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Mental Health Waiting Times Are ‘Appalling’ and ‘Unacceptable’.

Writes Ciaran Dineen

The waiting list for patients seeking to access mental health services in Carrigaline have been deemed ‘appalling and unacceptable’ by Sinn Féin and Cork-South Central TD, Donnchadh O’Laoghaire.

The comments were made after Mr O’Laoghaire received a response from the Head of Service of Primary Care following a parliamentary question he submitted in Dáil Éireann. 

The results showed that on average people are waiting 6 months to be seen in the Carrigaline Primary Health Care Centre, with lengthy lists for both Adult and CAHMS services. 

Speaking to The CarrigdhounNewspaper the Sinn Féin spokesman for Education said, “It is scandalous. Six months is a torturous period of time to be waiting for any service or treatment. Anyone who is referred to a psychiatrist, is very likely facing a crisis situation, it is unacceptable that people in Carrigaline, in Passage and Douglas who need these vitally important medical health services are waiting so long. Peoples’ lives and welfare are put at risk by such waiting times.”

For children and adolescents seeking consultation many are waiting over 6 months,  with 54 out of 92 waiting that long, and 19 Children in the area waiting over a year.

Continuing Mr O’Laoghaire said, “there is enormous pressure on the system, there is a vacant position for a psychologist in the Carrigaline Primary Care Centre, but at the minute it is 1 psychologist full time and 1 part time. None of this is any fault of the dedicated and committed staff, but it is very, very clear from the statistics that I have received from the HSE that Carrigaline and the surrounding areas, such as Passage, and Douglas which have a huge population are not getting adequate mental health services, and that there is not enough staff. I will be demanding from the Minister for Health that there be additional staff allocated to the locality.”

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