The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has sparked further fury recently after he openly defended the cuts his department made to much needed funding destined for the country’s mental health services.
Mr Varadkar has been slammed in recent days after it was announced just last week that a much needed €12 million of the €35 million allocated to the mental health care budget 2016 was redistributed to other areas of the health service.
In the Dail the acting health minister openly defended the appalling decision by stating that the mental health budget has significantly increased from €711 million in 2011 to €827 million this year.
In his brief but damming statement Mr Varadkar told the Dail that although the cuts were not supposed to happen but they are necessary as the funding could be better used elsewhere. The Health Minister also claimed that the mental health sector is facing many difficulties that are not directly related to funding.
Mr Varadkar further explained: “It is far more a question of change management, modernising practice and driving implementation.” He also stated that the previous government had increased mental health funding by €827 million or 16%. He added that the government had secured a number of achievements in the area since coming to power in 2011.
“My own view is that any new mental health policy should be broader than just dealing with. It should recognise the importance of health and wellness, positive mental health and resilience, and the wider social influences on this area. “It should also have regard to the evidence of national and international best practice.”
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