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Government spent full Mental Health budget increase for 2018 on agency workers for the first three months - Senator Devine

20 June, 2018 - by Máire Devine

A recent PQ submitted by Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson on Mental Health Senator Máire Devine and Pat Buckley TD has revealed that the HSE spent almost the entire increase in the mental health budget for 2018 in the first three months of the year.

The department stated a spend of just under €13 million from January - March of 2018 on private agency costs.

Speaking before the Seanad debate on the issue this evening, Senator Devine said:

“The Future of Mental Healthcare Committee of which I am a member has been hearing extensively the staffing crisis within the mental health division for several weeks now.

"The Minister has long been aware of the problems, but instead of addressing them, he is stuffing the tax payer’s money into the gaping wound to try and stop the hemorrhaging.

"We all remember the celebrations of the increase of a measly €15million in the mental health budget for this year; and any hope any of us may have had is well and truly dead as that money now sits in the pockets of private business.

"This is a crisis and the Minister needs to step up now.”

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