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News & events

09 Oct 2018

Budget 2019 – €84m Mental Health Allocation

Sláintecare top priority in health budget 2019; investment & improved access to GP services; more help for families & older people with health costs – Health Ministers

  • €75 million funding for NTPF to reduce waiting lists further
  • €55 million additional funding for mental health to a total of €84m
  • Funding for 100 therapy posts to address assessment of need waiting lists
  • Implementation of health-led national drugs strategy a priority

Minister Jim Daly said:  “While the bulk of this €55m new development funding is aimed at further enhancing community mental health teams for adults and children, I am pleased to have secured funding that will enhance the spectrum of services, ranging from prevention and early intervention to promoting recovery in the most complex cases. In particular, I have highlighted a number of new initiatives around the use of e-mental health and digital technologies, which includes a number of pilot programmes for tele-counselling; a dedicated mental health telephone number and crisis text service. New funding for community led youth mental health initiatives by sporting, community or other youth groups to promote and deliver positive mental health in a new way will also be rolled out.”

Minister Simon Harris and Ministers of State Finian McGrath, Jim Daly and Catherine Byrne have welcomed the significant increase in health funding in 2019 which will be focused on Sláintecare implementation, increased investment in GP services, increased funding for tackling waiting lists and assistance for families with the cost of doctor visits and medicines.

The Budget features over €200m to implement the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, which was published by the Government in August, and which has shaped the allocation of health investment in Budget 2019.  This will be built upon in the HSE’s 2019 National Service Plan.

Additional investment includes:

  • Significant multi-annual investment in General Practice to support delivering more care in the community
  • €75 million in funding for NTPF to reduce waiting times in line with Sláintecare goals
  • €6.7m in funding for the National Children’s Hospital project, which includes commencement of the rollout of the new paediatric model of care to ensure the development of an integrated network of services nationally, with linkages to primary care and community services and the opening of the urgent care centre in Connolly
  • Additional funding for winter pressures in 2018/2019 and new beds in 2019/20
  • €55 million additional funding to continue development of mental health services, in particular community mental health services, in line with Vision for Change
  • 50c reduction in prescription charges for over-70s and phasing out of prescription charges for those in emergency accommodation
  • €10 reduction in monthly threshold for Drugs Payment Scheme
  • Expanding access to free GP care through a 10% increase in the weekly income thresholds for GP visit cards
  • 100 new therapy posts to address assessment of need waiting lists for children with disabilities
  • Expansion of community disability services to meet the needs of school-leavers
  • Funding to implement recommendations of Dr Gabriel Scally’s inquiry in to the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, including to implement the switch to HPV screening, and extend HPV vaccination to boys
  • Funding for termination of pregnancy services
  • Development of an Action Plan for Women’s Health

For further information see full press release on www.health.gov.ie

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