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Budget offered nothing for mental health sector

The budget of 2016 has allocated €74 million for horses and greyhounds while Minister Kathleen Lynch is “hopeful” of an additional €35 million to help develop and enhance community mental health services in 2016.

As usual the Budget promised little and delivered even less for mental health service, so as expectation was already low, disappointment was avoided.

Minister Lynch further admitted that the mental health service was 1,400 short staffed, with staffing levels having fallen by 20% over the past five years and spending declining from around 7.5% to 6% of the total health budget over the same period.

This compares with 12% of the health budget being allocated to mental health services in Northern Ireland.

In his Budget speech Minister Howlin declared that 1,000 nurses (of all grades) were recruited to the health service over the past 12 months.

However, the minister failed to mention that around the same number of nurses retired or left the Irish health service for more attractive working conditions abroad over the same period.

Cormac Williams

Psychiatric Nurses’ Association

Kerry


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