Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Health): Statements
Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
That is a really important question. We have all probably met with Mental Health Reform and other organisations on this. We need a new vision for change, absolutely. My colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for mental health services, has been working on this and there is now a draft new version of A Vision for Change. It was considered by a Cabinet committee. It is ready to go to Government. However, there is a longstanding position on not bringing forward new policies. There has been a view expressed in this House in recent weeks, to which I am sympathetic, that despite the political interregnum political leaders are happy for me to bring it forward. I cannot give a commitment on behalf of the Government but I am happy to engage with parties. The general view is that we allow the new Government to bring forward the policy - we all hope there is one of these soon. A new A Vision for Change document is ready to go. It is simply a matter of when we bring it to Cabinet and whether it is brought by the outgoing Government or the incoming Government in a few weeks' time.