rather than institutionalisation. It would remove from people those vital supports that assist them to live normal lives in their communities.
“It is estimated that mental health services are to be cut by some €5 million in Cavan and Monaghan in 2010. These savage cuts to mental health services must be stopped. I have today written to the Minister of State for Mental Health, John Moloney TD, to demand his immediate intervention to stop the HSE from going ahead with these cuts.
“Last year I led a cross-constituency delegation of my party, including the then Mayors of Counties Monaghan and Cavan, on a visit to St. Davnet’s when we presented a strong case for the retention of the Admissions Unit at the St. Davnet’s campus. We will work with determination, and with all who genuinely share our stated objective, to try to ensure that the axe does not fall on yet another vital health facility in County Monaghan.” ENDS