Written answers

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Department of Health and Children

Mental Health Services

8:00 am

Photo of M J NolanM J Nolan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 904: To ask the Minister for Health and Children if the Health Service Executive will have waiting lists in child and adolescent psychiatry dealt with under the National Treatment Purchase Fund or the employment of locum staff; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2583/07]

Tim O'Malley (Minister of State, Department of Health and Children; Limerick East, Progressive Democrats)
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The Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, entitled 'A Vision for Change', was launched on 24th January 2006. It provides a framework for action to develop a modern, high quality mental health service over the next 7 to 10 years.

In 2006, a sum of €26.2 million was allocated for the development of mental health services in line with 'A Vision for Change'. A further sum of €25 million has been allocated in 2007 to continue this development. A significant amount of this year's funding — €7.95m — is for the development of child and adolescent psychiatric services. This funding will bring about significant improvements in community, hospital-based and early intervention services. Existing multidisciplinary teams will be enhanced and new child and adolescent mental health teams developed.

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) was established to expedite the provision of treatment for patients on public hospital waiting lists who have been waiting longest for surgery. I have no plans to expand the remit of the NTPF to the type of treatment referred to by the Deputy.

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