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The General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) Des Kavanagh, today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health of separate Directorate for Mental Health.

Mr Kavanagh said; ‘The PNA has argued strongly for many years that the HSE, and previously the Health Boards, could not be trusted with Mental Health funding and we have highlighted many instances where additional allocated monies for Mental Health have been secreted away for use in other services. The Mental Health Commission had described the HSE's accounting for such expenditure as opaque at best and has shown that net expenditure on mental health as a percentage of the health budget is now at 4.8%, the lowest level ever.'

‘Against that background Minister Reilly's announcement is very welcome. While we need to examine the fine detail of the proposal, it is a welcome development that at last Mental Health will have a separate budget with a separate and dedicated Directorate responsible for the spending of that budget.'

‘It is still regrettable that the financial allocation to Mental Health is so low although the proposed new structures will allow that funding to be secured. The PNA is committed to work with Government to build up funding for mental health until we reach the 8.2% of the Health Budget recommended by Vision for Change.'


Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535