Minister Lynch welcomes renewal of Government Commitment to Mental Health and Social Care services

Minister of State at the Department of Health, Kathleen Lynch, today welcomed the announcement in the Budget of a further €35 million for the continued development of our mental health services.

She said “In these particularly difficult times, it is vital that our Mental Health Services continue to be developed in line with the blueprint set out in “Vision for Change”. This funding is a demonstration of this Government’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable, in line with the Programme for Government”.

The Minister said that the key issue now would be to fully utilise this funding in a targeted and specific way to ensure that overall services improve in line with mental health policy. To this end she will be engaging fully with the Health Service Executive to ensure that the developments to be put in place with this additional funding are fully reflected in the National Service Plan for 2013.

The Minister said that she is very mindful of the enormous challenges facing Government and the Health Services. In such circumstances she also particularly welcomed the commitment to restore the core community services of home help, home care packages and personal assistant hours. She said

“Community Services are the services that keep people well at home, where they want to be, and out of hospital and residential care. A key element of our overall health reform plan is to keep and treat people at the lowest level of complexity. In moving towards this model of health care provision, community services will continue to play a key role”.

Minister Lynch does not underestimate the challenge now facing the Health Service Executive in drawing up its 2013 National Service Plan, or the challenges that will face all of the healthcare providers in 2013. “We still have to find major savings in 2013, and everyone involved in healthcare provision will have to play their part in order to maintain services in the face of ever increasing demand” she said.

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