Varadkar admits some mental health funding is being moved elsewhere until 2017

Varadkar admits some mental health funding is being moved elsewhere until 2017

Leo Varadkar has said some of the funding for mental health services this year will be moved to other areas, but will be transferred back in 2017.

The acting Health Minister has said the money which was earmarked for recruitment of extra staff can not be spent in 2016 and he added the transfer was well flagged in the HSE's service plan.

The Dáil's debating health today with 10 minute speeches from contributors.

Leo Varadkar did not reach the issue of mental health funding in his contribution, but his speech deals with it.

He has said the money was earmarked to provide an extra 1,550 staff for mental health but as these could not all be filled from January 1st and the savings are going to be transferred elsewhere.

This he has said was clear from page 8 of the HSE service plan and he promised that the full €35 million will be restored to mental health for 2017.

Varadkar also confirmed that there has been an almost 7% increase in attendances at accident and emergency departments in the first three months of the year.

He has said despite this the majority of people are being seen in an appropriate time.

However, Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher has said part of the problem is that GP services are stretched due to the free doctor visits for under 6's and this is putting pressure on A and E's.


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